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.