The 33rd Festival Automobile International was held in Paris this week, hosting an elite event that is a cross between the Automotive Oscars and "Design Week for Cars." The highlight of the week is the awarding of The Most Beautiful Car of The Year (2017), The Most Beautiful Supercar of The Year, The Most Beautiful Concept Car of The Year, the Futuristic City Cars Grand Prize, The Most Beautiful Automotive Advertising of The Year, and two individuals were honored, with Land Rover's Gerry McGovern taking Le Grand Prix Du Design (essentially Car Designer of the Year) and Renault Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn who was awarded the Palme d'Or.
The Most Beautiful Car of The Year
Winner: Alpine A110
The lightweight, two-seat Alpine A110 sports coupé, which was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2017, was voted the Most Beautiful Car of 2017 by the public.
In accepting the award, Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO, Carlos Ghosn said: "Reviving such an iconic sports car as the Alpine A110 has been an inspiring challenge, the objective being to bestow it with modern technology and expertise while remaining true to the car's unique heritage.
"We are very proud of the passion the new A110 has generated not only at our Dieppe plant in Normandy [France], where it is made, but also across Groupe Renault. This prize is a tremendous reward for all those who, over a period of five years, put so much energy into bringing this symbol of excellence and French-style elegance back to life."
The new A110 is designed and made in France, with lightweight aluminum construction and a 1.8 liter, mid rear-mounted 185 kW turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
2nd | BMW X2
3rd | DS 7 Crossback
The Most Beautiful Supercar of 2017
Winner: McLaren 720S
Unlike the public-voted Most Beautiful Car of the Year, the Most Beautiful Supercar of the Year was awarded by a jury of 17 members, and was open to new models sold at a price over €60,000 and which have not been entered for The Most Beautiful Car of the Year. The McLaren 720S was voted the winner ahead of three other finalists: Aston Martin's V8 Vantage, Ferrari's Portofino and the Porsche Panamera.
In accepting the award for the Most Beautiful Supercar of 2017, David Gilbert, Managing Director of McLaren Automotive in Europe, said: "The 720S being awarded the Most Beautiful Supercar of the Year is another great achievement and honor for everyone at McLaren Automotive. Since its unveiling at the 2017 International Geneva Motor Show, the McLaren 720S has received numerous accolades: this award is a further boost for everyone at McLaren, and reflects the superb teamwork by our design group in creating and crafting the lines and proportions of the 720S that attracted recognition from the judges of our design ethos of form following function."
The Most Beautiful Concept Car
Winner: Mazda Concept Vision Coupe
The Most Beautiful Concept Car was also awarded by jury, with 10 models nominated for the honor this year: the Audi Aicon, BMW i Vision Dynamics, Kia Proceed Concept, Lamborghini Terzo Millennio, Mazda Concept Vision Coupe, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Concept, Mercedes-AMG Project One, Vision Mercedes Maybach 6 Cabriolet, Nissan Vmotion and Peugeot Instinct.
The jury finally narrowed it down to four cars which became the finalists: Kia Concept Proceed, Lamborghini Terzo Mellennio Concept, Mazda Concept Vision Coupe and Mercedes AMG Project One.
The Mazda RX-Vision won the same honor in 2016, making this a double win for the two concept models that will guide the design of the next generation of Mazda cars.
In accepting the award for the Most Beautiful Concept Car of 2017, Ikuo Maeda, Mazda's Managing Executive Officer in charge of Design and Brand Style, said: "Vision Coupe uses reflections to express a sense of vitality; the next step for KODO design.
"This car embodies a delicate Japanese aesthetic, and to be recognized here in the 'City of Art' two years after RX-VISION was awarded the same honor is very gratifying. We want to retain our identity as a Japanese brand as we continue making cars with global appeal."
Le Grand Prix Du Design
Winner: Gerry McGovern | Land Rover
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer, was last night named Designer of the Year.
The Grand Prix du Design prize is the Festival Automobile International's Automotive Designer of the Year and in being awarded to Land Rover's Chief Design Officer Gerry McGovern, it recognizes his designs and their influence across the car industry.
The award was decided by a 15-strong jury from the automotive industry, sport, architecture, fashion, design, culture and the media including architect Jean Michel Wilmotte, stylist Chantal Thomas, designer Anne Asensio and Etienne Gernelle, President and CEO of Le Point magazine.
In making the Grand Prix du Design award, Rémi Depoix, President of the Festival Automobile International, said: "Gerry McGovern has been recognized by the jury of the 33rd Festival Automobile International of Paris for his astonishing masterpiece, the Range Rover Velar, and for his whole career.
"One of his remarkable achievements is to adapt Land Rover's DNA, a transformation that began with the Range Rover Evoque. The British automotive industry has been reinvented in Gerry's vision and Land Rover is an incredible success story. Congratulations to him and his team."
Gerry McGovern, in accepting the award, said: "It's an incredibly rewarding time to be a designer in the automotive industry and to be recognized by a jury from a wide variety of design disciplines shows the importance of design in all our lives.
"My team has worked tirelessly to create the most desirable vehicles that our customers will love for life – vehicles that resonate with our customers on an emotional level."
Futuristic City Cars Grand Prize
Winner: Italdesign Airbus Pop.Up
Its removable passenger cell rides on the ground atop an electric vehicle chassis and decouples from that chassis to fly through the air below the whirring rotors of a self-piloted multicopter. Pop.Up is a modular ground and air passenger concept vehicle system designed to relieve traffic congestion in cities. Full story.
Nominees: Honda Urban EV, Italdesign Airbus Pop.Up, Smart Vision EQ ForTwo Concept Volkswagen Sedric Concept
Creative Experience Grand Prize
Winner: Renault Symbioz
The Symbioz was Renault's hero show car at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and it went one brave step further than most concept cars in that it was proposed together with a house as a complete system. Full Story.
Nominees: Honda Neuv Concept, Infiniti Prototype 9, Renault Symbioz, Renault RS 2027 Vision Concept
The Palme d'Or
Winner: Carlos Ghosn, CEO Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi
The Most Beautiful Advertising film
We think this award might have lost something in the translation, perhaps meaning the most compelling, creative or wonderful. The four finalists are all outrageously good but it's hard not to concur with the winner.
Winner: Kia Niro Hero's Journey | Agency: David & Goliath
Nominee: Volkswagen Nouvelle Polo Pere et Fils | Agency: DDB
Nominee: Peugeot 108 Colorful Technology | Agency: Cream
Nominee: Mercedes AMG GT Roadster Born to be Wild | Agency: Joel & Ethan Coen
The Most Beautiful Interior
Winner: DS 7 Crossback
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