The Chevrolet Volt, Aston Martin Rapide and Ferrari 458 Italia all won awards, but it was the Nissan Leaf (below) that took overall honours.
At the 2011 World Car of the Year awards ceremony in New York, the petrol-electric Chevrolet Volt (Opel Ampera here) was crowned World Green Car. The 60-plus jurors declared it a leaner, greener and more desirable machine than the cheaper diesel BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition and the electric Nissan Leaf, which is limited by its official maximum range of 176kmh.
But to put everything in context, you have to say the Leaf is the true global car of the year because it has won so many country accolades, as well as being European Car of the Year. That is extraordinary in this day and age where, regardless of scientific voting procedures, regional loyalties come into play.
The World Car Design crown went to the Aston Martin Rapide. Ferrari will not be happy to learn that the Rapide is officially better designed than its 458 Italia, but the Italian firm managed to shake off the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and Porsche 911 Turbo to secure the World Performance Car crown.
Nissan's disappointment at losing out to the Volt/Ampera in the Green Car category was softened when its all-electric Japanese-built Leaf got the nod over the Audi A8 and BMW 5-series to be declared World Car of the Year.