Always highly anticipated, the winners of the annual Vehicle Dynamics International Awards have been announced, with Porsche rewarded for making two very fine handling cars even better with the design of the all-new Cayman and Boxster sports cars. Ford is also a big winner this year, having been recognised by the judges for the exceptional talent and achievements of its global Dynamics Team and also specifically for the work of David Put, who is responsible for tuning the ST and RS models from Ford TeamRS.
2013 Award Winners:
Car of the Year: Porsche Boxster/Cayman
Dynamics Team of the Year: Ford
Dynamicist of the Year: David Put, Ford TeamRS
Innovation of the Year: RaceActive Chassis Control, McLaren
Development Tool of the Year: AIBA, Continental
Supplier of the Year: Magneti Marelli Suspension Systems
Graham Heeps, editor of Vehicle Dynamics International said: “This year Porsche has launched two cars that have simply changed the game as far as all-round dynamic performance is concerned in a mainstream sports car. Ford continues its long heritage of developing some of the best engineering talent to be found anywhere in the industry. All the award winners are exceptional achievers in their fields.”
When judging the Porsche Boxster and Cayman, the judges were struggling to find superlatives to do the cars justice. Respected German journalist, Jürgen Zöllter, summarised Porsche’s achievement nicely by saying: “The best-balanced cars on earth in terms of overall performance, handling, price and fuel economy.”
Hans-Jürgen Wöhler, Porsche’s head of the Boxster and Cayman product line, said: “I am very proud to get this award. The new Boxster and Cayman have both made big steps forward.”
Meanwhile Ford has developed a worldwide reputation for bringing exceptional dynamic performance to affordable, mainstream, production cars. The company’s global Dynamics Team has brought some very talented cars to the market in the past twelve months, including the B-MAX and the Kuga/Escape SUVs, and the judges were delighted to present Ford with the ‘Dynamics Team of the Year Award’.
Furthermore, David Put was individually recognised for his work at Ford TeamRS on the sports oriented ST and RS models. “It is a particular challenge to infuse a sporting personality into a mass audience vehicle platform”, says Phil Morse, himself a dynamacist and writer. “David Put has not only accomplished this, but has gone one step further: He has created seriously sporty offerings that may, in fact, be palatable to the masses.”
Other award winners include McLaren in the Innovation of the Year category for its RaceActive Chassis Control, a system developed exclusively for its P1 hypercar; Magneti Marelli Suspension Systems won the ‘Supplier of the Year’ award for its ground-breaking work in developing ultra-lightweight suspension components; and Continental for its Automated Indoor Braking Analyzer (AIBA), which secured the company the award for the ‘Development Tool of the Year.
For the full story, see the feature in the June 2013 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 was significantly expanded this year and now includes 29 judges from 19 countries! The full list of judges this year was:
Halit Bolkan, auto motor & sport, Turkey; Christophe Congrega, L’Automobile magazine, France; Carl Cunanan, C! magazine, Philippines; Matt Davis, Freelance & VDI columnist, USA; Padraic Deane, Automotive Publications, Ireland; Tarcisio Dias, Mecânica Online, Brazil; Lorenzo Facchinetti, Auto, Italy; Leonid Golovanov, Autoreview, Russia; Graham Heeps, Vehicle Dynamics International, UK; John Heider, principal of Cayman Dynamics and VDI columnist, USA; Graham Johnson, UKIP Media & Events, UK; Matt Joy, Press Association, UK; Jim Kenzie, Toronto Star Wheels, Canada; Nikos Kounitis, 4 Wheels magazine, Greece; 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; Hormazd Sorabjee, Autocar India; Gabor Szecsenyi, Az Auto, Hungary; Oleg Vasilevsky, Auto Bild Ukraine; Juergen Zoellter, Freelance, Germany.