A Great British Sports Car: Lotus Elise Voted Best Car To Drive In Autocar Awards, With Jaguar XE And New 4x4 Bentley Also Hailed As Game Changers

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British sports car beats the Volvo XC90 and McLaren 570S to top honour

  • Awards for the Ferrari 488 and Mazda MX5 as best driver's cars

  • The top 50 cars as voted for by tens of thousands of motorists - does yours appear in the list?

  • By Ray Massey for the Daily Mail

    Published: 18:15 EDT, 24 May 2016 | Updated: 12:32 EDT, 14 June 2016

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    The British-built lightweight Lotus Elise has been crowned ‘Readers’ Champion’ topping a list of the 50 best cars to drive from the world’s longest running motoring magazine Autocar, as part of its annual awards.

    It came out top in an online poll drawn from a list of 50 vehicles chosen by experts and judges hailed the sports car, which costs between £29,900 and £49,950 and can accelerate from rest to 60mph in 4.2 or 6 seconds depending on the model.

    Six cars were also honoured tonight as ‘game-changers’ in the UK car-market: the 4X4 Bentley Bentayga, BMW M2, Ford Focus RS, Jaguar XE, Vauxhall Astra and the Volvo XC90.

    Acclaim: The Lotus Elise topped the poll as the best car to drive in the Autocar Awards

    Acclaim: The Lotus Elise topped the poll as the best car to drive in the Autocar Awards

    Of the best car to drive award, judges said ‘It was a keenly fought contest, but the Lotus Elise was named as the ultimate winner and can rightly claim to be the best car on sale in the UK today.’

    The vote by tens of thousands of motorists meant it clinched one of the top awards in the Autocar Awards held on Tuesday night at the Silverstone Wing building at the famous F1 racing circuit.

    Mazda’s popular MX-5 sports car took home the title of the best ‘real-world’ performance car – that is a vehicle available to drivers with a realistic budget. It costs between £18,495 and £22,696. 

    Ferrari’s 488 GTB was named the best driver’s car at any price. With a top speed of 205mph and acceleration from rest to 62mph in 3 seconds, the 3.9-litre V8 twin-turbocharged supercar will set you back a cool £184,000 - or around ten Mazda MX5s.

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    Audi’s SQ7 won the Innovation Award for its pioneering 48V electric sub-system technology while the Lexus IS was crowned ‘Used Car Hero’ for offering ‘a compelling combination of affordability and reliability’.

    The Ariel Nomad sports car was one of six cars to collect an award in recognition for earning a five-star rating in the respected and demanding Autocar road test. 

    The other five were the Ferrari 488 GTB, Ford Focus RS, McLaren 570S, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and the Porsche Cayman GT4.

    TOP 50 CARS TO DRIVE ACCORDING TO THE AUTOCAR POLL

    1. Lotus Elise

    2. Volvo XC90

    3. McLaren 570S

    4. Citroën Grand C4 Picasso

    5. Bentley Bentayga

    6. Tesla Model S

    7. Jaguar XE

    8. Range Rover Sport

    9. Morgan 3 Wheeler

    10. Toyota GT86 / Subaru BRZ

    11. Jaguar XF

    12. Land Rover Discovery

    13. Mazda MX-5

    14. Volkswagen Golf R

    15. Range Rover

    16. Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

    17. Porsche 911 GT3 RS

    18. Vauxhall Astra

    19. Audi RS6

    20. Lamborghini Aventador SV

    21. Ariel Nomad

    22. BMW i8

    23. Ford Fiesta ST

    24. BMW M235i

    25. Zenos E10 R

    26. Ariel Atom

    27. Caterham Seven 620S

    28. Skoda Superb Estate

    29. BMW 3 Series

    30. Mercedes-Benz S-Class

    31. Alpina D3 Biturbo

    32. BAC Mono

    33. Ferrari 488 GTB

    34. Rolls-Royce Phantom

    35. Porsche Cayman GTS

    36. Ferrari F12

    37. Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Estate

    38. Ford Fiesta 1.0T Ecoboost

    39. Renaultsport Megane 275

    40. Porsche Macan

    41. Mini Cooper

    42. Volkswagen Golf

    43. Mazda 3

    44. Audi A6 Allroad

    45. BMW i3

    46. Suzuki Swift 1.6 Sport

    47. Mazda 2

    48. Porsche Boxster

    49. Volkswagen Up

    50. Radical RXC Turbo

    Game changers from left to right: Bentley Bentayga, BMW M2, Ford Focus RS, Jaguar XE, Vauxhall Astra, Volvo XC90

