Currently reading: Autocar Awards 2020: all the winners
We recognise standout industry figures and great cars at our annual awards ceremony

The Autocar Awards celebrates the most impressive motoring achievements of the past 12 months and the people responsible for driving the industry forward. 

Sponsored by electric fast-charging network Instavolt, this year’s event, held online for the first time, shone a spotlight on the cars, technical achievements and inspiring leaders, all of which made another pivotal year for the motoring industry.

Our top accolade, the Issigonis Trophy, was awarded to Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson, for his phenomenal success at Volvo - which includes doubling annual car sales, raising its brand image to meet premium rivals and leading the agenda on electrificationsafety and autonomous driving.

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The Issigonis Trophy, named after legendary engineer and inventor of the Mini Sir Alec Issigonis, is awarded to an individual who has made an impact in steering one of the world’s largest industries.

Autocar editor-in-chief Steve Cropley said: "We're proud to award this year's Issigonis Trophy to Volvo's boss, HÃ¥kan Samuelsson, for an eight-year overhaul of the company that has doubled its size, reinvigorated its all-important US presence and set it on a path to great success in China, while always stressing and enhancing Volvo's traditional Swedish values

“Under Samuelsson's calm but inspired leadership, Volvo's brand equity has been raised to the level of Audi's or BMW's, yet there has still been time and space to establish Polestar, Volvo's all-electric premium partner-brand that now promises success on a second front. No other company leader in recent times has inspired and led such rapid yet sustainable progress." 

The Sturmey Trophy for technical achievement, named after Autocar founder Henry Sturmey, was given to Land Rover’s chief creative officer Gerry McGovern. Under his tenure, we've seen the clever design evolution of Land Rover models and the arrival of the highly anticipated modern-day Defender.

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Read on to discover the rest of the winners at this year's Autocar Awards, which seek to do things a little differently – majoring not just on great cars but also on the people who have made them great. All the best car stories, we believe, start with the exploits of those who make them.  

Editor's Award

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The Editor’s Award was picked up by Adrian Hallmark, CEO of Bentley. Since joining Bentley in 2018, Hallmark has quickly turned around the firm, to the extent that it made record profits in the first quarter of this year. 

Mundy Award

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The Mundy Award for Engineering – given to a standout engineer for his contributions to the industry – was won by Volkswagen’s Dr Frank Welsch for his work across the brand’s portfolio but particularly the new ID electric family

Design Hero

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Mazda design chief Ikuo Maeda won Autocar’s Design Hero award for his simplified approach to car design, which has ensured Mazda models stand out as some of the most beautiful and distinctive on the roads today.

Innovation Award

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Coventry-based autonomous vehicle developer Aurrigo picked up the Innovation Award for its potential to have a significant impact on motoring in the future. Despite the relatively small size of its workforce, this British firm could have what it takes to compete with Uber and Waymo in the field of self-driving vehicle development.  

Lifetime Achievement

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Geely design chief Peter Horbury received a Lifetime Achievement award. Born in the UK, Horbury now heads up the styling department for one of the world's largest car manufacturing groups, at once charged with setting the tone for up-and-coming new brands like Lynk&Co, and reimagining mainstays like Lotus and Volvo. 

Motorsport Hero

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British Touring Car Championship star Colin Turkington was named Autocar's Motorsport Hero after securing his record-equalling fourth title in Britain's highest-profile and most competitive championship.

Britain's Best Driver's Car and Five-Star Car

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In the past 12 months, Autocar has awarded just one vehicle a full five-star road test verdict. That car is the Ariel Atom. It also won Autocar’s Britain’s Best Driver’s Car award, proving that the Somerset company's efforts in perfecting its lightweight track day weapon over the last two decades have been thoroughly worthwhile. 

Britain's Best Affordable Driver's Car

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The Mazda MX-5 was recognised as Britain’s Best Affordable Driver’s Car, for vehicles costing below £30,000. The fourth generation of this iconic Japanese convertible is the most fun you can have on four wheels without spending big money, even holding its own up against fearsome hot hatch weapons from Ford, Honda and Volkwagen. 

Reader's Champion

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The McLaren F1 picked up the Readers’ Champion Award, decided by thousands of Autocar readers in an online poll to determine the 50 cars to drive before you die. Woking's V12 masterpiece saw off competition from a diverse field of 50 entrants that included the Citroën 2CV, Audi UR Quattro and Ferrari F40. 

Used Car Hero

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The Autocar Awards ceremony also recognised the used vehicle market: the Mercedes A-Class was awarded the Autocar Used Car Hero title for its premium blend of style, practicality and affordability. There's a good selection of trims and engines available, and prices are lower than you might expect, making this a used car to buy while you can. 

Game Changers

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A further four vehicles were recognised as Game Changers. The Aston Martin DBX, Ford Puma, Polestar 1 and Porsche Taycan were all highlighted for either introducing new standards in their vehicle categories or defying conventions to bring new features and benefits for drivers.

Oustanding UK Leaders

Autocar also handed out Outstanding UK Leaders awards to BMW WSR team boss Dick Bennetts, Peugeot UK managing director David Peel, Seat UK boss Richard Harrison and Vauxhall MD Stephen Norman. These individuals have steered their respective companies to great success over the last year, making a tangible mark on the industry in the process. 


Autocar awards 2020: podcast special

Volvo's Håkan Samuelsson wins 2020 Autocar awards Issigonis Trophy​

Autocar awards 2020: watch the video

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Add a comment…
ewallace1 8 July 2020

A Class? Really?

The 3rd gen A-Class is almost as common as the morons who buy them, looks cheap, is tiny inside, an awful ride, isn't nice to drive, cheap interior, engine from a Clio but pay 2 x as much.  What is this nonsense.

289 7 July 2020

Well, that was......

.....utterly predictable Autocar!