The Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback is up against the £140,000 Aston Martin Rapide and £170,000 Ferrari 458 for the top design award, which will be announced at the Geneva International Motor Show in March.
In contrast, Alfa’s stylish hatchback starts from just £16,995 but the Italian car maker has cultivated a reputation for its curvy, sports car-inspired style.
Released in the UK in 2010, the family sized Alfa Romeo Giulietta is one of a new range of Alfa’s designed to be more reliable and practical while retaining the looks that made the manufacturer so popular across Europe.
To win the coveted award, the Giulietta will also have to finish ahead of the Audi A7 executive saloon.
However, more budget models such as the Honda CR-Z, Kia Sportage and Nissan Juke are also included in the final eight, indicating manufacturers across the world are moving towards more desirable styling and design in their new cars.
The top eight is completed by the popular Citroen DS3, the French car maker’s premium and highly customisable supermini aimed at taking on the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500 in the style-conscious small car segment.
A team of 66 judges decided on the final eight contestants from over 50 new cars across the world. The ultimate winner will be chosen by five highly qualified design experts prior to the Geneva Show.
If the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta were to win the award, it would be the first time it has been named World Car Design of the Year. Previous winners include the Fiat 500, Citroen C4, Chevrolet Camaro, Audi R8 and Audi TT.