New Vauxhall Ampera in running for Car of the Year
Vauxhall's new eco Ampera model has been shortlisted for the 2012 European Car of the Year awards, which is no surprise with a mile per gallon figure of 175.
This nomination makes it the fourth year in a row that a Vauxhall model has been shortlisted for car of the year.
Vauxhall's new five-door, four-seat hatchback will go on sale in the UK in summer 2012 for a starting price of £29,000 but it could win Europe's top car award before it has even gone on sale.
The Ampera's innovative engine design will put it in good stead for competition like the Range Rover Evoque and Fiat Panda.
The Ampera offers a 1.4-litre petrol hybrid engine which emits just 40g/km and returns the massive 175mpg figure. Its hybrid engine can run up to 50 miles on electric power alone and after that runs on petrol whilst the electric motor is charging up again.
This sub 100g/km figure, well sub 50g/km figure, means the Ampera is exempt from road tax, the congestion charge and the £5,000 Plug-in car grant.
Although other competitors for the car of the year award seem a lot likelier to win with the likes of the Evoque's endless list of awards, you would be surprised as the award doesn't just go to the best looking or fastest model. This is reflected in the fact that last year's winner was the Nissan Leaf, which is in fact quite a similar model to the Vauxhall Ampera.
The car of the year award will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012.