Mercedes-Benz top of the E-Class at 2016 Automotive Interiors Expo Awards

  • Mercedes-Benz’s Hartmut Sinkwitz wins Interior Designer of the Year
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class clinches both Interior Design of the Year and Interior Innovation of the Year
  • Bosch, Volkswagen and Harman other winners at sixth annual event
  • Winners announced at Automotive Interiors Expo 2016, Stuttgart Messe

Interior Designer of the Year award winner, Harmut Sinkwitz, head of interior design, Mercedes-Benz

31 May 2016. The winners of the Automotive Interiors Expo Awards 2016 have been announced, with three wins for Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen, Bosch and Harman each taking home awards.

Hosted today (31 May) at Automotive Interiors Expo 2016 in Stuttgart, the Automotive Interiors Expo Awards are designed to honour the world’s finest designers, innovations and products, championing all aspects of automotive interior excellence and innovation.

With a judging panel boasting some of the world’s leading automotive journalists, the Automotive Interiors Expo Awards are now in their sixth year, and continue to cement their place as some of the most sought-after accolades in the automotive industry.

For his outstanding work on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, GLE and Concept IAA, as well as the Smart ForTwo and ForFour, Hartmut Sinkwitz, Mercedes-Benz’s head of interior design, was crowned Interior Designer of the Year 2016. In a highly competitive field, Sinkwitz’s sublime work over the past 12 months was highly commended, with judges noting his skill for creating sensual and spacious interiors that brim with technological innovation and high-quality materials.  

In a stellar evening for Mercedes-Benz, the Stuttgart-based manufacturer also saw its E-Class model take home two awards. First it clinched the Interior Design of the Year – Production Vehicle award, beating off a strong field including the Aston Martin DB11, Hyundai IONIQ, Bentley Bentayga, Kia Optima, Chevrolet Bolt, BMW 7-Series and the Mazda CX-9. Judges noted that the E-Class was a masterclass in interior innovation and praised its next-generation dual display.

The touch control steering wheel found inside the Mercedes-Benz E-Class scooped the Interior Innovation of the Year – Production Vehicle award; the E-Class is the first ever car to integrate touch control buttons in the spokes of its multifunction steering wheel.

The Supplier of the Year award saw Harman take top honours, with judges commenting on a hugely successful 12 months for the company. This included the creation of the industry’s first pupil-based driver monitoring system, supplying the Rinspeed ETOS with the company’s Life-Enhancing Intelligent Vehicle Solution platform, and unveiling its new 188,000ft2 North American automotive facility in Novi, Michigan. Judges also valued the company’s vital new business supplier contracts, including infotainment solutions for the new Maserati Levante, Audi Q2, Porsche 911 Carrera, 718 Boxster and Macan, Mercedes C-Class convertible and Seat Ateca, as well as its increased sales year-on-year.

In a ceremony honouring research and development, two awards categories focused on concept car design and innovation across the interiors sector. The Interior Design of the Year – Concept Vehicle saw the Volkswagen Budd-e concept clinch victory in a category that saw the Faraday FFZERO1, BMW I Vision Future Interaction, Hyundai Vision G, Lincoln Continental Concept and Opel/Vauxhall GT Concept also shortlisted.

The interior of the Budd-e concept is characterised by a completely new and innovative human-machine interface. Judges praised the technical architecture of the infotainment and control systems, which they said made a quantum leap akin to the jump from flip-phones to smartphones. The Budd-e’s interface design eliminates the traditional distinction between the electronic instrument cluster in front of the driver and the centre console infotainment system, merging the two to form a single information hub, in a move towards the comprehensive digitalisation and individualisation of the driver’s workplace.

Bosch picked up the final award of the evening; Concept Interior Innovation of the Year – for its critically acclaimed haptic touchscreen system. The system generates the sensation of real buttons by way of haptic feedback, making it easier and safer to operate infotainment applications such as navigation, radio and smartphone functions.

All the Automotive Interiors Awards 2016 category winners

For more information about the Automotive Interiors Expo Awards 2016, click here


Peter Haynes, PR director, UKIP Media & Events:
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