Prior to the start of the 2013 Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday, Volkswagen's MkVII Golf was announced the winner of the 2013 European Car of the Year award.

That means attention can now turn to the next major set of awards on the global automotive calendar, the 2013 World and Performance Car of the Year, the winners of which will be announced on March 28 at the 2013 New York Auto Show.

In February, an initial list of 43 new vehicles from all over the world was shortened to a list of ten finalists for both the World and Performance categories.

Today, those lists have been shortened to just four finalists in the World category and three in the Performance category. Typically, we see three finalists named at this stage, though competition has been close and four finalists made the latest cut for the World category.

The finalists for the 2013 World Car of the Year are:

Mercedes-Benz A Class
Porsche Boxster/Cayman
Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT 86
Volkswagen Golf

And the finalists for the 2013 Performance Car of the Year are:

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
Porsche Boxster/Cayman
Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT 86

As with every year, the awards also see prizes going to the ‘Green’ car of the year and the ‘Design’ of the year. The finalists here include the Renault Zoe, Tesla Model S (voted Best Car To Buy by our sister site Green Car Reports) and Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid Diesel for the Green Car of the Year awards, and the Aston Martin Vanquish, Jaguar F-Type and Mazda6 making it into the finals for the Design award.

To be eligible, the candidates must become available for sale on at least two continents and in five countries during the period beginning January 1, 2012 and ending May 30, 2013. For this reason, many popular American models are not applicable for the awards, though we’re quite surprised that the Cadillac ATS, which won the 2013 North American Car of the Year award, was overlooked despite being a nominee.

Stay tuned for the announcement of the final winners in just a few weeks. Last year's winners for the separate World, Performance, Green and Design categories were, respectively, the Volkswagen up!, Porsche 911, Mercedes-Benz S250 CDI BlueEfficiency and Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.