Top three finalists for 2009 World Car Awards

The countdown continues for the 2009 World Car Awards at the New York International Auto Show next week. Announcing the annual World Car of the Year awards at the New York show is a fitting finale to the international motor show season that begins each autumn with either the Paris or Frankfurt motor shows.

From an initial entry list of 51 new vehicles from all over the world, a short list of 10 finalists, was further narrowed down to the the top three contenders for the overall 2009 World Car title. They have been announced by the international accounting firm KPMG. They are, in alphabetical order: Ford Fiesta, Toyota iQ, and the Volkswagen Golf VI.

To be eligible for the overall World Car award, the contender had to be in production, and sold, on at least two continents during 2008.

Vehicles are selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprising 59 top-level automotive journalists from 25 countries around the world. Padraic Deane represents Ireland World Car of the Year jury. Each juror was appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of his or her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence.All jurors drive and evaluate new vehicles on a regular basis as part of their professional work as a motoring journalist.

World Performance Car

The top three finalists for the 2009 World Performance Car award, presented by Mobil 1, are, in alphabetical order: Corvette ZR1, Nissan GT-R, and Porsche 911 Carrera.

While the winner of the overall World Car award must excel in a broad range of attributes, the World Performance Car award must demonstrate a specific and overt sports/performance orientation while satisfying the same availability criteria as for the overall World Car of the Year award.

World Green Car

To be eligible for the 2009 World Green Car award, a vehicle had to be available in at least one major market during 2008. The vehicle or the green technology could be in production or an experimental prototype with potential near-future application, provided that it was released for individual or press fleet evaluations in quantities of 10 or more during 2008. 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 green experts were appointed by the World Car Steering Committee to extensively review all documentation and specs associated with each candidate. There was one each from Asia, Europe and North America and they were asked to create a short-list of five finalists for review by the 59 jurors in their second round of voting in February.

The 59 member jury chose the following top three finalists for the 2009 World Green Car award: Honda FCX Clarity, Mitsubishi iMiEV, and Toyota iQ.

World Car Design of the Year

Cars eligible for the 2009 World Car Design of the Year award are taken from the list of World Car candidates.

A design panel consisting of four highly respected world design experts was asked to first review each candidate, and then establish a short-list of recommendations for the jurors.

Jurors then voted on the experts' recommendations. The top three design finalists are, in alphabetical order: Citroen C5 Sedan / C5 Tourer, Fiat 500, and Jaguar XF.

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