It's been a tough year for the auto industry, and Detroit in particular. Major marquees have pulled out of the once-dominant Detroit show, but a number of new launches show this show is still alive and kicking. Honda and Toyota will duke it out with major hybrid car releases, while GM, Ford, and Chrysler prepare to unveil new cars.
Honda discontinued its original Insight dedicated hybrid vehicle, but returns with this new model, copying the body style of the Toyota Prius. The new Insight uses a similar hybrid system as found in the Honda Civic Hybrid.
Toyota gives its Prius a much-needed update, just in time to combat Honda's new Insight model. No advance photos have come out, but don't expect the new Prius to look radically different from the old. Do expect a more efficient power train and updated cabin gadgets.
Lexus will launch a dedicated hybrid, called the HS 250, at the Detroit Auto Show. So far, the car has been kept under wraps, but if the model name means anything, the car should have an engine with displacement of 1.5 to 2 liters. With this size power train, it will probably be similar to the Prius.
Maserati launched a serious update to its Quattroporte S at the Los Angeles Auto Show, but this new model takes the sporting nature of that one further. Although it uses the same engine as the S, the Sport GT S pumps up the horsepower to 433, and has a stiffer, lowered suspension for better handling.
Maserati gives the Sport GT S a few stylistic cues to set it apart from the standard and S models, such as a black grille and leather and alcantara-covered seats. Expect the same updated cabin electronics as we saw in the S model at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The new LaCrosse may not be highly anticipated, but it will feature a power plant from GM's new line of direct injected engines, offering more efficient operation. Details as to the look of the car have been kept quiet.
Although the smallest Lincoln got shown earlier at the Los Angeles Auto Show, it will also get a prominent place at the Detroit show. This car uses the same platform as the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, but gets the luxury treatment.
The Equinox is part of GM's attempt to modernize the Chevrolet model lineup. This small crossover features Chevrolet's new styling, with smooth sheet metal, and a choice of engines that includes a frugal 2.4-liter direct injection four-cylinder.
Cadillac drastically restyles its SRX, changing it from a tall station wagon to a small crossover, similar to the Chevrolet Equinox. We expect that the cabin tech package in the new SRX should be every bit as good as that in the CTS.