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2013 World Car of the Year Awards announced. Volkswagen wins big.

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(Read caption) Volkswagen design chief Walter de Silva holds a trophy after the Volkswagen Golf was named 2013 World Car of the Year during the New York International Auto Show in New York, March 28, 2013.

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Every year, an international panel of automotive journalists selects the best cars in the world under various categories, handing out its awards at the New York Auto Show.

 Atop the hierarchy is the World Car of the Year, followed by the World Performance Car, the World Car Design of the Year and the World Green Car (where our own John Voelcker, editor of Green Car Reports, contributed his expertise for the panel of judges).

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 For 2013, the panel chose the Mark VII Volkswagen Golf (which will debut in the United States next year, as a 2015 model) as the World Car of the Year, saying it was “as close to the perfect hatchback design as any car company has come yet. If ever there was a car for everyman, the Golf is it.”

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 This makes two in a row for Volkswagen, as the brand took top honors in 2012 with its Up! city car. The new Golf beat an impressive list of finalists, including the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the Porsche Boxster / Cayman and the Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT 86.

In the World Performance Car category, the new Porsche Boxster / Cayman defeated the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and the Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT 86 to take the win, with the judges declaring that the Boxster is now less of a “secretary’s car,” while the Cayman is a “better Porsche sports car than the iconic 911.” Those are their words, not ours.

In the World Car Design of the Year Category, it was the stunning new Jaguar F-Type that beat out challengers like the Mazda6 and the Aston Martin Vanquish. Of their pick the panelists called the F-Type “almost Italian at first glance,” saying that the F-Type is “the promising dawn for the company’s latest roadster.”

The Tesla Model S continued its global winning streak, earning the pick as the World Green Car of the Year and beating out the Renault Zoe and the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid in the process

Calling the Model S “fast and stylish,” the judges cited the car’s sensible range, seating capacity and near-supercar performance as grounds for their selection.