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.