Nissan Leaf takes World Car of the Year Award

The Nissan Leaf has been named World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show.

The all-electric Leaf took the award Thursday, the highest prize in the motoring calendar, above competitors the Audi A8 and the BMW 5 Series.

"The Leaf is the gateway to a brave new electric world from Nissan," said the judging panel.

"This 5-seater, 5-door hatchback is the world's first, purpose-built, mass-produced electric car."

It is the latest in a series of accolades for the Leaf, considered by many to be the world's first production mass-market electric vehicle - other awards recently awarded include the European Car of the Year and the 2010 Green Car Vision Award among others.

It will also be a welcome boost for Nissan, which is currently conducting a service program designed to fix a software bug that has caused some Leafs to lock up after operation.

At the same ceremony the Ferrari 458 Italia was named World Performance Car, beating competition that included the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and the Porsche 911 Turbo.

"This is a classic modern Ferrari in every sense, but its sophisticated handling abilities at the limit take it to a whole new level for Italian super GTs," said the judges, "and what a beautiful sound."

Both awards were judged by a panel of 66 international automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world, and each three-car shortlist was whittled down from a list of 39 entries and ten finalists.

Last year's World Car of the Year winner was the Volkswagen Polo, while the Audi R8 V10 took World Performance Car.

http://www.wcoty.com

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