January's Detroit Auto Show will be playing host to the 13th annual International Car and Truck of the Year awards, and the final nominees for each of the categories have been announced. Competing for the main prize of 'International Car of the Year' are three very different vehicles - the Dodge Challenger, the Ford Flex and the Nissan GT-R. All three cars have been praised by the press for their unique characteristics but only one of them will walk away with the coveted ICOTY prize at the end of the day.

Deciding which car will win is not about comparing performance, or sales or any other quantitative methods. Rather, the judges will examine which car can best "reflect our lifestyles and self image" and project the attitude that "most consumers can identify with."

Meanwhile, there will also be an award for the International Truck of the Year, as well as a new category of awards focused on environmental friendliness called the 'Earth, Wind and Power awards'. Nominees for the truck category include the popular Ford F-150, Chrysler's Dodge Ram and the highly versatile Subaru Forester.

The 'Earth Wind and Power' awards focus on cars that are helping to reduce the damage that automobiles do to the earth, and separate awards will be given out for the best environmentally friendly cars and trucks. In the car category, the nominations consist of three diesel vehicles all developed by German manufacturers: the potent BMW 335d, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI and the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI. In the truck category, the nominees include BMW's X5 xDrive35d, the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercedes Benz ML320 BlueTEC.