The Nissan Leaf is the 2011 World Car of the Year. It was chosen from an initial entry list of 39 new vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of 10 before the three finalists were selected, the Nissan Leaf, the Audi A8 and the BMW 5 Series.
"It is a great joy that the world's first mass-marketed electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf, has won the prestigious award of 2011 World Car of the Year," said Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn. "This accolade recognizes Nissan Leaf, a pioneer in zero-emission mobility, as comparable in its driving performance, quietness and superb handling to gas-powered cars. And it validates Nissan's clear vision and the values of sustainable mobility that we want to offer to customers around the world."
To be eligible for the overall World Car award, the candidates must become available for sale on at least two continents during the period beginning January 1, 2010 and ending May 30, 2011.
The World Car Awards jurors observed that the Leaf was the “gateway to a brave new electric world” from Nissan. This five-seater, five-door hatchback is the world's first purpose-built, mass-produced electric car.
“Dropped onto a unique platform and body, the Leaf's lithium-ion battery modules and electric motor generate 108hp and 206 lb ft of torque, propelling the hatch from zero to 60mph in 11.5 seconds and a top speed of 90mph.”
It has a range of over 100 miles on a full charge, claims Nissan, takes around eight hours to recharge using 220-240V power supply, and produces zero tailpipe emissions. Its low centre of gravity produced sharp turn-in with almost no body roll and no understeer. The good news - it feels just like a normal car, only quieter.
Vehicles are selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprising 66 top-level automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world. Padraic Deane represents Ireland. Through their respective outlets they collectively reach an audience of many millions world-wide.
The Nissan Leaf succeeds the 2010 winner of the World Car of the Year, the Volkswagen Polo.
Ferrari 458 Italia - 2011 World Performance Car
The Ferrari 458 Italia was chosen from an initial entry list of 14 new cars from all over the world, before three finalists were chosen from a short list of 10 - the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, and the Porsche 911 Turbo.
The Ferrari 458 Italia succeeds the 2010 winner of the World Performance Car, the Audi R8 V10.
Aston Martin Rapide - 2011 World Car Design of the Year
Aston Martin's director of design, Marek Reichman, who led the in-house design team which penned the Rapide said: "Like a race horse standing still, you can see its power and elegance, the shape of Rapide's rear haunches are muscular conveying the power that lies beneath while its low stance produces a powerful look.”
The World Car Design of the Year category, and the corresponding award, is meant to highlight new vehicles with innovation and style that push established boundaries.
- 2011 World Green Car
The Volt was chosen from an initial entry list of 12 new vehicles, shortlisted to 10 from which the three finalists were selected: the Chevrolet Volt, the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition and the Nissan Leaf.
To be eligible for the 2011 World Green Car* award, a vehicle had to be new, or substantially revised, in production and introduced for sale or lease to the public in quantities of at least 10 in at least one major market during the period beginning January 1, 2010 and ending May 30, 2011. Tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and use of a major advanced power plant technology (beyond engine componentry ), aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle's environmental responsibility, were all taken into consideration.