Car Culture

Nissan Leaf named World Car of 2011

At the 2011 New York auto show, the Nissan Leaf wins the award for World Car of the Year.

Sarah Tew/CNET
Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf beat out the Audi A8 and BMW 5-series to win the World Car Award for 2011. Sarah Tew/CNET

As a herald of an electric-car future, jurors for the World Car Awards named the Nissan Leaf as the 2011 World Car. The New York auto show is the yearly venue for the announcement, which also includes awards for performance, design, and environmentalism.

That latter category, the World Green Car, went to the Chevy Volt this year. The Nissan Leaf was a runner-up for the Green award.

The top three competitors for the World Car Award were the Nissan Leaf, Audi A8, and BMW 5-series. The jurors commented that "The Leaf is the gateway to a brave new electric world..." They noted its zero emissions and its generally carlike performance.

The World Car Awards organization is not affiliated with any publication. It uses a set of jurors chosen from among automotive journalists.

Other winners were the Ferrari 458 Italia as the World Performance Car and the Aston Martin Rapide for World Design Car.