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Nominees for the 2016 World Car of the Year award have been announced today, along with contenders for specific Performance, Luxury, Green and Design categories.

Today’s announcement follows the anticipated victory in April of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which beat out the likes of Ford’s new Mustang – available in Europe for the first time – and the new Volkswagen Passat to be named World Car of the Year.

Other winners in 2015 included the BMW i8 (Green), the Citroen C4 Cactus (Design), Mercedes-AMG GT (Performance) and the S-Class Coupe (Luxury).

As in previous years, models in the hunt for the 2016 prize must be new and officially available to buy on at least two continents between January 1 2015 and May 31 2016.

Judges for the 2016 World Car of the Year Award have announced an initial list of nominees this week, ahead of a top-three finalists announcement due at the Geneva motor show in March.

The winner will follow at the New York Auto Show, later that month.

See the list of contenders below, and click through each list item for news, reviews, pricing and specs.

2016 World Car of the Year finalists

Audi A4
Cadillac CT6
Chevrolet Malibu
Ford Edge (possible Territory replacement)
Honda HR-V
Hyundai Creta
Hyundai Tucson
Jaguar XE
Kia Optima
Land Rover Discovery Sport
Mazda CX-3
Mazda MX-5
Mercedes-Benz GLC
Nissan Maxima
Opel Astra (coming to Aus in 2016 through Holden)
Skoda Superb
SSangYong Tivoli
Subaru Levorg (coming to Aus in 2016)
Subaru Outback
Toyota Prius
Volkswagen Touran


2016 World Performance Car of the Year finalists

Audi R8 Coupe
Audi RS 3 Sportback
BMW X5 M and X6 M
Cadillac ATS-V
Cadillac CTS-V
Chevrolet Camaro
Honda Civic Type R
Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe


2016 World Luxury Car of the Year

Audi Q7
Bentley Mulsanne Speed
BMW 7 Series
Infiniti Q30
Jaguar XF
Lexus RX
Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe
Volvo XC90

2016 Jaguar XF Review - 18

2016 World Green Car of the Year

BMW 330e
Chevrolet Volt
Mercedes-Benz C 350e
Nissan Murano Hybrid
Nissan X-Trail Hybrid
Toyota Mirai
Toyota Prius
Volkswagen Passat GTE


2016 World Design Car of the Year

Audi Q7
Audi R8 Coupe
BMW 2 Series Convertible
BMW 7 Series
Hyundai Creta
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe_2

Which cars do you think are most deserving of the 2016 World Car of the Year awards, in each category? Preferences aside, which do you think are most likely to win?

Tell us in the comments below.

Elsewhere, the 2016 European Car of the Year award judging is also under way, with models like the Renault Talisman, Infiniti Q30 and Tesla Model X in the running.