Toyota Prius (from left) : second-generation, first-generation, third-generation (current model)

North American Car of the Year announces its 19 nominees including the yet-to-be-unveiled all-new Toyota Prius

On June 30, the 19 nominees from the first round of selections for the 2016 North American Car of the Year were announced.

The best car will be selected by a group of 50 American and Canadian journalists from a list of vehicles released within the last year in North America as well as new models scheduled for debut. To qualify for nomination, annual sales for each vehicle must be at least 5,000 units so supercars and some luxury automobiles are excluded.

The 19 nominees from the first round of selections for the 23rd annual North American Car of the Year are as follows:

Acura ILX
Audi TT
BMW 7-series
Cadillac ATS-V
Cadillac CT6
Chevrolet Camaro
Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Spark
Chrysler 300
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Honda Civic
Jaguar XF
Kia Optima
Mazda Roadster
Nissan Altima
Nissan Maxima
Scion iA
Scion iM
Toyota Prius

Of these vehicles, the Toyota Prius should garner the most attention, as this model is the new Prius, which is yet to be launched officially by Toyota. Although it is unusual for a vehicle to be selected before its debut, the nomination is based on the condition that Toyota releases the Prius right away after the winner is announced next January and that it sells at least 5,000 units within the North American market.

Moreover, the selection committee approved its qualification because Toyota is scheduled to unveil their new Prius by the end of this year.

The list will be narrowed down to three finalist in December and the winner will be announced at the 2016 North American International Auto Show next January.

(Translated by Travis Yamabata)