In only the third time since its inception in 1964 a Japanese car has won the European Car of the Year award decided on by a jury of 58 journalists from 22 European nations. If you think it's hard to find a Prius in the States, only 8,500 units will hit our friends across the pond this year but Toyota hopes to increase that number to 15,000 in 2005. The small numbers didn't deter the panel from ushering in the high profile hybrid. Other Japanese cars to win the award were the Nissan Micra concept in 1993 and the Toyota Yaris in 2000.

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