Autocar Magazine presented CitroŽn's British designer, Mark Lloyd, with its prestigious Sturmey Award for innovation at the annual Autocar Stars awards ceremony in London.
The judging panel's decision to honour Lloyd reflects his foresight and desire to do things differently, in comparison to the established normality in the world of automotive design.
Lloyd is currently responsible for design strategy and design programme direction for the French carmaker and the accolade reflects Lloyd's pivotal role in designing the highly-acclaimed new CitroŽn C4 Cactus, which is set to influence future CitroŽn designs, as well as his work on the DS 3.
The Autocar Sturmey Award was first presented in 2014 to honour Autocar's founding editor, Henry Sturmey, who began the publication in 1895. The award is now presented annually to recognise outstanding achievement and innovation in the automotive industry.
Mark Lloyd graduated from Cambridge University with an engineering degree before going on to study at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College. His early career highlights include working on the design and aerodynamic development of the Jaguar XJ220 prototype.
In 1989, Lloyd joined PSA Peugeot CitroŽn as an exterior designer, based at the brand's design centre in Paris. His move to CitroŽn was inspired by the brand's technological heritage and its history of innovation.
The award was presented by Autocar's Editor-in-Chief, Steve Cropley, who said: "This award honours the pioneering philosophy that has gone into making the CitroŽn C4 Cactus such an admired, if not polarising, success story. More than that, Mark Lloyd's leadership has balanced CitroŽn's reputation for creativity with the wider task of producing desirable cars that meet the exacting requirements of the modern car buyer. This is a tremendous achievement."
Lloyd added: "C4 Cactus represents an adventurous new form of automotive design. It's not different for the sake of it it was born out of an analysis of use. I found some of the design in cars had become oppressive and complex to interact with. It was stressful. So we went back to our origins in design and engineering.
"Today, almost every car company knows how to make reliable cars, quality cars, cars with great technological content and even great looking cars. Everybody has the capacity to make a great car. Given that's the case then how do you differentiate? This is our answer. Some people won't like it, but a lot will love it."