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At a press conference held at the Geneva Motor Show, the announcement was made with regards to the shortlist for the World Car of the Year Awards

At a press conference held at the Geneva Motor Show, the announcement was made with regards to the shortlist for what is widely regarded as the number one awards program in the world: the World Car Awards.

Based on Prime Research’s 2013 report, the World Car Awards awards are now in their 10th year, having been officially launched in January 2004, and are designed not to compete with existing national and regional Car of the Year awards, but more to help to “recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale”.

There are 5 awards in total (World Car of the Year, World Luxury Car, World Performance Car, World Green Car and World Car Design of the Year) and the winners will be announced at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday, April 17, 2014.

With an eligibility criteria that states that cars must have been (or will be) available for sale between Jan 1 2013 and May 31st 2014, original entries have now been whittled down to the top three by an international jury panel comprised of sixty-nine top-level automotive journalists from twenty-two countries around the world. (There is even a criteria for the jurors in that each one of them must drive or evaluate new vehicles as part of their professional life on a regular basis and hold some significance in their own country when it comes to cars – and then they have to undergo a rigorous check by the World Cars Awards’ Steering Committee based on his or her “expertise, experience, credibility, and influence”.)

So, without further ado, let’s see those shortlists

Audi A3 is in the running for World Car of the YearWorld Car of the Year

And the top three on the shortlist from an original entry total of 24 for the title of World Car of the Year award, in alphabetical order are: the Audi A3, the BMW 4 Series and the Mazda3

he Bentley Flying Spur has made the shortlist for the World Luxury Car awardWorld Luxury Car

This title and award is a new one this year for the awards, especially created to acknowledge that out in the big wide automotive world there are higher-priced premium models selling in more limited numbers worldwide.

The top three finalists in the category of World Luxury Car are: the Bentley Flying Spur, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Range Rover Sport

THe Corvette Stingray is in the running for the World Performance Car of the YearWorld Performance Car

Performance is an all-encompassing word, and many cars gets labelled as ‘performance’ cars by tier manufacturers, which means that the jurors are often faced with an amazing number of entries for this title. It was no different this year with entries from “a vast array of legitimate performers from every price bracket imaginable.”

The top three finalists in the category of World Performance Car are: the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the Ferrari 458 Speciale and the Porsche 911 GT3

The BMW i3 is in the running for the World GreenCar award  World Green Car

The World Green Car award is a sponsored award, presented by Bridgestone Corporation for the past seven years with the jurors this time having a shortlist prepared for them by five experts in “green” technology that had been appointed annually by the World Car Awards Steering Committee.

Their shortlist is presented to the sixty-nine jurors who then pick their shortlist from that!

This year, the top three finalists for World Green Car are: the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron (+ Audi e-gas), the BMW i3 and the Volkswagen XL1

(If your favourite isn’t on that list then you might want to raise the question as to why with the five experts on the advisory panel: American Phil Berg of PopularMechanics.com, Brit Richard Bremner of Autocar magazine, German Claus-Peter Koeth of automobil-industrie.de, Japanese environmental journalist Yumi Kawabata and American Voelckerof GreenCarReports.com)

THe Mazda3 is well in the running for World Design Car 2014World Car Design of the Year

As with the World Green Car Award, the World Car Design of the Year Award has an original shortlist created by a design panel consisting of five highly respected world design experts before the 69 jurors get their hands on it to create the following shortlist:

This year the top three finalists for World Car Design of the Year are: the BMW i3, the Mazda3 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Those design experts for arguing with (if you dare): Japanese freelance design journalist Masatsugu Arimoto, Italian Silvia Baruffaldi of Auto & Design magazine, German Gernot Bracht of the Pforzheim Design School, Brit Sam Livingstone of Car Design Research and The Royal College of Art and American Tom Matano from the School of Industrial Design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Roll on April 17th. The suspense is killing them!