As this year’s New York Auto Show approaches, organizers of the annual World Car of the Year awards have released details about the top three finalists for each of the World Car, World Performance Car, World Green Car and World Car Design categories. The final winner of each respective category will be revealed on March 20th at a press event in New York.

To be eligible for an award, the vehicles had to be in production, and sold, on at least two continents during 2008. The cars were shortlisted from an original field of 39 new models by a panel of 47 judges comprised of automotive journalists and industry officials from 24 countries. The top three finalists in each category are as follows:

World Car

Ford Mondeo

Mazda2 / Mazda Demio

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

World Performance Car

Audi R8

Audi S5 Coupe


World Green Car

BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics

SmartForTwo cdi

Volkswagen Passat 1.9 TDI

World Car Design

Audi R8

Mazda2 / Mazda Demio

Volvo C30