The New York International Auto Show was buzzing this morning as auto enthusiasts were waiting to hear which vehicle would be named the World Car of the Year. The first round included 39 new vehicles from around the world. This list was narrowed down to 10 and then three finalists were named: the Audi A8, the BMW 5 Series and the Nissan Leaf. Ultimately, the Nissan Leaf was declared the 2011 World Car of the Year.

A jury of 66 automotive journalists from 24 countries made the decision. In a press release issued this morning, jurors shared some of the reasoning behind the choice:

“The Leaf is the gateway to a brave new electric world from Nissan. This 5-seater, 5-door hatchback is the world's first, purpose-built, mass-produced electric car. Dropped onto a unique platform and body, the Leaf's lithium-ion battery modules and electric motor generate 108hp and 206 lb ft of torque, propelling the hatch from zero to 60mph in 11.5 seconds and a top speed of 90mph.” Source: World Car Awards

Another new electrified vehicle, the Chevy Volt, also received recognition today. The Volt was named as the 2011 World Green Car. The Volt bested the other two finalists, the Nissan Leaf and the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition, to come out on top. The Volt was chosen, in part, because it is the first mass-produced extended range electric vehicle on the market.

Nissan Leaf: World Car of the Year
The all-electric Nissan Leaf is the 2011 World Car of the Year.