As an unmistakable sign of changing times, Europe’s most prestigious automotive accolade, the 2011 Car of the Year Award could be awarded to a pure electric car for the first time.
The seven-car shortlist, launched today, includes Nissan’s revolutionary Leaf, on sale in Europe from the beginning of next year, and scheduled to be built in Britain at Nissan’s Sunderland plant from 2013.
The other cars shortlisted for the 2011 competition are the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Citroen C3/DS3, Dacia Duster, Ford C-Max, Opel/Vauxhall Meriva and Volvo S60/V60. The results will be seen as early affirmation of the broadened appeal of the new Golf-sized Alfa (first to use an all-new platform) and also reflect the abrupt improvement of Citroen’s supermini models.
The good reception for the Ford C-Max bodes well for next year’s Focus hatchback, which uses the same mechanicals and is a contender to become one of the world’s best-selling cars beyond 2011.