The finalists for the 2014 World Car of the Year (WCOTY) awards have been announced, along with a brand new category.
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Now in its 10th year, and with 12 finalists, the 2014 WCOTY awards will see four German, three US, three Japanese and two French brands battle it out for the top prize.

With the likes of Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Citroen, Ford, Infiniti, Jeep, Lexus, Mazda, Peugeot and Skoda all earning nominations, Volkswagen – the winner of four of the past five WCOTYs (2009 Golf, 2010 Polo, 2012 Up!, 2013 Golf) – is out of contention.

Decided by a jury of 69 international automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America, along with 10 additional experts, this year’s awards feature a luxury car category for the very first time.

Created to acknowledge higher-priced premium models that sell in more limited numbers around the world, the luxury list includes marques such as Bentley, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Range Rover and Rolls-Royce.

Alfa Romeo 4C

Ranging from attainable sports cars such as the Alfa Romeo 4C (pictured above), Ford Fiesta ST, Mercedes-Benz A45 and CLA45 AMGs and the Volkswagen Golf GTI, the performance car crown could equally go to more exclusive propositions as the Audi RS6 Avant, Ferrari 458 Speciale and Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster.

At the other end of the scale, the green car finalists comprise the most efficient models offered by manufacturers and include the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, BMW i3, Honda Accord Hybrid, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Volkswagen XL1.

Focusing on styling, the car design award features five of the main game’s entrants along with the new fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volkswagen’s XL1.

The top three finalists for each category will be revealed at the Geneva motor show on March 4, before the final winners are announced at the 2014 New York auto show on April 17.

World Car of the Year
Audi A3
BMW 4 Series
BMW i3
Cadillac CTS
Citroen C4 Picasso
Ford Fusion/Mondeo
Infiniti Q50
Jeep Cherokee
Lexus IS
Mazda 3
Peugeot 308
Skoda Octavia

World Luxury Car of the Year
Bentley Flying Spur
Cadillac ELR
Cadillac Escalade
Maserati Ghibli
Maserati Quattroporte
Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Porsche Macan
Range Rover Sport
Rolls-Royce Wraith

World Performance Car of the Year
Alfa Romeo 4C
Audi RS6 Avant
BMW M6 Gran Coupe
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Ferrari 458 Speciale
Ford Fiesta ST
Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster
Mercedes-Benz A45/CLA45 AMG
Porsche 911 GT3
Porsche 911 Turbo
Volkswagen Golf GTI

World Green Car of the Year
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
BMW i3
Honda Accord Hybrid
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Volkswagen XL1

World Car Design of the Year
BMW i3
Cadillac CTS
Citroen C4 Picasso
Mazda 3
Lexus IS
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Volkswagen XL1