Judges for this year’s World Car of the Year awards have whittled the list to a handful of finalists in each of the award’s five categories.
Ten cars will do battle for the overall Car of the Year title, and awards will also be handed down for best Luxury Car, Performance Car, Green Car and Design.
Interestingly, only BMW has managed to have a car nominated in each category for this year's awards.
Fighting for the top prize, taken out last year by the Audi A3, will be the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, Citroen C4 Cactus, Ford Mustang, Hyundai Genesis, Jeep Renegade, Mazda2, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, MINI 5-Door, Nissan Qashqai and the Volkswagen Passat.
Contenders for World Luxury Car of the Year include the BMW i8 (oddly not included in the Performance category), and stablemate the X6 SUV, along with the Cadillac Escalade and ATS Coupe, the Kia K900/Quoris, Lexus NX and RC Coupe, Lincoln MKC, Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and the Range Rover Autobiography Black LWB.
Last year’s Luxury winner was the S-Class limousine.
Those up for the Performance badge include Audi’s S1, S3 and TT/TTS models, Bentley’s Continental GT Speed, the BMW M3 and M4 twins, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, Lexus RC F, and the new Mercedes-AMG GT.
In 2014, the Performance award was taken out by the Porsche 911 GT3.
The panel’s favourite Green car in 2014 was the BMW i3, which also took out the Design award.
From the above lists, the WCOTY judges will select the top three offerings in each category. Those will be announced at next month's Geneva Motor Show, before the overall winners are revealed at the New York Auto Show in April.
The WCOTY programme has been running since 2005 and has since become one of the most prized awards in the global automotive industry.
Judged by a panel of journalists from around the world, the 'of the year' award covers five categories: overall Car of the Year, the enthusiast-focused Performance Car, the high-rolling Luxury Car, the future-focused Green Car and, finally, Car Design.
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.
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