The Chevrolet Volt has taken Detroit's North American International Auto Show by storm, winning the 2011 North American Car of the Year Award on Monday morning. The hybrid electric vehicle's allure points to a turning point for both American-made cars and a growing love affair with eco-friendly vehicles.
The Volt faced tough competition, yet still managed to beat out the all-electric Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Sonata. The decision was made by a jury of 49 auto writers from the United States and Canada. Contestants were weighed on innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value. Expect to hear Chevrolet bragging about the distinction in commercials for the next 12 months.
This isn't the Volt's fist honor: It was also recently named Motor Trend's 2011 Car of the Year and Green Car Journal's 2011 Green Car of the Year. The Volt operates on electricity for the first 40 miles of a trip, and then utilizes a four-cylinder gasoline engine as an electric generator to prolong the range by another 300 miles.
Take a test drive of the Volt with CultureMap: