With the New York Auto Show just around the corner in late March, the organization behind the "World Car of the Year" Awards has revealed its top three finalists. The top vehicles in each of four categories were chosen by an international panel of 47 automotive journalists reportedly committed to carrying out the process with the "...utmost objectivity, credibility, and integrity." Regardless of how spotless the chosen journalist's driving record is, it's still a subjective vote, so don't be dismayed if your favorite chunk of steel didn't make the list this year. Instead, be pleased that the majority of the vehicles are actually available in the States.

Last month, the list included ten vehicles in each category. This week, the distinguished panel whittled it down to three finalists in each category. Check out the finalists in Design, Performance Car and Green Car after the jump.
2008 World Car of the Year Finalists

Ford Mondeo
Mazda2 / Mazda Demio
Mercedes-Benz C-Class



2008 World Design of the Year

Audi R8
Mazda2 / Mazda Demio
Volvo C30

2008 World Performance Car

BMW M3

2008 World Green Car

BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics
Volkswagen Passat 1.9 TDI

Past winners include the 2005 Audi A6, the 2006 BMW 3 Series, and the 2007 Lexus LS460. We'll be on the floor at the New York Auto Show on March 20 to bring you the winner for 2008. Anybody care to place any bets?

[Source: World Car of the Year]