“The Best Designed Car” Award

Mar 19, 2012
Author: Daniel Tomicic
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This is the first edition of “The Best Designed Car” award. Our goal is to organise election that praise good design, therefore we gathered the most expert jury ever - 39 world top car design experts. They had chosen the best designed concept and production cars presented through 2011. Jury list includes design celebrities like Patrick Le Quément (ex Renault), Luigi Colani, Lowie Vermeersch (ex Pininfarina), Tom Matano (ex Mazda), Marek Djordjevic (ex Rolls-Royce), Daniel Simon (Tron, the movie)… we also invited some of the world best motoring journalists: Karl Haug (Carl’s Cars), Bart Lenaerts (Waft), Marco Traverso (CarBodyDesign.com)…

Every jury member picked three concept and three production cars that they consider best in overall design. They have sorted them by importance and we counted three points for first place, two for second and one for third. General public also voted, through websites CarDesign.Ru, CarDesignCommunity.com and email. They voted for one concept and one production. Awards will be presented at Auto(r) 2012, the biggest automotive design conference in Europe since 2009.

The Best Designed Car winners by category with jury member comments:


1st – Peugeot HX1

- “After awkward years of Peugeot design, this well done experiment is a treat. Naively seductive 80ies stance, clear lines and the unique French love to detail. Inspired me most in 2011.”, Daniel Simon

- "This layout is the MPV of the future. A low roofline like an Italian sports car ensures reduced consumption. A light interior which gets lighter the more aft you move, is brilliant.", Karl Haug

- "An elegant and clever approach of what could be the future premium Peugeot.Finally a low riding car with a unique modulable interior. This concept car really illustrates that Peugeot can aim a new variety of segments!", Philip Nemeth

- "Beautiful reinterpretation of ‘les grandes routieres’. Nice proportions, perfect execution.", Bart Lenaerts 

- "Is that possible to achieve appealing aesthetic and large space at the same time? HX1 has done it.", Haishan Deng

- "A new possible direction for a large French luxury car that looks to have both legitimacy and potential.  And a design with sublime surfacing, detailing, interior and overall resolution.", Sam Livingstone

- "New proportion for the sedan.  This shape has a great potential for better aero management.", Tom Matano

- "Well done in general and great leap forward for Peugeot.", Omer Halilhodzic

- "Peugeot concepts are showing consistency and creativity, mastering an aesthetic that flows from interior to exterior, moreover it states a strong reference to where the brand is going.". Artur Mausbach 

- "The proportion and scale is excessively appealing.  Looks like a concept sketch.  Would love to drive it.  Definite Peugeot image.  Would not be mistaken for any other manufacturer.", Roy Lonberger


2nd – Renault Captur

- “Exposed Skelton looks fresh.  Matches well with Interior theme.”, Tom Matano

- "Brave 3D formation, unusuall proportions with many innovations inside andoutside. Strenghts is combined with friendliness.", József Scherer

- "Re-directed design language for long-term innovation brand.", Marc Ma

- "A new mash-up of sports-coupe with crossover, and one full of innovative design treatments that also work holistically; an impressive achievement.", Sam Livingstone

- "Innovative, Fashionable, sculptural  well executed this concept stand alone for me in this contest.", Pontus Fontaeus

- "Along with other recent Renault concept cars, Captur is a bold new concept, fresh & appealing in both exterior & interior.  Muscular yet approachable, a fresh statement.", Michael Ani

- "This has been a difficult choice, but finally I've voted for the Renault Captur as my favorite concept car for 2011. What attracts me to this vehicle is the the array of fresh features and design details throughout: the "dynamic turn signal system", "greenhouse structure", beautifully designing "tunnel shaped" rear lamp...just to name a few. The bottom line is that this vehicle is a great source of inspiration, and that is what I'm looking for in a concept car.", Yovan Vujacic 

3rd – Audi Urban Concept

- “Where technology wins, the highest level of security is reached. Style is complex but not  decisive.”, Gabriella Belli

- "A good trajectory in the future, for the needs of the emerging mega cites.It had aesthetically agile and nimble appearance and adds excitement to the potential new owners experience.It stills retains a distinct brand identity of an Audi too.", Jeevak Badve

- "Audi – exceptionally. Audi – innovative. Audi – exceptionally fresh and provocative. Audi – courageously. Audi – youthfully. Audi – SUPER!", Achim Storz

- "Small, electric, yet also fun and sporty: a pioneering vehicle typology with potentially very strong relevance to our future world: what ever concept car might aim to be.", Sam Livingstone

- "Innovative and a "spunky" fresh little concept car this was most welcome to see.", Pontus Fontaeus



