Opel AmperaEnlarge Photo
The 2012 Chevrolet Volt -- along with its European twin -- have just been chosen as 2012 European Car Of The Year.
Beating the Volkswagen Up, Toyota Yaris, Fiat Panda, Range Rover Evoque, Ford Focus and Citroën DS5, the plug-in range extended electric vehicle becomes the second plug-in car to win the prestigious award.
It follows last year’s winner, the all-electric 2011 Nissan Leaf.
The judging panel, consisting of automotive journalists from 23 european countries, cast a total of 330 votes for the Ampera and the Volt.
Why both cars?
While it has different body panels, the 2012 Opel Ampera is essentially a European market Volt. Interestingly however, both cars are sold in Europe.
Coming in second place, the 2012 Volkswagen Up trailed the Ampera by 49 votes.
2012 Opel Ampera, first pre-production vehicle, April 2010Enlarge Photo
In third place, with a total of 256 votes, came the 2012 Ford Focus, while the 2012 Range Rover Evoque came in fourth place with only 186 votes.
Interestingly, the 2012 Toyota Yaris came last, with only 122 votes cast in its favor.
“This is one of the proudest moments of my career,” said Opel’s chief executive Karl-Friedrich Stracke.
Also receiving the award on behalf of Chevrolet was Susan Doherty, president and managing director of Chevrolet Europe.
The award comes at the right time for General Motors, which announced last week that it was closing the Volt production line for 5 weeks to eliminate a surplus of cars.