The 13th annual International Car and Truck of the Year awards are set to take place this January at the Detroit Auto Show, and the jury's official trio of nominees has just been announced. According to Courtney Caldwell, ICOTY's creator and executive producer, "[The awards are] about how cars reflect our lifestyles and self image, an attitude most consumers can identify with."

So, what cars can you identify with? How about the Dodge Challenger, Ford Flex and Nissan GT-R? Those are the three cars that will be vying for the coveted trophy, and we can't think of any reason that these triplets wouldn't be worthy of a vote or two. The Challenger marks Chrysler's return to the pony car market and offers buyers a relatively inexpensive entry into quick quarter mile times and rumbling V8 power. The controversially styled Ford Flex is a fully modern take on the classic box-shaped people mover and we feel little need to explain why the mighty GT-R is worthy of your affection.

As you would expect, the Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram, both redesigned for 2009, have been nominated for the Truck of the Year award, joined by Subaru's latest Forester crossover. Next year's ceremonies will also bring the inaugural Earth, Wind & Power awards, which will anoint either the BMW 335d, Volkswagen Jetta TDI or Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI (do you prefer your German oil-burner in a sedan or wagon body-style?) as this year's most environmentally friendly vehicle for '09. What, no Tesla Roadster? Lastly, BMW's X5 xDrive35d, Ford's Escape Hybrid and Mercedes-Benz's ML320 BlueTEC will duke it out for the eco-conscious truck award.

[Source: Road and Travel]

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