BMW sweeps automotive design awards

IDEA annually recognizes design excellence in several industries

Published: July 2, 2016, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 3:26 PM

All the contenders for the Canadian Car of the Year Awards - The second-generation X1 features a more passenger and cargo room as well as greater efficiency than that of its predecessor. It's powered by a 2.0-litre TwinTurbo four-cylinder engine with an output of 228 horsepower – which makes it the most powerful entry model in the segment.

BMW scored big at the 2016 International Design Excellence (IDEA) Bronze in the Automotive & Transportation category with Top Winner mentions for the X1 and the Rolls-Royce Dawn, and a Bronze award for the Mini Clubman.

Presented by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), IDEA is the premier international design competition, annually recognizing and promoting design excellence across a wide array of industries and disciplines. IDEA judging is based on innovation, aesthetics, and benefit to the user, client and society. Judging of more than 1,700 entries was carried out by a global panel of design experts at the beginning June, at Detroit’s Henry Ford Museum.

“Good industrial design is more than just the creation of a beautiful object,” says IDEA 2016 Juror Steven Umbach of Umbach Consulting Group. “It means optimizing a situation or solving a problem typically in a commercial setting with emphasis on form, function, manufacturing and business constraints; and especially empathy for the intended user group.”

The BMW X1 compact crossover was singled out for being “rugged in substance and sporty in soul,” and bringing the spirit of freedom to leisure activities with a combination of space and versatility. The judging panel said that “its athletic presence, sturdiness and command position with the sense of safety makes it a refreshing escape from the ordinary.”

Vying for the gold medal with the X1, the Rolls-Royce Dawn couldn’t be more of a polar opposite, with its full-size, ultra-luxury, convertible presence. It was noted for not being posing a “compromise to the comfort and luxury of four adults who want to travel together in the pinnacle of style.”

BMW’s other car division, Mini, was awarded a Bronze for the redesigned and reengineered Clubman compact wagon, which the judges found displaying “premium quality and craftsmanship in every detail—creating a mature and sophisticated interpretation of the brand’s iconic style.”

Hyundai also took home a Bronze for its new compact Elantra sedan, reworked with “a bold aerodynamic design; a comprehensive suite of safety features; modern interior styling with class-above features; and user-friendly technologies.”

For a Canadian perspective, it should be noted that Bombardier’s Sea Doo Spark was also awarded a Bronze medal for its clean, affordable fun quotient. Among the personal watercraft’s notable innovations are the industry-first iBR braking system for emergency stops, a reduced-emissions powertrain, D-Sea-BeI system that reduces noise levels by 70%, D.E.S.S. Key that provides beginners a safe way to improve their skills, and an electronic reverse feature that makes docking easier.

A selection of Top Winners will be on display in the Henry Ford Museum from July 11 through to the awards ceremony on August 17, when the winners of Gold and Silver awards will be announced.