The 2014 Vehicle Dynamics International Awards winners have been announced, with Mercedes-Benz stamping its authority on an unprecedented four out of the six categories! The Magic Body Control enabled S-Class was responsible for Mercedes-Benz’s domination whilst the team, and lead dynamicist, behind the car were also winners in their respective categories.
The 2014 Award winners in full:
Car of the Year: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Dynamics Team of the Year: Mercedes-Benz
Dynamicist of the Year: Dr. Hermann Storp, Mercedes-Benz
Innovation of the Year: Magic Body Control, Mercedes-Benz
Supplier of the Year: ThyssenKrupp Bilstein
Development Tool of the Year: Driver-in-Motion, VI-Grade
John O’Brien, Editor of Vehicle Dynamics International said: “Mercedes-Benz has achieved something no other manufacturer has before. The Magic Body Control system fitted to the S-Class is a worthy winner, and the development team behind it has rightly been praised too.”
The international judging panel was equally forthcoming in its praise of Stuttgart’s work. Padaric Deane, of Automotive Publications, Ireland, commented “Magic Body Control is out there now impressing in a car that gets closer examination for technical advancement than any other. A sophisticated suspension system that automatically flattens out bumps that may lie ahead.”
“To improve the benchmark ride of the previous S-Class is a daunting task. Storp has managed to do just that with the introduction of Magic Body Control,” added Nicol Louw, Car Magazine, South Africa.
“It is no easy task to maintain classic vehicle dynamics refinements whilst simultaneously pushing technology in the direction of sensible improvements,” concluded Phil Morse, dynamicist and writer. ” Yet Storp has gently waved his wand and the new S-Class has appeared.”
Mercedes-Benz was not the only winner in the 2014 awards. ThyssenKrupp Bilstein was awarded Supplier of the Year following the first mass-market applications of its DampTronic semi-active damping system, which offer ‘a very attractive price to performance ratio’.
Jury members were also keen to praise the semi-active system, with VDI contributor and freelance journalist Marc Noordeloos, stating, “ThyssenKrupp Bilstein continues its magical work in the world of chassis dynamics.”
Rounding out the awards, was the Development Tool of the Year category, won by VI-Grade for its Driver in Motion (DiM). The nine-degrees-of-freedom moving platform is currently operational at Ferrari, with a further installation taking place at Volvo, and several other major automotive OEMs also placing orders.
For the full story, see the feature in the May/ June 2014 issue of VDI.
About the awards:
The voting process works like this: nominations are received from VDI’s expert readership of chassis and dynamics professionals, and from the input of the editorial team. Between four and six shortlisted finalists in each category then go to the international and independent judging panel of automotive journalists, which votes for the winners. The judging panel is made up of 27 judges from 19 countries.
The full list of judges this year was:
Halit Bolkan, auto motor & sport, Turkey; Carl Cunanan, C! magazine, Philippines; Matt Davis, Freelance & VDI columnist, USA; Padraic Deane, Automotive Publications, Ireland; Tarcisio Dias, Mecânica Online, Brazil; Joshua Dowling, News Corp, Australia; Lorenzo Facchinetti, Auto, Italy; Leonid Golovanov, Autoreview, Russia; Graham Heeps, Vehicle Dynamics International, UK; John Heider, Dynamicist and VDI columnist, USA; Graham Johnson, UKIP Media & Events, UK; Matt Joy, Press Association, UK; Jim Kenzie, Toronto Star Wheels, Canada; Marc Lachapelle, Le Guide de l’auto/MSN Autos US, Canada; Jürgen Lewandowski, Ganske Publishing, Germany; Nicol Louw, Car, South Africa; Frank Markus, Motor Trend, USA; Yves Maroselli, Le Figaro, France; John Miles, Dynamicist and VDI columnist, UK; Phil Morse, Dynamicist and writer, USA; Marc Noordeloos, Freelance, USA; Sergio Oliveira de Melo, El Informador, Mexico; Tomaz Porekar, Avto Magazin, Slovenia; Alvaro Sauras, Car&Tecno, Spain; Gabor Szecsenyi, Az Auto, Hungary; Oleg Vasilevsky, Auto Bild Ukraine; Juergen Zoellter, Freelance, Germany