The final three cars in the running for World Car of the Year have been revealed – the Audi A8, BMW 5 Series and Nissan Leaf.

An initial list of 39 cars was drawn up by a panel of 66 journalists from 24 countries and then whittled down to ten finalists.

The cars in the top 10 were as varied as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Porsche Cayenne and BMW X3, and it is the first time an electric vehicle has been considered as an overall winner, although the Toyota Prius made the top three last year.

The final three were announced at the Geneva Motor Show this week, and the overall World Car of the Year will be unveiled at the New York motor show on April 21.

The WCOTY awards were set up in 2003 by a group of international journalists who formed an independent steering committee.

Previous winners include the Volkswagen Polo last year and the Golf the year before that – luckily for the three finalists there weren't any VWs entered this year.