SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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World Car Awards Finalists Announced

The Countdown Begins!

NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The countdown has begun for the 2014 World Car Awards (the WCAs) prize-giving 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. For more details about our jurors and their outlets, please visit our web site:  www.wcoty.com and click < Jurors.

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.  You will 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

Previous World Car of the Year winners were the Volkswagen Golf in 2013, the Volkswagen Up! in 2012, the Nissan LEAF in 2011, the Volkswagen Polo in 2010, the Volkswagen Golf in 2009, the Mazda2 / Mazda Demio in 2008, the Lexus LS460 in 2007, the BMW 3-Series in 2006, and the Audi A6 in 2005.

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

Previous World Performance Car winners were the Porsche Boxster/Cayman in 2013, the Porsche 911 in 2012, the Ferrari 458 Italia in 2011, the Audi R8 V10 in 2010, the Nissan GT-R in 2009, the Audi R8 in 2008, the Audi RS4 in 2007 and the Porsche Cayman S in 2006.

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

The five experts on the advisory panel are in alphabetical order:  Phil Berg (USA - PopularMechanics.com);  Richard Bremner (U.K. Autocar magazine), Claus-Peter Koeth (Germany - automobil-industrie.de);  Yumi Kawabata (Japan-environmental journalist) and John Voelcker (USA - GreenCarReports.com)

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.

Again, 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 are:  Masatsugu Arimoto (Japan – Freelance design journalist); Silvia Baruffaldi (Italy – Auto & Design magazine); Gernot Bracht (Germany – Pforzheim Design School); Sam Livingstone (U.K.  - Car Design Research and Royal College of Art) and Tom Matano (USA - School of Industrial Design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco)

The finalists for the jurors are:

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

Prime Research International, a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy is the World Car Awards' research partner.  Prime Research joined forces with the World Car Awards in 2009 by agreeing to track, and report on, global media coverage of our awards program.

Now in their 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 our web site (www.wcoty.com)

About PRIME RESEARCH
PRIME Research International, a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy, has joined forces with the World Car Awards to provide strategic studies in the fields of automotive assessment criteria and automotive awards. PRIME Research is a well-trusted research partner for the automotive industry with a broad range of automotive clients. Its full picture approach, which provides strategic benchmark information and SWOT analysis on over 100 brands and over 10,000 different automobile models, sets the standard in automotive media research.    

About BRIDGESTONE CORPORATION
Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world.

About the 2014 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS)
Showcasing the latest automotive trends, the 114-year old New York International Auto Show will unveil an extensive collection of the most technologically advanced vehicles on display anywhere in the world. The OICA-sanctioned event is owned and produced by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association.

Important Show Information: Press Days: April 16 & 17, Public Show Dates: April 18 – 27

Show Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

www.autoshowNY.com; Twitter: #NYIAS @NYautoshow; Facebook: Like us, we like you!

Mobile: Download our iPhone app; on iTunes for Show info on the go

For a list of past World Car Awards winners, please visit our web site:  www.wcoty.com

SOURCE New York International Auto Show

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