The 41 contenders for Europe's 2011 Car of the Year award have been trimmed down to just seven finalists. The winner, to be selected by 59 of Europe's motoring press, will be announced on November 29th. For the first time ever, Europe's most coveted automotive accolade could go to vehicle that burns neither diesel nor gasoline, but one that relies upon juice from a lithium-ion battery pack as its sole source of giddy up. That electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf, will vie for the award against six rather conventional automobiles.

The Leaf faces stiff competition from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Citroen C3/DS3, Dacia Duster, Ford C-Max, Opel/Vauxhall Meriva and Volvo S60/V60. Predictions by the automotive press and car enthusiasts suggest that the pair of models from Citroën, or perhaps the Alfa Romeo, will duke it out for the top spot, but we're crossing our fingers for the breakthrough, battery-powered Nissan Leaf to emerge from its underdog position and capture victory.

[Source: Autocar, Car of the Year]

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