The biggest debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show may have been a hybrid, but that doesn’t mean it’s not exciting. On the contrary, the Porsche 918 RSR is 767-hp of proof that hybrids can most certainly be cool. Based on the 918 Spider which also stole the show in Geneva last year, it’s a clear sign that Porsche is serious about hybrids, not just for its road cars, but also for its future in motorsports.
A very long list of other hybrids also made their debut in Detroit, including one surprisingly stylish one from Toyota. While it’s no surprise to see Toyota release a hybrid, the Prius c Concept defies the Toyota corporate mandate to be boring with great styling. As a concept, details are scarce, but Toyota says it will hit the market in 2012. The car is part of a larger effort by Toyota to grow the Prius name; with the Japanese automaker also unveiling a new Prius v wagon that will hit dealers this Summer.
Yet another hybrid on display came from Ford in the form of the C-Max Hybrid. Based on the C-Max MPV (another Detroit debut), the Hybrid version will get better fuel economy than the Fusion Hybrid and will be able to operate on pure electric power above 47-mpg. In addition to the C-Max Hybrid was the C-Max Energi, a plug-in hybrid that promises even better fuel economy and a total range of 500 miles. And let’s not forget the Audi A6 Hybrid, that can travel up to 62-mph on electric power.
Some of the more important mainstream vehicles included the Honda Civic Concept, as well as the official introduction of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat, which is based on an all new, larger platform for the American market and will be built in America too. At Chrysler, the redesigned 300 was unveiled, while Ford showed the Vertrek Concept, which previews the next iteration of the Escape. Chevy rolled out its latest small car, the Sonic, while Buick introduced its first ever compact car, the Verano.
As for the important North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards, it was a no-contest bout with the Chevrolet Volt taking the prize in the car category, while the all new Ford Explorer takes home bragging rights in the truck list.
For the complete 2011 Detroit Auto Show breakdown, hit the jump or see our landing page here.