The revolutionary Vauxhall Ampera and sister car, the Chevrolet Volt have been voted the 2012 European Car of the Year (COTY).
The competition was the expected battle between the Ampera and Volkswagen Up, but the audience in the foyer of the Geneva motor show, where all seven finalists were parked was surprised at the performance of the Land Rover Evoque, which came fourth ahead of the Fiat Panda, Citroen DS5 and Toyota Yaris. The scores were - Ampera: 330, a decisive win; Up: 281; Focus: 256; Evoque: 186; Panda: 156; DS5: 144 and Yaris: 122.
GM officials were delighted, especially Vauxhall’s managing director Duncan Aldred, who said the award came just in time for next week’s UK launch, and would be a “fantastic help” in taking Vauxhall’s brand image where it needed to go.
“The Ampera had to win” says jury member Steve Cropley. “I believe the technology it employs is another automotive milestone; as significant as the invention of the Mini all those years ago.
“To think it was conceived by an automotive giant, while fighting bankruptcy is amazing and needs to be recognised,” Cropley added.