Detroit Auto Show Preview is Quite ‘Green’

Green Car Reports - January 8, 2013

The Detroit Auto Show is one of the most impor­tant events on the auto­mo­tive cal­en­dar and increas­ing­ly a place for car com­pa­nies to show off new green tech­nol­o­gy.

Take a peek at some of what you’ll see on the auto show floor.

Con­cept Cars:

Hon­da Urban SUV Con­cept: Hon­da will pre­view a sporty sub­com­pact SUV in Detroit that’s based on the Fit plat­form and could hint at the new styling direc­tion for the Japan­ese automaker’s small cars. Hon­da hasn’t revealed many details on the con­cept, apart from a sole teas­er image, though the automak­er does men­tion that it com­bines the spa­cious and func­tion­al inte­ri­or of the Fit with a more rugged SUV design.

Via Motors X-Truck: Elec­tric vehi­cle star­tups come and go, but it’s hard­er to ignore one front­ed by “father of the Chevy Volt” Bob Lutz. Yes, we are, of course, talk­ing about Via Motors, which last year in Detroit debuted a Chevy pick­up con­vert­ed to elec­tric pow­er.

Toy­ota Furia Con­cept
: We’re not sure if Toyota’s upcom­ing Furia con­cept will be a green car, but what we know from the few teasers released for it is that it will be a com­pact sedan with styling ele­ments bor­rowed from last year’s NS4 plug-in hybrid sedan con­cept. We do know that Toyota’s Corol­la sedan is due for an update soon, so per­haps this new Furia might be a pre­view.

Pro­duc­tion Cars:

2014 Cadil­lac ELR: The ELR can actu­al­ly trace its roots back to the Con­verj con­cept car unveiled in 2009, which proved so pop­u­lar it was almost imme­di­ate­ly approved for pro­duc­tion. GM’s bank­rupt­cy at the time put those plans on hold but then in 2011 the Con­verj reap­peared, this time labeled the ELR.

2013 Nis­san Leaf: Nis­san is get­ting ready to start pro­duc­tion of its Leaf elec­tric car at its plant in Smyr­na, Ten­nessee. This will be the first time that the car is pro­duced out­side of Japan and we should be see­ing one of the local­ly-pro­duced ver­sions in Detroit next week. The U.S. ver­sion of the updat­ed 2013 Leaf, whichre­cent­ly went on sale in Japan, will be built among Alti­ma and Max­i­ma sedans on the exist­ing assem­bly line. You may recall that Nis­san has already start­ed pro­duc­tion of the elec­tric motors and lithi­um-ion bat­ter­ies, and soon full Leaf hatch­backs will be rolling off the line too.

2014 Mer­cedes-Benz E Class: The Mer­cedes-Benz E Class, in diesel and hybrid trims, is one of our favorite green cars as it offers not only gen­er­ous space but plen­ty of lux­u­ry ameni­ties too. The car has just been facelift­ed for the 2014 mod­el year, receiv­ing tweaked styling, new dri­ver assis­tance sys­tems and a new four-cylin­der diesel option.

Catch the full cov­er­age of the show here.

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