With the U.S. getting ready to celebrate its own car and truck of the year awards at next month’s 2013 Detroit Auto Show, over in Europe a separate award for the car of the year is being played out, and today the list of finalists has been revealed.

Out of an original field of 35 contenders for the 2013 European Car of the Year awards, eight finalists have now been selected, up from the usual seven due to a tie between two of the cars.

Note, the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT 86 are being considered as a single entry due to their similarities.

Listed in alphabetical order, the finalists are as follows:

- Ford B-Max
- Hyundai i30
- Mercedes Benz A Class
- Peugeot 208
- Renault Clio
- Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT 86
- Volkswagen Golf
- Volvo V40

Each year, the European Car of the Year voting process is presided over by a panel of 59 judges that represent 23 European countries and is made up mostly of journalists and other members of the auto industry.

To be eligible, all of the contenders have to be new vehicles available now or before year’s end in five or more European markets. They also each have to have the prospect of at least 5,000 yearly sales, thus ruling out many of the exotic supercars the European continent is renowned for.

For the past two years running, electric cars have taken top honors at the awards. In 2011, it was the Nissan Leaf that edged out challengers like the Jaguar XJ and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, while the 2012 award went to the Opel Ampera, which beat out the Volkswagen up! and Ford Focus.

For 2013, it looks like a more conventional car will be the winner. That car will be announced on March 4 at a special event held prior to the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.