2010 World Car & Performance Car of the Year Finalists Announced [Video]

A panel of 59 journalists have selected their finalists for the World Car of the Year, Performance Car, Green Car and Design of the Year.  Of 30 World Car of the Year entrants, the jurors selected the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Polo.

Although the journalists span the globe, they are hardly distributed evenly.  Only one panelist is from the African continent, and one represents all of South America.

Only cars produced in a minimum of 500 units are able to be nominated for any of the awards.  To be eligible for the overall World Car award, the contender had to be in production, and sold, on at least two continents during 2009. 

The group chose the Audi R8 V10, Ferrari California and Porsche 911 GT3 for the Performance Car award.  For the Green Car award, three alternative fuel experts created a short-list for the full jury to vote on.  In the end, the panel chose the Honda Insight, Toyota Prius and entire Volkswagen BlueMotion range.  Here they cheated a bit, by choosing the Golf, Passat and Polo BlueMotion vehicles.

Of course, one wonders why the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Lexus HS 250h were not picked.

Similar to the Green Car award, the Design of the Year short-list was first created by several design experts.  The jury than voted in the Chevrolet Camaro, Citroen C3 Picasso and the Kia Soul.

The winners of the seventh annual awards will be announced in April at the New York International Auto Show.  What did the jurors miss?  Let us know in the comments section below.

At a press conference hosted by Bridgestone Corporation, BASF SE and the New York International Auto Show at the Geneva International Motor Show, the top three finalists for the World Car of the Year, World Performance Car, World Green Car and World Car Design of the Year awards were announced today.

The winners will be declared at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday, April 1, 2010.  

From an initial entry list of thirty (30) new vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of ten finalists, the top three contenders for the overall 2010 World Car of the Year title are, in alphabetical order:  the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Toyota Prius and the Volkswagen Polo.

To be eligible for the overall World Car award, the contender had to be in production, and sold, on at least two continents during 2009.

Vehicles are selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprised of fifty-nine (59) top-level automotive journalists from twenty-five (25) countries around the world.  Each juror was appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of his or her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence.  Each juror typically drives and evaluates new vehicles on a regular basis as part of their professional work.   All hold significant stature within their own regions and countries.  For more details about our jurors, and their outlets, please visit our web site:  www.wcoty.com and choose “Juror Details”. 

The top three finalists for the 2010 World Performance Car award are, in alphabetical order: the Audi R8 V10, the Ferrari California and the Porsche 911 GT3.

While the winner of the overall World Car award must excel in a broad range of attributes, the World Performance Car award must demonstrate a specific and overt sports/performance orientation while satisfying the same availability criteria as for the overall World Car of the Year award.

Entrants may be chosen from that list of eligible vehicles, or they may be newly introduced variants that satisfy the same criteria, but are derived from existing rather than brand-new models. In all cases, they must have a minimum annual production rate of five-hundred (500) vehicles.


The World Green Car* award is presented by Bridgestone Corporation (Japan) who announced their sponsorship earlier this year. Ryoji Yamada, General Manager of Brand Management said, “We are very pleased and honored to sponsor the 2010 World Green Car of The Year.…..We hope that this sponsorship will help underscore to those in the automotive industry as well as to consumers that tires can help vehicles be more fuel efficient. Through our environmentally friendly "Ecopia" tire brand we expect to help drivers achieve better mileage, and therefore contribute to a more sustainable mobile society”.


Due to the complexity of some of the 'green' technologies, three (3) green experts were appointed by the World Car Steering Committee to extensively review all documentation and specs associated with each candidate and then create a short-list of finalists for review by the fifty-nine (59) jurors in their second round of voting in February. The three green experts were in alphabetical order:  Sam Abuelsamid (representing North America), Dean Slavnich (representing Europe) and Tadashi Tateuchi (representing Asia).

The fifty-nine (59) member jury chose the following top three finalists for the 2010 World Green Car* award: the Honda Insight, Toyota Prius and the Volkswagen BlueMotion (Golf, Passat, Polo).