1st – Porsche 911

- "It’s a beautiful Porsche – not a 911 as usual. In the past the 911 was always small and sportive and now it looks like an ‘grown-up’ automobile, bigger and more luxury. Modeling of Design and sculpture is wonderful.", Achim Storz

- “A pure piece of design, instantly recognisable as the successor to its historic forbears, yet with new proportions of wheel to body and glass, giving the 991 even more stance, purpose and appeal.”, Michael Ani

- “Possibly the hardest job in car design fulfilled; the design classic that is the 911 made to look very twenty-tens as well as very 911 and very desirable.”, Sam Livingstone

- "An everlasting classic combining perfect style and advanced technology.", Gabriella Belli

- "With each iteration of the 911 it just keeps getting sweeter. Proportions and detailing are updated to be more contempary and to accentuate the sporty nature and the iconic 911 character. Small mishap on the front daylight running lamps ; )", Taras Czornyj

- "Another generation of the mythic 911. A spendid car, beautiful proportions, great surface work. Same DNA but this time, the car can  be reconized at first sight! Fantastic looking car!", Philip Nemeth

- "The new 911 introduces strong new elements in the evolution of the model. The design team managed to achieve a distinctive identity while keping up with the demanding requirements and expectations.", Marco Traverso

- "The legend, forever young.", Marc Ma

- "The best you can get of the current automotive paradigms, well updated.", Artur Mausbach 

2nd – Citroën DS5

- “With this quirky and busy design Citroën liberates itself from a) the cometition b) it’s current line-up b) its glorious but “difficult-to-remake” past. The DS5 is not a masterpiece of simplicity, it is more like a wild concept that has made it into production. Like it or not – it creates the attention the brand need in a old and new international markets. But why is it good? Because Audi could never have designed it.”, Karl Haug

- "For showing how to innovate conceptually away from the sedan hegemony without being a me-too hatchback, and for carrying the posh-bling of the DS3 and DS4 forwards into a higher echelon.", Sam Livingstone

- "Many fresh details. Good execution of previous show concepts. Define the “new” Cross Over genre.", Tom Matano

- "A design that works with the DS set up line in a good way, innovative graphics and 3D shapes both interior and exterior wise creating an masculine yet sensitive end product.", Pontus Fontaeus

- “Citroën finally managed to cope with its own, massive heritage. First Citroën in decades that sets new standards, yet without any references to retrodesign whatsoever.”, Bart Lenaerts

- "A fresh and convincing combination of contemporary volume and drivetrain, taking Citroen to a next level of desirability.", Michael Ani

- "Pleasantly new.", Fan Zhang

-  "I have picked the Citroen DS5 as my favorite production car for 2011 because this is one of the few vehicles, on the road, that has evoked in me the same excitement I feel when I go to an auto show. I think it brings the idea of what a production car can look like to another level.", Yovan Vujacic

3rd – Volkswagen up!

- “With the Up!, Volkswagen Group has presented a modern and versatile platform that will serve as a basis for mass produced models as well as for special versions. The design is refined and with a distinctive inspiration from the product design world.”, Marco Traverso

- "Volkswagen UpSimple, soberly functional form and color.Well balanced  car-volume, good package, fits to the category.", József Scherer

- "Really offers a meaningful & stylish statement for the segment that's set for a growth trajectory.All the lines work in an harmonious way and its pretty authentic to its purpose. A good industrial designed solution.", Jeevak Badve

- "Currently one of the best microcars. VW demonstrates courage – the car has a clearly arranged structure,  perfect alignment and a straightforward, minimal  design. Super!", Achim Storz

- "VW surface quality, product feel and smart packaging is something every designer should have owned once. I did with the Lupo. Good luck Up.", Daniel Simon

- "Unmistakable design, great simplicity and excellent proportions.", Peter Neumann

- "Well executed and harmonious form language ext/int. Nice spunky car in this segment with no actual competitors. Almost limit to boring...?", Pontus Fontaeus

- "Clean modern and inviting- looks like a place you want to be and it does away with the ubiquitous car grill very nicely.", Paul Deutschman

- "Renew the design language for a traditional brand.", Marc Ma

- "High design quality for this segment.  Cohesive in every angle.", Tom Matano

- "Production car in true spirit of VW brand. Mobility for masses, true Volkswagen!”, Omer Halilhodzic


1st – Cadillac Ciel

- “Uniquely Cadillac in concept and detail, a bold statement from a company fighting to regain its prominence.  Definitely not Eurocentric or like all of the competitors. Actually would prefer to see it as a sedan.  Not the car I would care to drive or own, but would be fun to sit in the back seat, imagine all of the feelings of self-importance, wave to the crowd, sip a glass of Opus One, and let the driver do the work.”, Roy Lonberger

