Finalists for the annual World Car of the Year award, which will be presented in March at the New York International Auto Show, have been announced. Last year's overall winner, the Volkswagen Golf, beat out semi-finalists Ford Fiesta and Toyota iQ.

The awards are voted on by 59 automotive writers from 23 countries. The three categories - Car of the Year, Performance Car of the Year and Green Car of the Year - have been narrowed down to just a handful of cars each. Three finalists from each category will be announced in a few weeks at the Geneva Motor Show.

The nominees are all either brand new to the market or were substantially revised for the 2010 model year.

2010 World Car of the Year

- Audi Q5 (pictured)

- BMW X1

- Chevrolet Cruze

- Kia Soul

- Mazda Mazda3

- Mercedes-Benz E-Class

- Opel/Vauxhall Insignia/Buick Regal

- Porsche Panamera

- Toyota Prius

- Volkswagen Polo

2010 World Performance Car of the Year

- Aston Martin V12 Vantage

- Audi R8 V10

- Audi TT RS Coupe/Roadster

- BMW Z4

- Ferrari California

- Jaguar XFR

- Lotus Evora

- Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG

- Nissan 370Z

- Porsche 911 GT3

- Porsche Boxster/Cayman

2010 World Green Car of the Year

- Ford Fusion hybrid

- Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid

- Honda Insight

- Toyota Prius

- Volkswagen Bluemotion model range