The original massive list of vehicles vying for honors for this year's World Car Awards has been narrowed down to the three finalists in each category.
World Car Awards
2017 will mark the World Car of the Year Awards thirteenth year. It also heralds the last of the award programs that operate in conjunction, but not in affiliation, with the major (and at least one minor) auto shows held here in the United States.
The WCA differ from the others - Commercial Green Car and Green Truck of the Year award at the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show, the Green Car of the Year awards at the LA Auto Show, and the North American Car, Truck, and Utility of the Year awards at NAIAS in Detroit - in one significant aspect: eligible vehicles aren't required to be marketed here in North America. As such, the nominated vehicles in the various categories are frequently unfamiliar – one might even say "foreign" – to many Americans.
This year, nominees fall into the five categories from last year - World Car, World Performance Car, World Green Car, World Luxury Car, and World Car Design of the Year, plus a sixth category that has been added this year - World Urban Car.
Here, in alphabetical order, are the top three finalists in each category:
2017 World Car Awards
In order to qualify, the vehicle must be in production as well as available for sale on at least two continents during 2017. It also must, according to the committee, "excel in a broad range of attributes." The top ten finalists for this award are:
2017 World Luxury Car
This is the fourth year for the World Luxury Car award, which was established "to acknowledge higher-priced premium models." Vehicles in this category typically sell in limited numbers. Finalists this year are:
2017 World Performance Car
Candidates for this award must "demonstrate a specific and overt sports/performance orientation." At the same time, they still have to satisfy the same criteria of model production and availability as the World Car. World Performance Car nominees also must have a minimum annual production rate of 500. The three finalists for this category are:
2017 World Green Car
Green car vehicle nominees only need to be available in one major market or more in 2017. Another difference: five experts in "green" technology review all vehicles on the list of nominees. The experts then establish a short-list of finalists for review by the jurors. This year's three finalists are:
2017 World Urban Car
The World Urban Car is a new category for 2017. According to Beth Rhind, Executive Manager of the World Car Awards, cars nominated for this category must be "small (at least 3.3, but no more than 13 feet in length), clean, green, safe, quiet, flexible, fun; driver, pedestrian and cyclist friendly; affordable, comfy, capable of "motorway" speeds when being driven outside of urban areas, and able to fit in the 'narrowest of driving lanes' and the tightest of parking spaces above or below ground…or even on the side of apartments and offices." The three finalists this year are:
BMW i3 (94 Ah)
2017 World Car Design of the Year
Taken from the broad list of World Car candidates, a panel of six judges is asked to review each one, then "establish a short list of recommendations for the jurors." This year, the three finalists are:
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet
Stay tuned for the live announcement of the winners from the New York Auto Show, via Twitter, on the morning of Thursday, April 13th.