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Autocar has launched two new annual awards: the Issigonis Trophy and the Sturmey Award

Ron Dennis collecting the Issigonis Trophy

May 9, 2014: Autocar has launched two new annual awards to celebrate heroes of the buoyant British car industry: the Issigonis Trophy and the Sturmey Award.

The awards are named after Sir Alec Issigonis, creator of the original Mini – voted the best British car ever by Autocar readers this week – and Henry Sturmey, the very first editor of the magazine. They were presented to the first recipients last night at the inaugural Autocar Stars event at London’s Hurlingham Club.

CEO and Chairman of the McLaren Group and Chairman of McLaren Automotive, Ron Dennis, collected the Issigonis Trophy for his services to the automotive industry at a company that has designed and produced some of the most iconic British sports cars in a generation.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s UK managing director, Georg Ell, picked up the Sturmey Award for its tireless pursuit of pioneering automotive innovation.

Autocar brand editor Chas Hallett said: “In his career, Ron Dennis has built a leading F1 team, established a successful supercar company, inspired the creation of some of the world’s great buildings, launched a dozen technology businesses and assembled teams of hugely talented and creative people — and he continues to work every day to make them better. He has always been a staunch backer of the UK manufacturing industry and truly deserves to stand alongside the legend that is Sir Alec Issigonis, creator of the Mini.

“Meanwhile, Tesla has taken massive strides in the field of electric motoring. Thanks to Tesla, car buyers around the world can now see that not only can all-electric cars be fun, practical to drive and desirable, but also that a pioneering brand can be successfully established in just one generation.”

Autocar also paid tribute to the eight cars that have achieved the full five stars in its famously tough road test, widely acknowledged as an industry benchmark: the Toyota GT86, Mercedes-Benz S-class, BMW 320d Sport, Porsche Cayman, Morgan 3 Wheeler, Ferrari 458 Italia and Jaguar XFR. The McLaren P1 is the latest to join this illustrious list, having achieved a five-star review this week.

Autocar’s Five-Star Cars Model Autocar says Toyota GT86 The most entertaining cheapish coupe in a decade. Falls into oversteer like it’s got a flat back tyre. Mercedes-Benz S-class Calm, sophisticated and rewarding, it is a technical knockout that redefines what luxury cars should be. BMW 320d Sport Possibly the best car in the real world. If you can find fault with it, you can find fault with anything. Porsche Cayman Sports car tuned sublimely with Porsche-grade precision to deliver compelling driver engagement. Morgan 3 Wheeler An eccentric and utterly bewitching car that oozes with character and ability. Friendly handling, too. Ferrari 458 Italia Finest supercar on sale. Explosive pace and sharp handling yet also a calm ride. The complete package. Jaguar XFR Jaguar’s XF redefined the company’s range. The XFR super-saloon redefined its sense of fun. McLaren P1 More than the sum of its parts. Excels at everything it does.

Autocar Stars has been launched as the world’s oldest and most respected motoring title celebrates the buoyant British automotive industry with a 220-page edition. With new car sales hitting a 10-year high in March, it is predicted that the UK will be building more than two million cars a year by 2017, eclipsing the previous record of 1972.