    Game changers from left to right: Bentley Bentayga, BMW M2, Ford Focus RS, Jaguar XE, Vauxhall Astra, Volvo XC90

    Leading motor industry executives were also honoured. Carlos Tavares, chairman of the managing board of the PSA Group - comprising Peugeot, Citroen and DS - was named the winner of the Issigonis Trophy (named after Sir Alec Issigonis, creator of one of the most iconic British cars of all time, the Mini) in recognition of his work in transforming his brands’ ranges of cars.

    Simon Saunders, founder and boss of British sports car maker Ariel – whose Nomad was also honoured - was given the The Sturmey Award (named in tribute to the very first editor of Autocar, Henry Sturmey, who founded the Autocar magazine in 1895) for his company’s innovative and determined approach.

    Renault’s design director Laurens van den Acker was named as its Design Hero, while Ford’s vehicle engineering manager Tyrone Johnson is the inaugural winner of the Engineering Hero trophy.

    British Porsche driver Nick Tandy was named the Motorsport Hero for his part in his team’s victory in the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours – the first Le Mans win for Porsche in 18 years.

    Three motor industry chiefs were hailed as Outstanding UK Leaders. Mitsubishi UK’s managing director Lance Bradley was recognised for his’ bravery and vision’ in putting his company at the forefront of the plug-in hybrid car market. 

    Mercedes-Benz UK’s managing director and chief executive Gary Savage won for his work making his company the UK’s fastest growing premium brand. And Hyundai UK chief executive Tony Whitehorn was cited for his ‘innovative approach’

    THE AUTOCAR AWARD WINNING CARS 

    • Readers’ Champion – Lotus Elise
    • Britain’s Best Driver’s Car – Ferrari 488 GTB
    • Best Real-World Driver’s Car – Mazda MX-5
    • Autocar’s Game-Changers – Bentley Bentayga; BMW M2; Ford Focus RS; Jaguar XE; Vauxhall Astra; Volvo XC90
    • Autocar’s Used Car Hero – Lexus IS 250/220 (2005-2012)
    • Five-Star Cars – Ariel Nomad; Ferrari 488 GTB; Ford Focus RS; McLaren 570S; Porsche 911 GT3 RS; Porsche Cayman GT4
    • Innovation Award – Audi SQ7
    Prices for the Lotus Ellise range from £29,900 to £49,950 for racier models like this range topping track-only Cup R version

    Prices for the Lotus Ellise range from £29,900 to £49,950 for racier models like this range topping track-only Cup R version

    The Ferrari 488 won the best driver's car at any price The Mazda MX-5 won the award for best driver's car on a budget

    There were also awards for the Ferrari 488 (left), which won the best driver's car at any price, and the Mazda MX-5 - the bestchoice for those with a tighter budget

    Autocar editor Matt Burt said: ‘The new Autocar Awards celebrate the very best that the automotive industry has to offer, be that the cars on sale today or the people behind them. 

    'When you consider the fantastic cars produced by Citroën, DS and Peugeot, it is no surprise that we have named Carlos Tavares as the winner of our highest honour, the Issigonis Trophy.’ 

    ‘The Ariel Nomad is unlike anything else on sale today and is a fantastic car to drive. It thoroughly deserves its five-star rating, and Ariel’s boss, Simon Saunders, is a worthy winner of the Sturmey Award.’

    Carlos Tavares, chairman of the managing board of the PSA Group, said: ‘I am honoured to accept this award on behalf of the PSA Group. 

    'Our collective success over the past eighteen months proves to the world our potential. 

    'Now, with our 'Push to Pass' strategy in place, we will ensure PSA's continued profitable organic growth over the coming years.’  

    Source : http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-3606660/Lotus-Elise-voted-best-car-drive-Autocar-awards.html

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    A great British sports car: Lotus Elise voted best car to drive in Autocar awards, with Jaguar XE and new 4x4 Bentley also hailed as game-changers