Hybrids to Highlight 2009 NAIAS

Honda, Ford and Toyota introduce new hybrids, while nine other car companies skip the Detroit Auto Show.

Published: 06-Jan-2009

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which opens to the media a week from today, will be newsworthy not only for who shows up, but for who doesn't.

Nissan, Infiniti, Range Rover, Jaguar, Suzuki, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce are all skipping the world's most important auto show, though a few of the brands will have bare-bones displays, courtesy of the local Detroit dealers. All cite the tough economic conditions as the reason.

This does not mean news won't be made at the Detroit show, because it will, and much of it will involve hybrids. Several all-new production models will debut, as well as some concepts. The top newsmakers:


The 2009 model will be the first small SUV to use the powerful new hybrid system GM recently unveiled in its large SUVs and pickups.

The newly developed full parallel hybrid system will consist primarily of the battery unit positioned in the luggage compartment, the power electronics, and the hybrid module between the engine and transmission comprising an additional clutch and the electric motor.

The new fuel efficient two seat car has a top speed of 40 km/hr and cost Rs 1.5 lahk (US$3834). Gogoi pictured with two of the many vehicles he's built in his garage.


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