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NEW YORK — On Thursday morning, the World Car of the Year awards were unveiled at the New York International Auto Show, and highlighting the awards program was Volkswagen, which earned top honors for the second straight year.

VW's Polo model was named 2010 World Car of the Year, while the 2010 World Green Car was given to the VW BlueMotion (Golf, Passat, Polo).

Not to mention, VW's luxury arm, Audi, took top honors in the 2010 World Performance Car category, as the Audi R8 V10 won that award.

Meanwhile, winning the 2010 World Car Design of the Year award was the Chevrolet Camaro.

The World Car Award jury was comprised of 59 auto journalists from 25 nations. 

Offering their thoughts on the Polo, which beat out the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Toyota Prius for the World Car of the Year award, the jurors said: "Holding its own in the most competitive market segment, the all-new Polo MkV is one of VW's star performers.

"Boasting best-in-segment packaging and handling, this supermini's blend of classy looks, reliability and quality has meant it's consistently been one the market's best-sellers. Draped in head-turning stylish curves, the Polo is certainly one of the classiest small VWs ever built," they added.

"It's also safe, generating a maximum five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating. Behind the wheel, the Polo demonstrates mature manners and boasts a superb driving position that's adjustable and, in common with the latest Golf, all the controls are well weighted and precise," jurors continued. "The Polo is just one brilliant supermini."

A year ago, VW's Golf VI was named the 2009 World Car of the Year, and executives with the automaker were pleased to see one of their models win again.

"We're honored that the Volkswagen Polo was chosen by this distinguished group of jurors," stated Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen AG. "After the great triumph of the Golf last year, we are delighted to repeat this success with the new Polo.

"These automobiles have reaped numerous awards, winning well-nigh every prize the automotive industry has to award," he continued. "This shows Volkswagen is on the right track and is offering arguably the best range of products in its history."

Next up, the Audi RB beat out the Ferrari California and the Porsche 911 GT3 in winning top performance honors.

Offering the automaker's reaction to taking home the award, Johan De Nysschen, executive vice president of Audi of America, stated: "We're honored that the Audi R8 V10 was chosen by this distinguished group of jurors as the 2010 World Performance Car.

"This is the fifth year of the World Performance Car award and the R8 has won it twice," De Nysschen continued. "Whether you choose an R8 with a V8 or with a V10 engine, you get a World Performance Car award winner.  The records also show that an Audi has won this award three times. The truly global nature of the World Car jury is evidence that Audi is hitting the performance car sweet spot of car lovers around the world."   

Continuing on, the VW BlueMotion was chosen as the World Green Car Winner over fellow finalists Honda Insight and Toyota Prius.

Ryoji Yamada, general manager of brand management at Bridgestone Corp. (Japan), which presented the awards, noted: "We are very pleased and honored to sponsor the 2010 World Green Car of The Year. The environment is everyone's responsibility.

"And throughout our global family of companies, we take this responsibility very seriously. We believe it is our mission to serve society with superior quality … not just with eco-friendly products but also in the way we produce those products and the way in which we support our many communities with environmentally-friendly activities such as wildlife habitats and our Lake Biwa initiative in Japan," Yamada added.

"We hope that this sponsorship will help underscore to those in the automotive industry as well as to consumers that tires can help  vehicles be more fuel efficient," Yamada continued. "Through our environmentally friendly 'Ecopia' tire brand we expect to help drivers achieve better mileage, and therefore contribute to a more sustainable mobile society."

Finally, the Camaro earned its honors in the 2010 World Car Design of the Year over fellow finalists Citroen C3 Picasso and the Kia Soul.

"In recreating this modern sports car, we have proven that people are just as passionate about Chevy as ever," shared Michael Simcoe, Chevrolet design director.

"We have been delighted about the strong reaction to the Camaro — even in markets that are new to Chevy, it has been creating an emotional appeal for the brand," he added.