Automotive PR – In automotive PR news, the Royal Automobile Club is proud to announce that the recipients of the Dewar Trophy and Simms Medal for 2017 are Jaguar and the HIPERCAR Consortium respectively.

Without doubt among the most prestigious honours in recognition of home-grown British automotive engineering talent, the Dewar Trophy and Simms Medal are only awarded in years when the Royal Automobile Club’s Dewar Technical Committee deems there have been contenders of sufficient merit. And 2017 is one such year.

The Dewar Trophy was presented to Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ralf Speth, for his team’s design and development of the first all-electric Jaguar in history: the I-PACE Concept. Arriving on the market in production form in 2018, the I-PACE Concept packs an innovative electric powertrain inside a dramatic new body, signalling a new direction for the marque.

Featuring two ultra-compact electric motors and a high-tech Lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 90kWh, the I-PACE Concept delivers 700Nm of torque and 400PS. That performance is distributed to all four wheels and 0-60mph takes only around four seconds. Its range is also highly impressive: more than 500km (310 miles), while an 80% charge takes just 90 minutes with a 50kW DC rapid charger.

Endowing the I-PACE Concept its sporty handling characteristics, the firm’s engineers have positioned the Lithium-ion battery pack low in the chassis for a low centre of gravity, while the battery itself is encased in an aluminium shell that forms part of the car’s structure. It’s also thermally managed by a liquid circuit, which cools or warms the cells according to the ambient temperature, ensuring optimum efficiency and performance.

With a flat floor and no internal combustion engine at the front, Jaguar’s design team, led by Director of Design Ian Callum, has been able to give the I-PACE Concept a revolutionary shape, one that is more cab-forward than any previous Jaguar.

In addition, Jaguar has launched the world’s first international race series for a production battery electric car, the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY. The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will be the support series for the FIA Formula E Championship (In 2016, Jaguar became the first premium manufacturer to enter Formula E) taking place on the same weekends at the same city circuits, starting in late 2018.

Awarding the 2017 trophy to Jaguar was a unanimous decision for experts on the Royal Automobile Club’s Dewar Technical Committee, chaired by John Wood MBE. Previous winners of the Dewar Trophy, which has a lineage dating back to 1906, include Rolls-Royce in 1907 for its 40.5hp engine; the British Motor Corporation and Alec Issigonis for the original Mini in 1959; McLaren in 2013 for the P1 hybrid supercar, and GKN Hybrid Power for their Gyrodrive flywheel technology.

John Wood MBE, Chairman of the Dewar Technical Committee, said:

“Electrification is without doubt one of the hot topics of our time and the motor industry is genuinely at a turning point. Developing an electric car is one thing, but making it genuinely innovative and, at the same time, the embodiment of your brand’s values is quite different. On this evidence, Jaguar has more than succeeded and the Dewar Technical Committee was extremely impressed with every aspect of the I-PACE Concept – from its next-generation drivetrain to its reinterpretation of Jaguar’s design DNA.”

Receiving the Dewar Trophy, Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, said:

“On behalf of Jaguar Land Rover, I am absolutely delighted to receive such a prestigious award.

Our design and engineering teams have done an incredible job with the I-PACE Concept. It marks the next-generation of Jaguars – compelling innovative technology, future-facing design, zero emissions. A new driving experience that retains and enhances the unmistakable essence of Jaguar. It is a pioneering vehicle – and it is a great honour that the Dewar Technical Committee has recognised this and given us a cherished place in the pantheon of automotive innovators, once again.”

Receiving the Simms Medal was Neil Yates from Ariel Ltd, Nick Carpenter from Delta Motorsport Ltd and Ian Foley from Equipmake Ltd. Together these expert UK-based companies make up the HIPERCAR Consortium, which has collectively developed a new high performance electrified supercar.

In the past, small niche vehicle manufacturers, especially in the high performance sector, have often come up with exciting concepts for new vehicles but then struggled to turn that vision into reality. Ariel has a reputation for producing radically different high performance vehicles and bringing them to market – such as the Atom and Nomad. In developing its next product line and in search of even more extreme performance, as well as a desire to reduce emissions, Ariel realised very quickly that such a vehicle could not use a conventional powertrain.

To deliver this vehicle, known as HIPERCAR (which stands for High Performance Carbon Reduction), Ariel came together with Delta Motorsport and Equipmake to form a very talented and capable consortium. To meet its performance and emissions reduction targets, while also addressing real world customer needs, the package chosen was a range extended, battery powered electric vehicle.

Companies working in the motorsport arena have a reputation for speed of response, inventiveness and a determination to deliver to near-impossible timescales. These three companies are no exception, all having a track record in delivering advanced technology and all three with previous experience of challenging contract R&D programmes.

Supported by a grant from Innovate UK, the consortium has delivered the first example of HIPERCAR in just 24 months: a four-wheel-drive range extended electric sports car, using a novel gas turbine range extender, with an overall power output of 1080bhp.

John Wood MBE said: “The HIPERCAR is an outstanding example of next-generation technology and lightning-fast development. If it had been the product of a major international vehicle manufacturer, it would be remarkable enough, but it is the result of three SMEs who have worked together on an immense technical challenge.

“In bringing to market cutting edge high performance low-carbon technology, the HIPERCAR Consortium is helping to reduce emissions, safeguarding or creating jobs and developing UK automotive capability. As such, we had no hesitation in awarding the group the Simms Medal for 2017.”

On behalf of the HIPERCAR Consortium, Simon Saunders, Director of Ariel, said: “I am overjoyed to receive the Simms Medal for 2017. The HIPERCAR Consortium set out to collectively develop an extremely advanced car, one which brings together UK-developed technology in every aspect of its design. Not only is HIPERCAR going to be one of the fastest vehicles in the world but also one of the most cutting edge. The fact that it has been developed in the UK and supported by UK government agencies shows just how important the vehicle and the technology is to us and the UK economy. And we are absolutely delighted that the Royal Automobile Club has recognised our achievements.”

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