As is tradition, Day Two of the 2012 New York Auto Show kicked off with the annual World Car of the Year awards. Global entries competed for honors in four different categories, and from the initial list of 34 contenders, the final four were selected this morning.

The big winner was the 2012 Volkswagen Up! subcompact, which takes home the honor of World Car of the Year, beating out its other finalists, the BMW 3 Series and Porsche 911. We've had a chance to drive VW's tiny runabout and, while it would be hard for the automaker to justify offering something this small in the United States (right now), we'd gladly welcome its tossable city dynamics and efficiency here on our shores. With a small bump in power, it could certainly show the Fiat 500 who's boss.

But the Up! wasn't the only car praised in New York this morning. The new 991-series Porsche 911 was named World Performance Car of the Year, besting other nominees like the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 and McLaren MP4-12C. Stiff competition, for sure, but you just can't match the 911's razor-sharp precision, not to mention that this new 991 model is easily the best 911 yet.

Moving on to a different sort of performance, the Mercedes-Benz S250 CDI BlueEfficiency took top honors for its eco-performance, securing the World Green Car of the Year award. In this segment, the other two finalists were the Ford Focus Electric and Peugeot 3008 Hybrid greenlings.

Lastly, the WCOY jury selected the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque for the World Car Design of the Year – not really a surprise, seeing as how the baby Range Rover has been praised for its styling ever since the day it launched. Our condolences to the Citroën DS5 and Volkswagen Up! – you guys just aren't pretty enough.

Stay tuned for more details about this year's awards later today.

Full disclosure: Author is a juror and co-chair of the World Car of the Year Awards.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      J
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why exactly is this not feasible in the US again? Make it a few grand cheaper than the Versa, and you'd sell a good amount of them.
        Vinuuz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @J
        This one is smaller than the Versa also, AFAIK.. VW has the Polo in the same size range as the Versa. At best, you could probably use it as a city runabout because it may be highly unsuitable to drive this car on our roads. However, with rising gas prices and what not, our own perception about the size and stability of cars may change based on the fuel efficiency! ;)
      chromal
      • 2 Years Ago
      These are cute. I saw two black VW Up test mules out on CO-78 in Jefferson County CO a week ago Monday.
      Burka
      • 2 Years Ago
      I bet Golf VII will be the 2013 world car of the year . World Car Jury have lot of jury members from European and Emerging countries , more weightage is given to small and affordable cars .
      Jason
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think this would be an interesting car for VW to bring to the US. They currently do not have a subcompact offered here and that segment seems to be growing a bit.
      CarCrazy24
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should sell the Up! here with the diesel, I would love a 60+mpg commuter that isn't a hybrid
      jonnybimmer
      • 2 Years Ago
      If Chevy is selling the Spark here, there's no reason why the Up! shouldn't be sold here as well. Just be sure to keep the price competitive.
      GoFaster58
      • 2 Years Ago
      A car show is held in New York and a car not sold in the US is named car of the year? Something's wrong with this picture.
        Burka
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GoFaster58
        So you still think US is the world ?
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GoFaster58
        "A car show is held in New York and a car not sold in the US is named car of the year? Something's wrong with this picture." -GoFaster58 The majority of global car models aren't sold in the States. And while the US is adamant in maintaining its own FMVSS standard as opposed to the UNECE standard practically the rest of the world adopts, any World Car of the Year is likely to be awarded to a model not sold in the US but available practically everywhere else. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the picture.
        ChrisH
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GoFaster58
        Its not in China yet, but I bet it will be. I do believe that to win a World Car of the Year award it should be available on all continents at the time of the award; note that does not mean each country on those continents.
      ngiotta
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wouldn't a car that wins "World Car of the Year" need to be sold all over the world? I had never even heard of this car before today...
      ngiotta
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wouldn't a car that wins "World Car of the Year" need to be sold all over the world? I had never even heard of this car before today...
      Alex Fischer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fine car. Good at what it does-being useful in European cities. Bad choice for World Car of the Year, not a car useful to the entire world, not a car the whole industry can look at and say "ah, thats what we should be doing."
        David J. Bernstein
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Alex Fischer
        "Bad choice for World Car of the Year" -------------------------------------------------- How so? Outside of the United States space in cities is at a premium. People are demanding practical city cars that easy to manage in the city and yet spacious enough to haul all their stuff around. The Up! manages this quite well, hence the win.
      gare
      • 2 Years Ago
      So the Maya's were right...
      Myself
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hideous overpriced box. Yes,it's small and practical in the city, but so are the triplets Aygo, C1 and 107 by Toyota, Citroen and Peugeot. The Up looks like a shipping box for any of those three.
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