A jury made up of 58 automotive journalists that represent 22 European countries has revealed the list of candidates for the coveted title of 2013 Car of the Year. Now in its 49th edition, the contest will take place in Italy.
The criteria used to elect a car of the year include design, safety, performance and bang for the buck. According to the Car of the Year committee, one of the most important factors is technical innovation.
There are many new cars that are safe, fun to drive and good-looking, so how does the jury narrow it down to just 35 candidates? Well, only cars launched or presented to the public in the 12 months that precede the competition are eligible to participate. They have to be entirely new models, not merely existing cars upgraded with a new engine or given a shot of Botox, and they also have to be on sale in at least five European countries at the time of the competition.
Lastly, to be eligible a car must have a projected sales volume of at least 5,000 units a year, a clause which rules out many would-be competitors from the top end of the automotive spectrum such as the McLaren P1.
Next January, a simple vote will narrow the 35 cars down to seven finalists. To select the final winner, each member of the jury will have 25 points to attribute to at least five cars as they see fit, though the maximum they will be allowed to give to a single car is ten points.
The competition does not split cars up into categories; the model that earns the most points wins regardless of body style, engine size and so forth.
Below is a list of the 35 cars that will compete in this year's competition. Which one would you pick as the winner?
smart fortwo electric drive
Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86
Toyota Yaris plug-in hybrid
Toyota Prius Plus
Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid