The WCOTY competition was established just nine years ago and marks the culmination of the big auto shows held here in the U.S. of A. The World Car Awards differ from other various and sundry accolades bestowed here in that unlike the North American Car of the Year and Truck of the Year awards announced during the Detroit Auto Show (a.k.a. the North American International Auto Show), nominated World Car vehicles aren’t required to be marketed in North America. As such, many of the vehicles that appear on the finalist’s lists might be, if you’ll pardon the expression, “foreign” to many drivers on this side of the pond.
The WCOTY awards also differ in that the list is whittled down not once, but twice, allowing us to add yet another story to the saga.
In any case, 2012 award nominees fall into four categories: 2012 World Car, 2012 World Performance Car, 2012 World Green Car and 2012 World Car Design of the Year. The top three finalists in all award categories will once again be announced at this year’s Geneva Auto Show, on Tuesday, March 6th.
In order to qualify for the overall award, the vehicle had to be in production as well as available for sale on at least two continents during 2011. It also must, according to the committee, “excel in a broad range of attributes.” The top ten finalists for this award are:
Unlike the overall award, the performance car must “demonstrate a specific and overt sports/performance orientation” while still satisfying the criteria of model production and availability. Vehicles in this category also must satisfy a minimum annual production rate of 500. The ten finalists for this category are:
Audi RS 3 Sportback
BMW 1 Series M Coupé
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG
Mercedes-Benz C-63 Coupe AMG Black Series
2012 World Green Car and World Car Design of the Year
Unlike last year, the committee has yet to announce or narrow the choices for both the 2012 World Green Car and the 2012 World Car Design of the year.
Since the current list of vehicles eligible for the green award numbers twenty-two and the design of the year group hovers at forty, we’ll forego listing them all here and instead let you know when both are pared down to a more manageable number.