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Forty new models have been announced as candidates for the 2016 European Car of the Year award, drawn from a list of 24 premium and volume-selling brands.

A number of contenders for the 2016 award are still to be launched onto the European market, and some – such as the Renault Talisman, Infiniti Q30 and Tesla Model X – are yet to debut in their final production forms.

That little hurdle won’t keep any from being properly judged, however, with the final award not due to be handed down until February 29 next year.

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Above: the Infiniti Q30 is among the contenders still to be unveiled in final showroom form.

Among those only newly revealed models are a number of midsized family cars, including the new Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi’s new A4 and the Jaguar XE.

Standout new reveals at the volume-selling end include the upcoming Astra, the Hyundai Tucson and the new Kia Optima.

Premium brands make up more than half of the 2016 award’s contenders, although none of the segment’s leading brands have taken the top prize since 1983. That time it was the Audi 100, a predecessor to the large A6.

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Above: Mazda’s new CX-3 has already proven hugely popular in Australia.

The award has largely belonged to the volume-selling badges, with recent winners including the Volkswagen Passat (2015), Peugeot’s new 308 (2014) and the VW Golf (2013).

Green cars have also proven strong in recent years, with the Nissan Leaf and Opel Ampera / Chevrolet Volt taking the award in 2011 and 2012 respectively. BMW’s i3 has also performed well, finishing runner-up in 2014 – beating out the Tesla Model S.

Catch the full list of nominees below, and tune in on December 14 to see the list whittled to just seven possible contenders.

Is there a clear winner here, or do you anticipate a hard-fought battle for the top prize? Tell us in the comments below.




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