Top ten World Car of the Year finalists announced

Pictured is one of the shortlisted contenders for the 2012 World Car of the Year - the new BMW 3 Series Saloon.

Pictured is one of the shortlisted contenders for the 2012 World Car of the Year - the new BMW 3 Series Saloon.

The countdown has begun to the announcement of the 2012 World Car of the Year and the World Performance Car for 2012.

The World Car winners will be known at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday, April 5, 2012, while the top three finalists in all award categories will be announced at the Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday, March 6.

A jury of 66 international automotive journalists, including Padraic Deane representing Ireland, selected the following top 10 finalists in both categories 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 has tabulated the jurors' ballots and announced the top 10 finalists in both categories.

The 2012 World Car of the Year will be selected from the following cars listed in alphabetical order: Audi A6 saloon/avant, Audi Q3, BMW 1 Series, BMW 3 Series, Chevrolet Volt/Opel Ampera, Citroen DS5, Ford Focus, Land Rover Evoque, Porsche 911 and the Volkswagen Up.

The 2012 World Performance Car will be chosen from one of these finalists: Audi RS 3 Sportback, BMW 1 Series M coupé, BMW M5, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Ferrari FF, Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, McLaren MP4-12C, Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz C-63 coupe AMG Black Series, and the Porsche 911.

The jurors' next step is to re-evaluate the top 10 cars in both classes, in preparation for a final round of voting in February. 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.

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