Mate Rimac, founder and CEO of the Rimac Group and CEO of both Rimac Technology and Bugatti Rimac, has been awarded the top prize at the 2022 Autocar Awards, the Issigonis Trophy, in recognition of the incredible contribution that he and the firm he built have made to the global automotive industry.
The Issigonis Trophy, named after the legendary engineer and inventor of the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis, is awarded by Autocar to an individual who has played a significant role in helping to shape the future of one of the world’s largest industries.
In just over a decade, Mate Rimac has created a manufacturer of million-pound electric hypercars of his own design and become a major supplier to other car makers, securing significant investment from the likes of Hyundai and Porsche, which want access to his hardware and software know-how. Such is his success, he is now in control of Bugatti.
All of this has earned Rimac the prestigious prize at the Autocar Awards, celebrated at an evening ceremony at the Silverstone Wing.
Autocar editor-in-chief Steve Cropley said: “Mate’s rise to the top in the space of little more than a decade is remarkable. From a clever young guy messing about with a rusty electrified BMW to a revered automotive manufacturer – soon to be the biggest company in Croatia – backed by huge names such as Porsche is formidable. There’s no one more deserving of our Issigonis Trophy and we can’t wait to see what he does next.”
The Autocar Awards also honour Prodrive founder David Richards, who receives the Sturmey Award for his leadership in elevating and reshaping UK motorsport for the future. Named after Henry Sturmey, who founded Autocar 127 years ago, the award celebrates an individual who has brought the highest technical standards to the industry.
The Editor’s Award goes to Stellantis executive vice-president and UK group managing director Alison Jones for her many achievements steering the firm’s recent merger through the most turbulent of waters.
The Mundy Award for Engineering, which is given to a standout engineer for their contributions to the industry, has been won by Gordon Murray for his work across Formula 1 and McLaren, but in particular his new, brilliantly packaged V12 supercars in the F1 mould.
Hyundai’s SangYup Lee wins Autocar’s Design Hero award for his contributions to elevating the company’s design and the brand itself with cars such as the Ioniq 5.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award has been won by Peter Schreyer, an industry titan who penned iconic cars such as the Volkswagen Golf and Audi TT, before moving to Kia and Hyundai to lead rapid change in their design.
The awards also feature Outstanding UK Leader, Innovation Award and Motorsport Hero trophies. The BMW M5 CS is recognised for its five-star road test verdict, the Porsche 911 GT3 is named Britain’s Best Driver’s Car and the Hyundai i20 N wins Britain’s Best Affordable Driver’s Car. The five cars from 2022 most likely to be considered classic cars in 2072 win Future Classic awards, presented in association with the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in its 50th anniversary year.