The new, improved Car of the Year (COTY) ceremony, held the day before the official press launch of the Geneva motor show this afternoon, seems to have gone extremely well. The turnout of media was extremely good, and more to the point the support from company bosses was strong (we jurors thought they might stay in hiding in case of a loss of face).

The victory of the Vauxhall Ampera, seems to have taken some GM types by surprise because a) they reckoned it might be seen as an American car, and b) they worried that we might have reacted to the net announcement of extra downtime at the US plant. But most of us choose to think the reason the Ampera’s  Volt sister car isn't selling strongly is because US fuel is still too cheap.

In any case, this is technology that will live large in the future, it works well in this car, and (I believe) it is probably as important as the transverse front-drive system of the Issigonis Mini was, more than 50 years ago.