Cars eligible for the 2010 World Car Design of the Year award, presented by BASF SE, are taken from the list of World Car candidates. A design panel consisting of five highly respected world design experts was asked to first review each candidate, and then establish a short-list of recommendations for the jurors.  The design experts were:  Masatsugu Arimoto (Japan), Silvia Baruffaldi (Italy), Gernot Bracht (Germany), Sam Livingstone (UK) and Tom Matano (USA).  Jurors then voted on the experts’ recommendations. The top three design finalists as chosen by the jurors are, in alphabetical order:  Chevrolet Camaro, Citroën C3 Picasso and the Kia Soul.   This is the fourth time that a Citroen design has been in the top finalists' position for the World Car Design of the Year Award.   Citroen also won the overall title in 2006 for its C4 design.

Prime Research International, a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy, has joined forces with the World Car Awards to form a unique research partnership that will provide strategic reports in 2010, analyzing global automotive media coverage.  

Now in their seventh year, the annual World Car awards have become one of the world’s most prestigious, credible and significant programs of its kind.

The awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale.   The awards are intended to complement, not compete, with existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.

The awards are administered by a non-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of pre-eminent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America.  Peter Lyon (Japan) and Matt Davis (Italy / USA) are the co-chairs; John McCormick (USA), Jens Meiners (Germany) and Gerry Malloy (Canada) are the directors.  There is no affiliation with, nor are the awards in any way influenced by any publication, auto show, automaker, or other commercial enterprise.

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Comments (14)

DarkLeash DarkLeash
i hate the e-class just because it is a mercedes which stole the LED lights from audi
May 6th, 2010 9:47pm
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Ciprian_r Ciprian_r
nederina, i guess bmw 3er is not on the list because it is not a new entrant for 2009
Mar 4th, 2010 9:05pm
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botaki botaki
Aleksi Vw fanboy?
Mar 4th, 2010 5:45pm
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Aleksi Aleksi
My guesses: World Car of the year - Volkswagen polo Performance Car award - Audi R8 V10 Green Car award – VolksWagen BlueMotion Design of the Year - Citroën C3 Picasso
Mar 4th, 2010 4:52am
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danteskov danteskov
No way the C3 picasso could ever beat the Camaro in this one..
Mar 5th, 2010 4:02am
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scratchy996 scratchy996
Polo , GT3RS and a surprise winner for the green car of the year : the Porsche 918 Spyder !
Mar 4th, 2010 4:21am
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danteskov danteskov
The Camaro is a must be in the nomination.. the design is awesome!
Mar 4th, 2010 4:08am
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Dash is Horrible!
Mar 4th, 2010 1:40pm
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bfghemicuda bfghemicuda
The Camaro is just OK and I agree the dash is Horrible
Mar 5th, 2010 1:59am
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nederina nederina
World Car of the year - Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate! (E 63 AMG) Performance Car award - Porsche 911 GT3 RS Green Car award – BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics Design of the Year – Volvo XC60
Mar 4th, 2010 3:32am
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Aleksi Aleksi
The BMW isn't a finalist. No chance for it to win anything...
Mar 4th, 2010 4:53am
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nederina nederina
ya I know, if I were them, I will give the awards to these deserving cars. The Merc E-Class is a stunner and it has the whole great package and brings new innovation to the table. The Porsche 911 GT3 - Need we have to say more? Rawest Porsche money can buy and the purest performance car money can buy after the Lotus Exige. The BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics - I don't know why this car isn't on the list. I believe BMW builds one of the best diesel engines around, and funny they're not a contender. Volvo XC60 - One of the best looking car on sale in 2009, it doesn't look aggressive like the Germans with a soft smooth Scandinavian lines, with a ergonomically faultless interior. Why this car is not on the list? The World Car of the year is a joke, honestly. They don't look organized or professional. I believe European Car of the Year has more credibility, as well as Engine of the year.
Mar 4th, 2010 2:55pm
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Soorena Soorena
As much i hate Prius i like the new Polo,it is 2010 Car of the year without a doubt
Mar 4th, 2010 3:04am
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nederina nederina
Nooo not the Prius!
Mar 4th, 2010 3:01am
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