It's that time of the year again, kiddies, to name the best car in the world. The selections for the World Car Awards awarded granted by an international panel of 66 automotive journalists, who have now announced their ten finalists.

Included on the shortlist are the Audi A1 and A8, the BMW 5 Series and X3, Jaguar XJ, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Nissan Leaf, Porsche Cayenne and Volvo S60/V70. The selections were made based on the jurists' experience with each car through the course of their professional work, and each will be tasked with reevaluating the ten finalists before casting their final ballots to be tabulated by KPMG.

Intriguingly, although the Leaf EV was short-listed, the Chevrolet Volt didn't make the cut. For an idea of the jurists' tastes, consider the winners from years past: the Volkswagen Polo (2010), Volkswagen Golf in (2009), Mazda2 (2008), Lexus LS460 (2007), BMW 3-Series (2006), and the Audi A6 in 2005, the first time the prize was awarded.

The shortlist will be whittled down to three finalists to be announced at the Geneva Motor Show next month, followed by the awards to be given out at the New York Auto Show in April. Follow the jump for the official announcement, and check out our image gallery of the ten finalists below.


Related Gallery2011 World Car finalists
Audi A1Audi A8BMW 5 SeriesBMW X3Jaguar XJJeep Grand CherokeeMercedes-Benz SLS AMGNissan Leaf

[Source: World Car Awards]

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Top Ten World Car Finalists Announced

World Car announces 'Top 10' Finalists for 2011.

The countdown has begun in preparation for the 2011 World Car Awards winners' press conference co-hosted by the New York International Auto Show on Thursday, April 21.

A jury of sixty-six (66) distinguished international automotive journalists selected the following top ten finalists 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.

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 jurors' next step is to re-evaluate the "top ten" cars in both classes, in preparation for a final round of voting later this month. 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.

Now in its 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.

For more information about the Auto Show, go to www.autoshowNY.com.