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Nissan LEAF is World COTY
The Nissan LEAF has been declared 2011 World Car of the Year by an international jury that includes MSN Cars contributor Peter Burgess.
The announcement was made at the New York Motor Show, after the Nissan LEAF triumphed from a list of three finalists: it was also up against the Audi A8 and the BMW 5 Series.
The world’s first mainstream all-electric family car, the 5-door Nissan LEAF EV went on sale in the UK last month, and the World Car of the Year award has brought “great joy” to 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.”
The World Car Awards jurors observed that, “The LEAF is the gateway to a brave new electric world from Nissan. This 5-seater, 5-door hatchback is the world’s first, purpose-built, mass-produced electric car.”
Peter Burgess, MSN contributor and a judge on the WCOTY awards, added: “Congratulations to Nissan. The LEAF is a genuinely great achievement, not only in engineering terms, but in the courage Nissan had to be the first to bring a full electric car to market.
“However, I still have my personal concerns about how the LEAF ownership will actually pan out in the medium term and long term.
“This is virgin territory, and inevitably there’s a risk attached.”
In all, 39 cars were eligible for the 2011 World Car of the Year title. These were shortlisted down to 10, from which the three finalists were chosen.
The Nissan LEAF takes the title from reigning World Car of the Year winner, the Volkswagen Polo. The awards have been running since 2005 – here, MSN Cars brings you the full list of past winners, which the Nissan LEAF is joining in the record books:
2010: Volkswagen Polo
2009: Volkswagen Golf
2008: Mazda 2
2007: Lexus LS 460
2006: BMW 3 Series
2005: Audi A6
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