The top three finalists for the World Car of the Year, World Performance Car, World Green Car and World Car Design of the Year awards have been announced.
The overall winners in all categories will be declared at the New York International Auto Show on April 5, 2012.
World Car of the Year
From an initial entry list of 34 new vehicles from all over the world and then a short list of 10 finalists, the top three contenders for the overall 2012 World Car of the Year title are, in alphabetical order: the BMW 3 Series, the Porsche 911, and the Volkswagen Up. This is the second consecutive year BMW is in the top three position and the third time since 2005. BMW won the World Car of the Year title in 2006.
To be eligible candidates must become available for sale on at least two continents during the period beginning January 1, 2011 and ending May 30, 2012.
Vehicles are selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprising 66 automotive journalists from 25 countries. Padraic Deane represents Ireland on the World Car awards jury.
2012 World Performance Car
The top three finalists for the 2012 World Performance Car award are, in alphabetical order: the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, the McLaren MP4-12C, and the Porsche 911. This is the sixth out of seven times that Porsche has secured the top three position; this time round makes it Porsche's fourth consecutive time.
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.
Entrants may be chosen from that list of eligible vehicles, or they may be newly introduced variants that satisfy the same criteria, but are derived from existing rather than new models. In all cases, they must have a minimum annual production rate of 500 vehicles.
World Green Car 2012
Due to the complexity of some of green technology, three green experts were appointed by the World Car Steering Committee to extensively review all documentation and specs associated with each candidate.
The 66 member jury chose the following top three finalists for the 2012 World Green Car award: the Ford Focus electric, the Mercedes-Benz 250 CDI Blue efficiency, and the Peugeot 3008 hybrid.
2012 World Car Design of the Year
Cars eligible for the 2012 World Car Design of the Year 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, 2011 and ending May 31, 2012.
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. The top three design finalists as chosen by the jurors are, in alphabetical order: the Citroen DS5, the Land Rover Evoque, and the Volkswagen Up.
This is the fifth time in five of seven years the Citroen design team has been a top three finalist in this category. Citroen also won the inaugural design award in 2006.