Nissan Leaf Wins the 2011 European Car of the Year Award

While our readers favored the Alfa Romeo Giulietta in our poll, the jury of the 2011 European Car of the Year Award (COTY) announced that the Nissan Leaf is the winner, earning a total of 257 points. This is the first time in the 47-year history of the competition that the award goes to an electric vehicle.

“The jury acknowledged today that the Nissan LEAF is a breakthrough for electric cars. Nissan LEAF is the first EV that can match conventional cars in many respects”, said Håkan Matson, President of the Jury, Car of the Year.

The Giulietta came in second with 248 points, while the Opel/Vauxhall Meriva took the bronze, with 244 points.

Naturally, Nissan is happy with the result. The firm’s CEO Carlos Ghosn commented: “This award recognizes the pioneering zero-emission Nissan LEAF as competitive to conventional cars in terms of safety, performance, spaciousness and handling. It also reflects Nissan’s standing as an innovative and exciting brand with a clear vision of the future of transportation, which we call sustainable mobility. With three other electric vehicles in the pipeline from Nissan – and with the imminent market introduction of four additional electric vehicles from our Alliance partner Renault – Nissan LEAF represents a significant first step toward a zero-emission future”.

The Nissan Leaf is a plug-in EV, featuring an 80 kW (107 hp) AC electric motor that’s fed by a Nissan-developed laminated lithium-ion battery. The EV accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 11.9 seconds and it has a driving range of 175 km (109 miles).

Deliveries in Japan and the U.S. start this December, while European customers will have to wait until early 2011. Base price in Europe is €30,000, but there are government incentives in several countries, ranging between €3,000-6,000. The U.S. government offers a $7,500 federal tax credit, which means that the U.S.-spec model starts from $25.280.

By Csaba Daradics

2011 COTY Final Standings

1. Nissan Leaf 257 points

2. Alfa Romeo Giulietta 248 points

3. Opel/Vauxhall Meriva 244 points

4. Ford C-MAX/Grand C-MAX 224 points

5. Citroën C3/DS3 175 points

6. Volvo S60/V60 145 points

7. Dacia Duster 132 points

_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________

1953 Lancia Aurelia B20GT Is As Beautiful As They Come

This Lancia Aurelia Series III is for sale and it costs more than two new BMW M5s in the UK.

VW Group Could Replace Its Ukraine Plant With A New One In Serbia

Ukraine’s poor economic conditions has the automaker’s local factory operate at least than a tenth of its annual capacity.

Skoda Officials Pushing For Scala RS Hot Hatch That Might Just Be A Hybrid

A performance version of the Scala is still under discussion, and the success of other RS models works in its favor.

Mid-Engine 2020 Corvette C8’s Order Guide Leaks On The Web, But Is It Real?

A set of screenshots allegedly reveals the options list of the upcoming Corvette C8.

Everything You Wanted To Know About McLaren’s Iconic F1 In A 40-Minute Video

Bet you didn’t know Gordon Murray had Kenwood design an ultra lightweight CD changer specifically for the F1.

Liberty Walk-Bodied Lamborghini Aventador Wants To Look Like A Racer

Apart from the bolt-on fenders, rear wing and other bodywork additions, this Aventador also sports a racecar-like wrap.

Highly-Tuned, 600HP Audi TT RS Is Truly A 10-Second Car

There are much more powerful cars out there, but Audi’s compact coupe has the advantage of all-wheel drive.

Ford GT Does A Standing Mile Run, Hits A Nice, Round 180 Mph

The Ford GT was unleashed at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds to see what it’ll do with the pedal to the metal.

Pulse Orange Audi Q3 Sports A Colorful Alcantara Interior

If you’d rather have something more special than the default white/black/silver on your Q3, that’s a nice hue.

BMW X7 Excels At Being Both A Family Hauler And An Executive Limo

It won’t have your heart racing, but the X7 excels at being a luxurious, spacious and extremely comfortable ride.