- "Beautiful piece of America for a near future.", Artur Mausbach

- "A confident American with poise and presence.", Paul Deutschman

2nd – Citroën Tubik

- “Courageously – more risk, more fun! Hopefully we will see it on the streets soon – that’s the way how transportation design makes fun: JUST DO IT!”, Achim Storz


3rd – Jaguar B99 Bertone

- “Always a tough quest to do a concept car in the 3 box “limousine” class this was sleek, sexy and contemporary… wish that the production cars from Jag looked like this…Bertone´s best in a long time!”, Pontus Fontaeus


1st – Porsche 911


2nd – Citroën DS5


3rd - Opel Astra GTC


- "Well designed sport Opel.", Omer Halilhodzic

- "Hot Hatch reborn for the brand.", Marc Ma

- "The stance and proportions are still soooo show car. Amazing!", Fan Zhang


JURY 2011

  1. Michael Ani, Founder of Makkina

  2. Jeevak Badve, Director of Strategic Business Development and Design Studio Manager, at American Specialty Cars

  3. Gabriella Belli, Director of the Fondazione Musei Civici in Venice

  4. Luigi Colani, design legend

  5. Taras Czornyj, General Manager Design 4Wh at Bajaj

  6. Paul Deutschman, freelance designer of extreme productivity.

  7. Miroslav Dimitrov, freelance designer

  8. Marek Djordjevic, Principal at Marek Djordjevic Inc.

  9. Fan Zhang, Design Director of Guangzhou Automobile Group

  10. Pontus Fontaeus, Founder and Creative Design Director at ”peefdee”

  11. Rodolfo Gaffino Rossi, Director at Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile “Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia”

  12. Haishan Deng, Director of Transportation Design at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts

  13. Omer Halilhodžić, freelance designer

  14. Karl Haug, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Carl’s Cars

  15. Alikhan Kuljanov, Assistant Chief Designer at Opel

  16. Sacha Lakić, Principal at Lakic Design

  17. Radek Laube, Editor-in-Chief, AutoDesign&Styling magazine

  18. Patrick le Quément, one of the most important automotive designers of all time

  19. Bart Lenaerts, freelance motoring journalist

  20. Michael Leonello, freelance designer

  21. Sam Livingstone, Director of Car Design Research Ltd

  22. Roy Lonberger, CEO of MagnaDesign and LightSpeed Dynamics, and CFO for Blu808 Motorsports

  23. Marc Ma, Executive Director and Design Chief of Zhongyu Automotive Research Institute

  24. Tsutonu “Tom” Matano, Executive Director, School of Industrial Design, Academy of Art University, San Francisco

  25. Artur Mausbach, consultant for car industry on aesthetic and sustainability

  26. Alessio Minchella, Professor at IED

  27. Philip Nemeth, Head of Transportation Design at Strate Collège

  28. Peter Naumann, Dean of Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften München

  29. Graham Pepall, freelance automotive designer

  30. Ari Rocha, pioneer of Brazilian product design

  31. Satoshi Wada, Principal at SWdesign

  32. József Scherer, Head of Transportation Design at MOME Budapest

  33. Daniel Simon, vehicle concept designer

  34. Achim Storz, CEO at Design Storz

  35. Nick Talbot, Global Design Head at Tata

  36. Marco Traverso, Founder and Editor-In-Chief at Car Body Design website

  37. Lowie Vermeersch, Founder & Creative Director at granstudio

  38. Yovan Vujacic, freelance designer

  39. Mark West, Professor and Chair, Transportation Design / MFA Transportation Design at College for Creative Studies, Detroit

The Best Designed Car additional informations.

  • NuruiGumi 21st March 2012 | 00:21
    I just don't understand the Audi Urban and the Citroën Tubik. The Urban... The idea is to be compact, and yet so much space is wasted by having the wheels so far from the body. Doesn't that defeat the purpose? You may as well just have a wider interior if you are going to have the wheel base be that wide. And the Tubik just looks like a pig. The interior is pretty cool, but the exterior is too big a detail for me to overlook. It really looks like a ham, snout, ears, everything. On the other hand, even though I didn't vote for the HX1, I'm glad the jury did. I watched a video about it on youtube. It's really incredible. It deserved the win. The Captur and the ceil are great too. I had fun with this vote. :)

  • Daniel Tomicic 24th March 2012 | 02:08
    Hi Nurui, it's great to know that you had fun to vote. I guess Urban idea is to be light in the first place and car must have width in proportion to length. On the other hand Tubik is modern reinterpretation of model H. Cars in general have characteristics of live creatures like face, eyes, nose, mouth... Tubik is mean H from future.
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