The top three contenders for the overall 2011 World Car of the Year title are the Audi A8, the BMW 5 Series, and the Nissan Leaf.
These three finalists have just been announced, along with the final three for the World Performance Car, World Green Car and World Car Design of the Year awards.
The winners will be declared at the New York International Motor Show on April 21. Ireland is represented on the World Car Jury by Padraic Deane of Automotive Publications and motoring correspondent of the Advertiser Group.
The World Car of the Year finalists were chosen from an initial entry list of 39 new vehicles from all over the world before a short list of 10 finalists was made.
The World Performance Car 2011 finalists are the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. and the Porsche 911 turbo.
The 66-member jury chose the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition, the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan LEAF as the three finalists for the 2011 World Green Car award.
Due to the complexity of some of the 'green' technologies, three green experts were appointed by the World Car steering committee to review all documentation and specifications associated with each candidate for the World Green Car award.
The top three design finalists for the 2011 World Car Design of the Year as chosen by the jurors are the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the Aston Martin Rapide and the Ferrari 458 Italia.
Cars eligible for this award are taken from the list of World Car candidates or they may be included as a stand-alone entry provided the vehicle is introduced and available for sale in at least one major market during the period beginning January 1, 2010 and ending May 30, 2011.
A design panel consisting of five highly respected world design experts was asked to first review each candidate, and then establish a short-list of recommendations for the jurors.