Detroit Auto Show: Chevy Volt The Top Car

It might be some time before the market registers its verdict on the Chevy Volt, but among auto reviewers there’s already no doubt: Success. BIG success. The latest affirmation comes in the form of the 2011 North American Car of the Year award, a prize bestowed by a panel of journalists from the United States and Canada, and announced each year as the North American International Auto Show kicks off in Detroit.

There were more than a dozen other finalists for the title this year, but GM mentioned just two vanquished foes in publicizing the award, suggesting who it sees as true competitors: the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Sonata.

Chevy Volt, GM, North American Car of the Year 2011

image via GM

Just to catch you up, previous trophies grabbed by the Volt include: Motor Trend 2011 Car of the Year; Green Car Journal 2011 Green Car of the Year; Car and Driver 10 Best for 2011; Ward’s AutoWorld 10 Best Engines for 2011; Automobile Magazine 2011 Automobile of the Year; and 2010 Breakthrough Technology from Popular Mechanics.

“Such recognition provides customers with credible, expert endorsement of new models,” GM CEO Dan Akerson said in a statement. “This is particularly important for vehicles like the Volt that feature significant new technologies.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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