World Car of the Year — and they got it right this time

The New York Auto Show is currently underway and amongst all the unveilings, concepts and car girls the World Car of the Year was unveiled. And I have to say, I am so pleased with the winner (a first, I know).

As gas prices continue to rise and our awareness of the world around us and its diminishing health, it’s normal that the rise of electric cars and alternative energy has taken centre stage across the automotive world. However, electric cars are often glorified for the wrong reasons (or simply to attract attention, i.e., MotorTrend’s Car of the Year pick). However, as the technology becomes more rampant and at the forefront of vehicular design, electric vehicles are going to truly steal the limelight — and if they’re anything like the World Car of the Year winner, I say good on them.

Electric vehicles are a hard sell for me, and I’ve said this before. I love the power and brute force of a fuel-injected engine. Give me lots of Vs, a turbo or a supercharger and I’m a happy driver. Slap a battery in a car, take away all sounds of an engine and make the throttle nearly unresponsive and I’m going to fall asleep behind the wheel. And yet, I’m still intrigued with the rise of electric vehicles and know that (thanks to cars like the Tesla) the possibility of performance battery-powered cars is soon to become a reality.

The Chevy Volt may have won Green Car of the Year, but I somehow think World Car of the Year is so much more prestigious. I mean, this year’s winner outshone the brand new Audi A8 (stunning) and the new BMW 5 Series (superb vehicle). And to know that it won against cars that are substantially more luxurious, higher-performing and more expensive makes this win so much more incredible.

Alright, I’ve kept you waiting long enough, oh faithful reader.

The winner of the 2011 World Car of the Year title is none other than the Nissan LEAF.

I really am pleased that this little 4-door, battery-powered number took top honours. It fully deserves to win this title and Nissan has truly created an incredible little car with a 150km range. With zero emissions and a design that’s sure to appeal to many (it looks a bit like a Versa, no?), the LEAF truly is a winner in all respects.

I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one of these and really see what it’s all about. I hope I’m not disappointed by the lack of power, but then again an EV isn’t about power, is it? It’s about saving the planet, saving your money and being a better person. Hopefully the stigma of Prius drivers will remain with the Prius and LEAF drivers can be a bit more humble in their pompous planet-saving ways.

Congrats and kudos to Nissan for creating and delivering the LEAF a truly revolutionary vehicle.

The leaves will fall in Canada this autumn, with the first Nissan LEAFs set to arrive then. (Aren’t I clever, oh faithful reader?)

Drive on,
– M.

~ by drivingmsmiranda on April 21, 2011.

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