Ferrari 458 Italia honored as Performance Car of the Year

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The Ferrari 458 Italia, the replacement vehicle for the F430, has beaten out the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and Porrsche 911 Turbo, and named as the 2011 World Performance Car at the New York International Auto Show.

The World Car Awards jurors said about the Ferrari:

“The replacement for the F430 Fiorano has been voted by nearly every possible ranking this past year as the best performer hands down. The WCA’s would love to break ranks with the crowd, but we also put the 458 Italia squarely among our top three world performance cars.

“Whether on the track or on a loosely policed winding two-lane mountain road, the technology on board the 458 sets it and its 570 metric horsepower far ahead of most every other V8-powered street car. This is a classic modern Ferrari in every sense, but its sophisticated handling abilities at the limit take it to a whole new level for Italian super GTs. And what a beautiful sound.”

Candidates for the World Performance Car award must demonstrate a specific and overt sports/performance orientation while satisfying the same availability criteria as for the overall World Car of the Year award.

Candidates may be chosen from the World Car of the Year list of eligible vehicles, or they may be newly introduced variants that satisfy the same criteria, but are derived from existing rather than brand-new models. In all cases, they must have a minimum annual production rate of 500 vehicles.

Previous World Performance Car winners were the Audi R8 V10 (2010), Nissan GT-R (2009), Audi R8 (2008), Audi RS4 (2007) and the Porsche Cayman S (2006).

Vehicles are selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprised of 66 automotive journalists from 24 countries.

In world awards at the New York Auto Show, this Nissan Leaf (Car of the Year), Chevy Volt (Green Car of the Year) and Aston Martin Rapide (Design of the Year) were also honored).

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