The all-new 2012 Porsche 911 has been picked as the 2012 World Performance Car by a panel of 64 international automotive journalists, representing some 25 countries around the world.

The new 911 was up against serious competition in this year’s judging, which began with 19 cars before being whittled down to ten, and then three finalists. In the end, the panel of judges chose the Porsche 911 over the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 and the McLaren MP4-12C.

This year marks the fourth consecutive year that Porsche has made it into the top three, and the sixth time out of seven years the award has been given. The Porsche Cayman S took top honors in 2006, the inaugural year of the award.

Of their decision, the judges wrote, “The all-new Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S have impressed our expert jury with leaps in innovation and risk-taking design choices while at the same time maintaining and improving upon the driving thrills we look for in any Porsche two-door.”

To win the World Performance Car title, a vehicle must demonstrate its performance orientation, while meeting the same availability criteria as World Car of the Year candidates. The minimum annual production for consideration is 500 vehicles, which excludes boutique manufacturers like Pagani.

The 2012 Porsche 911 joins past winners, such as the 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia, the 2010 Audi R8 V10 and the 2009 Nissan GT-R in a very exclusive club. The 2012 Porsche 911 was also picked by Motor Authority as our "Best Car To Buy," for the same reasons identified by the World Performance Car judges.

Sadly, the news comes on the very same day as word of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche’s death.  Known to friends and colleagues as Butzi, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche was the designer behind the original 911, first shown to the public in 1963.