The Vauxhall Ampera has won European Car of the Year, announced at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show.
By handing victory to the revolutionary electric vehicle, the panel of judges – made up of 59 leading automotive journalists from 23 European nations – paid tribute to General Motors’ innovative foresight. The Vauxhall Ampera (also known as the Chevrolet Volt), was the undisputed winners with 330 points against the Volkswagen Up (281) and Ford Focus (256).
For the first time in the history of the prize, the final selection was made at the Geneva International Motor Show. Vauxhall’s CEO, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, and Chevrolet’s President and Managing Director for Europe, Susan Docherty, were handed the award by the President of the Car of the Year judging panel, Hakan Matson.
The Ampera emerged as overall winner in a field of seven Car of the Year finalists, down from 35. The judges looked at design, comfort, performance, innovative technologies and efficiency – areas where the Ampera excels.
"It is a proud moment for us and an honour to receive this award from Europe’s leading jury of automotive journalists," said Susan Docherty, President and Managing Director, Chevrolet Europe. "Our car demonstrates that electric driving can be fun and reliable without ever compromising the owners’ lifestyle."
“We are extremely pleased that our revolutionary electric vehicle has emerged as the winner in such a tough field of competitors. And we are very proud of this accolade,” said Stracke. “This encourages us further to continue our leadership role in the area of e-mobility.”
The Ampera has won many international awards including the World Green Car of the Year 2011 and, as the Volt, the North American Car of the Year 2011. There have also been accolades for safety like the maximum five-star Euro NCAP award.
The Ampera is the first electric vehicle in the market that can go anywhere, anytime. A 16 kWh lithium ion battery powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor. Depending on the style of driving and road conditions you can cover up to 50 miles in the battery-operated mode, completely free of emissions. The wheels are always powered electrically. In extended-range mode, which activates whenever the battery has reached its minimum state of charge, the petrol engine drives a generator that supplies the electric drive unit. This powers the car for a further 310 miles.
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