World Car of the Year AwardThe minds behind the 2011 World Car of the Year Award have managed to slim down the contenders in all three of the accolade's main categories – World Green Car, World Performance Car and World Car of the Year. A total of six contenders are fighting out in the green car category, including eco warriors like the Chevrolet Volt, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Nissan Leaf and Smart ForTwo Electric Drive. Those entries are also joined by the BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics Edition and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell.

Meanwhile, the performance car lot is littered with 10 potential winners ranging from the Aston Martin Rapide to the Renault Megane III. Both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz managed to snag two spots each on the list, and the Cadillac CTS-V sedan is the only American-made product to make the cut.

And what about the coveted World Car of the Year? Judges have managed to thin that herd to just 10 picks ranging from the Audi A1 to the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Audi and BMW were the only two automakers to take home two nominations each.

We can expect a final decision in each of the three categories when the winners are announced at this year's New York Auto Show on April 21st. If you can't wait that long for your award news, the top three finalists in each category will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Hit the jump for the press releases.

[Source: World Car of the Year]
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Top Ten World Car and World Performance Car Finalists Announced

The countdown has begun in preparation for the 2011 World Car Awards winners' press conference co-hosted by Bridgestone Corporation and the New York International Auto Show on Thursday, April 21, 2011. The 2011 World Car of the Year and the 2011 World Performance Car will be declared at this time.

The top three finalists in all award categories will be announced at the Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011.

A jury of sixty-six (66) distinguished international automotive journalists selected the following top ten finalists in both categories by secret ballot, based on their experience with each candidate as part of their professional work. The jury members constitute a balance of representation from Asia, Europe, North America, South America, as well as other parts of the world. All hold significant stature within their own regions and countries. For more details about our jurors, and their outlets, please visit our web site: www.wcoty.comand choose 2011 Awards > Juror List.

The international accounting firm KPMG then tabulated the jurors' ballots and announced the top ten finalists in both categories today.

The 2011 World Car of the Year will be selected from the following top ten cars listed in alphabetical order:

* Audi A1
* Audi A8
* BMW 5 Series
* BMW X3
* Jaguar XJ
* Jeep Grand Cherokee
* Mercedes-Benz SLS
* Nissan LEAF
* Porsche Cayenne
* Volvo S60 / V60

The 2011 World Performance Car will be chosen from one of these top tenfinalists:

* Aston Martin Rapide
* Audi RS 5 Coupe
* Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
* Ferrari 458 Italia
* Lamborghini Gallardo SUPERLEGGERA
* Mercedes-Benz S63 / CL 63 AMG
* Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
* Porsche 911 GT2RS
* Porsche 911 Turbo
* Renault Megane III / Renault Sport

The jurors' next step is to re-evaluate the "top ten" cars in both classes, in preparation for a final round of voting in February. They will specifically rate each vehicle in terms of overall merit, value, safety, environmental responsibility, emotional appeal, and significance. KPMG will again tabulate the vote results. The top three finalists in both categories will be announced at the Geneva International Motor Show on March 1st during a press conference co-hosted by Bridgestone Corporation and the New York International Auto Show.

Previous World Car of the Year winners were the Volkswagen Polo in 2010, the Volkswagen Golf in 2009, the Mazda2 / Mazda Demio in 2008, the Lexus LS460 in 2007, the BMW 3-Series in 2006, and the Audi A6 in 2005.

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

Prime Research International, a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy is one a again the World Car Awards' research partner. The company will provide strategic reports in 2011 that analyze our awards global automotive media coverage.

Now in their eighth year, the annual World Car awards have become one of the world's most prestigious, credible and significant programs of its kind.

The awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale. The awards are intended to complement, not compete, with existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.

The awards are administered by a non-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of pre-eminent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. Peter Lyon (Japan) and Matt Davis (Italy) are the co-chairs; John McCormick (USA), Jens Meiners (Germany) and Gerry Malloy (Canada) are the directors. There is no affiliation with, nor are the awards in any way influenced by any publication, auto show, automaker, or other commercial enterprise.

The countdown has begun in preparation for the 2011 World Car Awards winners' press conference co-hosted by Bridgestone Corporation and the New York International Auto Show on Thursday, April 21, 2011. The 2011 World Green Car* title holder will be declared at this time.



The top three World Green Car finalists will be announced at the Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011.


The six 2011 World Green Car finalists are in alpha order:

* BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics Edition
* Chevrolet Volt
* Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
* Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell
* Nissan LEAF
* smart electric drive

The World Green Car award is presented by Bridgestone Corporation (Japan). Ryoji Yamada, General Manager of Brand Management said, "We are very pleased and honored to sponsor the 2011 World Green Car award. The environment is everyone's responsibility. And throughout our global family of companies, we take this responsibility very seriously. We believe it is our mission to serve society with superior quality... not just with eco-friendly products but also in the way we produce those products and the way in which we support our many communities with environmentally-friendly activities such as wildlife habitats and our Lake Biwa initiative in Japan".

Prime Research International, a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy is one again the World Car Awards' research partner. The company will provide strategic reports in 2011 that analyze our awards global automotive media coverage.

To be eligible for the 2011 World Green Car* award, a vehicle had to be all-new, or substantially revised, in production and introduced for sale or lease to the public in quantities of at least 10 in at least one major market during the period beginning January 1, 2010 and ending May 30th, 2011. Tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and use of a major advanced power plant technology (beyond engine componentry), aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle's environmental responsibility, were all taken into consideration.

Due to the complexity of some of the 'green' technologies, three (3) green experts were appointed by the World Car Awards Steering Committee to extensively review all documentation and specs associated with each candidate. They were asked to create a short-list of finalists for review by the sixty-six (66) jurors in their second round of voting in February. Their ballots will be tabulated by the international accounting firm KPMG. The top three World Green Car finalists will then be announced at the Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday, March 1st, during a press conference co-hosted by Bridgestone Corporation and the New York International Auto Show.

The three green experts are in alphabetical order:

Sam Abuelsamid (representing North America) is the technical editor of several 'green' web sites including GreenFuelsForecast.com, DieselForecast.com and HydrogenForecast.com. In 2006, he began writing for AutoblogGreen.com and Autoblog.com; becoming a full-time writer and photographer and editor in 2007.

Dean Slavnich (representing Europe) is editor of Engine Technology International (ETi) and its sister publication, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International (E&H). Engine Technology International is widely regarded as the most readable, passionate and informative publication currently produced on the subject of OE engine and powertrain design, development and manufacture.

Tadashi Tateuchi (representing Asia) is the creator and chairman of the Japan Electric Vehicle (EV) Club. He was awarded the Environment Minister's medal in 1998. A juror on the Japan Car of the Year panel, he contributes regularly to Car Graphic magazine and the Japan Automobile Federation's monthly magazine.

Previous World Green Car winners were the Volkswagen BlueMotion (Golf, Passat, Polo) in 2010, the Honda FCX Clarity in 2009, the BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics in 2008, the Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec in 2007 and the Honda Civic Hybrid in 2006.

Now in their eighth year, the annual World Car awards have become one of the world's most prestigious, credible and significant programs of its kind.

The awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale. The awards are intended to complement, not compete, with existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.

The awards are administered by a non-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of pre-eminent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. Peter Lyon (Japan) and Matt Davis (Italy) are the co-chairs; John McCormick (USA), Jens Meiners (Germany) and Gerry Malloy (Canada) are the directors. There is no affiliation with, nor are the awards in any way influenced by any publication, auto show, automaker, or other commercial enterprise.