AROUND THIS TIME each year, World Car of the Year (WCOTY) - judged by a panel of journalists drawn from around the world - reveals its list of ten finalists in three categories.
Accordingly, WCOTY has this week announced the top ten finalists for World Car of the Year, World Performance Car of the Year and World Green Car of the Year.
The criteria for eligibility is long and varied. Crucial among them is that the cars must be available in at least five countries on at least two continents, before January 1 of the year of the award.
From all of the cars that fill that bucket - and there are many - the WCOTY panel has drawn the following three lists.
2010 World Car of the Year
- Audi Q5
- BMW X1
- Chevrolet Cruze
- Kia Soul
- Mercedes-Benz E-Class
- Opel/Vauxhall Insignia / Buick Regal
- Porsche Panamera
- Toyota Prius
- Volkswagen Polo
2010 World Performance Car of the Year
- Aston Martin V12 Vantage
- Audi R8 V10
- Audi TT RS CoupÃƒÂ© / Roadster
- BMW Z4
- Ferrari California
- Jaguar XFR
- Lotus Evora
- Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG
- Nissan 370Z
- Porsche 911 GT3
- Porsche Boxster / Cayman
2010 World Green Car of the Year
- Ford Fusion hybrid
- Mercedes-Benz S400 hybrid
- Honda Insight
- Toyota Prius
- Volkswagen Bluemotion model range
From the above groups, the top three finalists for each award will be announced at next month's Geneva Motor Show. The following month, the final winners of the 2010 World Car of the Year Awards will be announced at the New York Motor Show.
On the performance of years past, WCOTY has a little more credibility than the Eurovision Song Contest, but not a lot more.
Looking at the listed finalists, which do you think will take out the awards? Let us know in the comments below.