Ampera wins car of the year award

The electric Vauxhall Ampera has won the prestigious European Car of the Year award just a day before this year's Geneva Motor Show.

The award is one of the most important in Europe as it often indicates the best cars of the future.

Automotive journalists from 23 countries voted to decide the winner, with the Ampera receiving 49 more votes than its nearest rival.

The Ampera, which debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 2009, is sold in the US as the Volt made by Chevrolet and has an extended range of 300 miles.

Out of the 1,475 votes cast, the Ampere scooped 330 votes, well ahead of the Volkeswagen Up! which gained 281 votes.

This was closely followed by the Ford Focus in third place with 256 votes.

Other cars that made it into the final were the Ranger Rover Evoque, the Fiat Panda, the Citroen DS5 and the Toyota Yaris.

Copyright Press Association 2012