Audi, BMW and Mazda will fight it out for the World Car of the Year award.
From an initial list of 24 new vehicles from all over the world that was followed by a short-list announced last month, the top three contenders - Audi A3, BMW 4 Series and Mazda3 - were revealed at the Geneva Motor Show late last week.
This is the 10th year the awards have been held and the winner will be announced at the New York International Auto Show on April 17.
To be eligible for the overall award, vehicles must have become available for sale on at least two continents from January 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014.
Vehicles are selected and voted on by an international jury panel made up of 69 top-level automotive journalists from 22 countries. Each juror was appointed by the awards' steering committee on the basis of his or her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence. Each juror typically drives and evaluates new vehicles on a regular basis as part of their professional work. All hold significant stature within their own regions and countries.
Awards are also made in the luxury, performance, green and design sections.
In the green awards section, five experts in "green" technology are appointed annually by the steering committee to extensively review all documentation and specs associated with each candidate on the list of nominees. The five experts on the advisory panel, in alphabetical order, are: Phil Berg (USA - PopularMechanics.com); Richard Bremner (UK Autocar magazine), Claus-Peter Koeth (Germany - automobil-industrie.de); Yumi Kawabata (Japan-environmental journalist) and John Voelcker (USA - GreenCarReports.com).
A similar set up is also used in the design section with five highly respected world design experts asked to first review each candidate. These design experts for 2014 are Masatsugu Arimoto (Japan – freelance design journalist); Silvia Baruffaldi (Italy – Auto & Design magazine); Gernot Bracht (Germany – Pforzheim Design School); Sam Livingstone (UK - Car Design Research and Royal College of Art) and Tom Matano (USA - School of Industrial Design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco).
Other awards section finalists are:
World Luxury Car
- Bentley Flying Spur
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class
- Range Rover Sport
World Performance Car
- Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
- Ferrari 458 Speciale
- Porsche 911 GT3
World Green Car
- Audi A3 Sportback g-tron (+ Audi e-gas)
- BMW i3
- Volkswagen XL1
World Car Design of the Year
- BMW i3
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class