The grotesque blob to the left is one of the two winners of the 2012 European Car of the Year award, and its sheer hideosity, to me anyway, suggests something Peugeot might have come up with after hitting the schnapps really, really hard. But no, this is an American car with a schnoz transplant: the Opel Ampera — to be sold in the UK with a Vauxhall badge — is the European version of the currently-in-hibernation Chevrolet Volt.
Apparently Volkswagen’s tiny Up!, exclamation point included, took second place, and the worldwide Ford Focus finished third.
Both Volt and Ampera will be sold in Europe, though Opel, being ostensibly a more prestigious name than Chevrolet, carries a higher list price: €42,900 versus €41,950 (including VAT). The Vauxhall variant, due in the spring, starts at £33,995 including VAT, but before Her Majesty’s Plug-In Car Grant.
Eventually, I’m told, the Volt will be sold in Australia as a Holden, and it will probably look better than either the Chevy or the Opel.
Still undetermined: if, after invoking Volt and Ampere, GM will come up with more electrical names for future EVs. (Watt TF, perhaps?)