bmw i3

The World Green Car of the Year will be announced at the New York Auto Show on April 17 – and it looks like hats may be tipping toward the BMW i3. Not only did it make the top five finalist list for World Green Car, it was also named a finalist for 2014 World Car of the Year and the World Car Design of the Year.

The other four World Green Car finalists are, in alphabetical order: the electric Audi A3 Sportback E-Tron (with Audi's clean e-gas project also being acknowledged), the Honda Accord Hybrid (which won the 2014 Green Car of the Year award in November), the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the Volkswagen XL1, an expensive plug-in diesel vehicle. The Volkswagen XL1 was also named a nominee to the 2014 World Car Design of the Year. Ironically, another green car was named one of the World Luxury Car finalists but was left off the World Green Car top-five ranking. The extended range Cadillac ELR was the only alternative powertrain to make the first-ever World Luxury Car list.

These top three finalists in all award categories will be announced at the Geneva International Auto Show on March 4th. For the World Green Car nominees, five experts in "green technology" were appointed by the award's steering committee to create a short-list of finalists for 69 jurors to review in their second round of voting this month. Last year, the Tesla Model S was named 2013 World Green Car of the Year. Which car should win in 2014? Take our poll below.

Which car should win the 2014 World Green Car of the Year award
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron ( Audi e-gas)9 (8.0%)
BMW i360 (53.1%)
Honda Accord Hybrid18 (15.9%)
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV17 (15.0%)
Volkswagen XL19 (8.0%)
World Car Awards Announces Top Ten Finalists

The countdown has begun for the 2014 World Car Awards (WCAs) ceremony to be hosted by the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) and Bridgestone Corporation on Thursday, April 17, 2014. Winners of the 2014 World Car of the Year, World Luxury Car, World Performance Car, World Green Car and World Car Design of the Year will all be declared at this time.

The World Car Awards and the New York International Automobile Show earlier this year announced a five-year alliance that will keep the prestigious awards program in New York City through 2018. The agreement marks the formalizing of an eight-year relationship between WCA and NYIAS that has seen the awards program grow to become the recognized number 1 premier automotive award.

Prior to the ceremony in New York, WCA's top three finalists in all award categories will be announced at the Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014.

But first, a jury of sixty-nine (69) distinguished international automotive journalists selected the following finalists in the World Car of the Year, World Luxury Car and World Performance Car categories by secret ballot, based on their experience with each candidate as part of their professional work.

The international accounting firm KPMG tabulated the jurors' ballots and announced the finalists today.

The 2014 World Car of the Year will be selected from the following finalists listed in alphabetical order. Note that there are 12 finalists due to a multiple tie.

Audi A3
BMW 4 Series
BMW i3
Cadillac CTS
Citroen C4 Picasso
Ford Fusion / Mondeo
Infiniti Q50
Jeep Cherokee
Lexus IS
Mazda3
Peugeot 308
Skoda Octavia

The 2014 World Luxury Car will be chosen from one of these top ten finalists:

Bentley Flying Spur
BMW X5
Cadillac ELR
Cadillac Escalade
Maserati Ghibli
Maserati Quattroporte
Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Porsche Macan
Range Rover Sport
Rolls-Royce Wraith

This is the first year for the World Luxury Car award. This new category is created to acknowledge higher-priced premium models selling in more limited numbers worldwide.

The 2014 World Performance Car has eleven finalists due to a tie:

Alfa Romeo 4C
Audi RS 6 Avant
BMW M6 Gran Coupe
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Ferrari 458 Speciale
Ford Fiesta ST
Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster
Mercedes-Benz A/CLA45 AMG
Porsche 911 GT3
Porsche 911 Turbo
Volkswagen Golf GTI

The 2014 World Green Car category is handled differently. Five experts in "green" technology were appointed by the World Car Awards Steering Committee to extensively review all documentation and specs associated with each candidate on the list of nominees. The experts then create a short-list of finalists for review by the sixty-nine jurors in their second round of voting this month. The finalists for 2014 are:

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron (+ Audi e-gas)
BMW i3
Honda Accord Hybrid
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Volkswagen XL1

Cars eligible for the 2014 World Car Design of the Year award are taken from the list of World Car candidates or may be included as a stand-alone entry provided the vehicle is available in quantities of at least 10 in one major market during the period beginning January 1, 2013 and ending May 30th, 2014. Candidates may be pre-production or all-new production.

The finalists for the jurors are:

BMW i3
Cadillac CTS
Citroen C4 Picasso
Mazda3
Lexus IS
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Volkswagen XL1

Now in its tenth year, the annual World Car Awards are now the number one awards program in the world based on Prime Research's 2013 report.

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) are the co-chairs; John McCormick (USA), Jens Meiners (Germany), Mike Rutherford (U.K.), Eddie Alterman (USA), 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.

For additional information visit www.wcoty.com