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For the past two years running, electric cars have taken top honors for European Car of the year. In 2001, it was the Nissan Leaf that edged out challengers like the Jaguar XJ and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, which finished in a respectable second place.
Last year, it was the Opel Ampera that brought home the gold medal, beating out the Volkswagen up! and the all-new Ford Focus in the process. Could this two-in-a-row winning streak for electric cars be a sign of things to come?
That’s hard to say, since the vast majority of cars on this year’s European Car of the Year nominee list are conventionally-powered. Sure, there’s the Smart ED (an unfortunate choice of names), as well as plug-in hybrids from both Toyota and Volvo, but all of these cars are evolutionary, not revolutionary.
There are a few that we wouldn’t have picked for car of the year nominees, as well as a large percentage of cars that we’ll never see on this side of the pond. Cars like the Dacia Lodgy, the Lancia Flavia and the Opel Adam are as foreign to us as eating steak tartare for breakfast (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
As in past years, diminutive and fuel-efficient cars dominate the list, proving that we may never find common ground with our European cousins on what constitutes a best-selling or award-winning design.
Head on over to the second page for the full provisional list of nominees, which will be culled down to a list of finalists in early December.