In an event at the New York International Auto Show, the Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec was declared the 2007 World Green Car.
The other two finalists for the top spot in the third annual World Green Car awards were the BMW Hydrogen 7 and the Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion.
To be eligible for the 2007 World Green Car award, a vehicle must be all-new or substantially revised, in production and introduced for sale to consumers in at least one major market between January 1 - December 31, 2006.
In addition, the vehicles must satisfy one or more of the following criteria:
Tailpipe emissions equal to or better than California SULEV or US EPA Tier 2, Bin 2, or Euro 5 regulations, or equivalent.
Fuel consumption equal to or lower than 5.0 L/100km (47.6 mpg US) combined (55% City + 45% Highway) or equivalent.
Use of an advanced power plant technology aimed specifically at increasing their environmental responsibility (e.g. hybrid).
Alternatively, the vehicle/technology may be a prototype or experimental vehicle with near-future application (i.e. will go on the market soon) provided that it:
Addresses today’s environmental issues, per the criteria above; and
Has been released for individual or press fleet evaluations in quantities of ten or more.
The award jurors felt that the Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec deserved the award for its role in enabling a diesel re-entry to the North American market, as well as for paving the way for super-clean diesel technology around the world.
The World Car of the Year Awards program is initiated by, organized by, and conducted by, automotive journalists from around the globe. It was established in 2003 and officially launched in January 2004. A non-profit association guided by a Steering Committee of journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America administer the awards program.