"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 have been available on at least two continents during the period beginning January 1, 2010 and ending May 30, 2011.
"The Leaf is the gateway to a brave new electric world from Nissan,” stated a spokesman for the decision making panel of journalists. “This 5-seater, 5-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 60 mph 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 8 hours to recharge using 220-240V power supply and produces zero tailpipe emissions. Its low center 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 panel comprised of 66 authoritative automotive journalists from 24 countries. Each was appointed by the World Car Steering Committee, on the basis of their expertise, experience, credibility and influence. Jurors typically drive and evaluate new vehicles regularly as part of their work. Through their various media they collectively reach an audience of millions worldwide.
Previous winners were the Volkswagen Polo in 2010, Volkswagen Golf in 2009, Mazda2 / Mazda Demio in 2008, Lexus LS460 in 2007, BMW 3-Series in 2006 plus the Audi A6 in 2005.
Prime Research International, a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy is once again the World Car Awards' research partner. The company will provide strategic reports in 2011 that analyze our awards global automotive media coverage.