Covering four categories - Car of the Year, Performance Car of the Year, Green Car of the Year and Car Design of the Year - the awards encompass a wide range of vehicles from the fast and beautiful to the efficient and practical.
The four finalists for WCOTY have been selected from an initial entry list of 42 new vehicles and comprise the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, the Toyota 86/GT 86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S and the recently announced 2013 European Car of the Year winner, the Volkswagen Golf. Volkswagen claimed victory last year with the Volkswagen Up! coming up trumps.
Won by the Porsche 911 in 2012, the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, Porsche Boxster/Cayman and the combined entry of the Toyota 86/GT 86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S will fight it out for top honours in the World Performance Car of the Year class.
The three World Green Car finalists for 2013 are the Renault Zoe, Tesla Model S and Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid, while the World Car Design of the Year award will come down to the Aston Martin Vanquish, Jaguar F-Type and the Mazda 6.
According to the WCOTY association, eligible candidates must be vehicles available for sale on at least two continents during the period beginning January 1, 2012, and ending May 30, 2013, and must have a minimum annual production rate of 500 vehicles.
Winners of each category will be revealed at the upcoming New York auto show that gets underway on March 27, following the decision of the 66-member jury made up of automotive journalists from Asia, Europe and North America.