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NEW YORK (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus LS460 flagship sedan, which debuted in Japan last September as the high-end model of its Lexus premium brand, was declared the 2007 World Car of the Year on Thursday at the New York International Auto Show, organizers said.

The top three contenders for the third annual award in addition to the Lexus LS460 were the Audi TT and the Mini, they said in a statement.

WCOTY’s 44 jurors considered the LS460 to be the embodiment of the Lexus brand’s “pursuit of perfection,” they said.

“Classically luxurious, with modern execution, unquestioned quality and more than ample power, it also offers a green alternative in the form of the LS600h hybrid variant for those who seek guilt-free indulgence,” they said in a statement, referring to another version of the hybrid luxury sedan.

The LS460 model features the world’s first eight-speed automatic transmission and a wide range of anticrash technologies, including a system to detect pedestrians and a radar device in the rear bumper to continuously scan the distance from a following vehicle.

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