As we predicted, Nissan Leaf won the 2011 World Car of the Year, besting the Audi A8 and the BMW 5 Series. Today, at the 2011 New York Auto Show, Brian Carolin, Senior VP for sales and marketing at Nissan, accepted the award. “It’s a great honor. The Nissan Leaf truly is a game changer.”

The award shows once again the importance of electric vehicles and future mobility, and the trend will continue in the next years. Fuel efficient vehicles are slowly becoming the core product of large automakers and a bet that can transform many companies.

In the World Green Car award, Chevrolet Volt won takes the top spot ahead of BMW’s 320d and the Nissan Leaf. The World Car Design award went to the Aston Martin Rapide, defeating the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and the Ferrari 458 Italia. The Ferrari 458 Italia was named the winner of the World Performance Car category, defeating the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and Porsche 911 Turbo.

A jury of sixty-six distinguished international automotive journalists selected the following top ten finalists in both categories by secret ballot, based on their experience with each candidate as part of their professional work. The jury members constitute a balance of representation from Asia, Europe, North America, South America, as well as other parts of the world.