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.

2013 World Car Awards ceremony

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.

2013 World Car Awards

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 Audi Q5

Audi Q5

2017 Jaguar F-PACE
Jaguar F-PACE

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan
Volkswagen Tiguan

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 BMW 530e

BMW 5 Series

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Mercedes-Benz E-Class

2017 Volvo S90
Volvo S90 / V90

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 Audi R8 Spyder

Audi R8 Spyder

2017 McLaren 570s
McLaren 570s

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche Boxster Cayman

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 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt

2017 Tesla Model X
Tesla Model X

2017 toyota Prius Prime
Toyota Prius Prime

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:

2017 BMW i3

BMW i3 (94 Ah)

2017 Citroen C3
Citroen C3

2017 Suzuki Ignis
Suzuki Ignis

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:

2017 Jaguar F-PACE

Jaguar F-PACE

Mercedes-Benz AMG S63 Cabriolet
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet

2017 Toyota C-HR
Toyota CH-R

Stay tuned for the live announcement of the winners from the New York Auto Show, via Twitter, on the morning of Thursday, April 13th.