2011 North American International Auto Show [NAIAS] Recap: Detroit Auto Show Highlights

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

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.

Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai Veloster World Premiere [Video]

Porsche 918 RSR

Porsche 918 RSR Looks to ‘Continue Porsche’s Success in Motorsports’

GMC Sierra All Terrain HD Concept

GMC Sierra All Terrain HD Concept Eats Raptors for Lunch

Honda Civic Concept

Honda Civic Concept Previews Production Car

Ford Vertrek Concept

Ford Vertrek Previews New Escape, Kuga

2012 Volkswagen Passat

2012 Volkswagen Passat Made in America, for Americans [Video]

BMW 1 Series M Coupe

BMW 1 Series M Coupe, ‘A True M Car’ and Priced Like One Too [Video]

2011 Chrysler 300

Chrysler 300 Channels Eminem for Debut of Redesigned 300C

2012 Toyota Prius V

Toyota Prius V Wagon, Prius c Concept Expand Prius Badge to a Four Car Brand

Toyota Prius c Concept

Toyota Prius c Concept Previews Stylish Higher Mileage, Lower Cost Model

Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Race Car

Cadillac CTS-V Race Car is Ten-Tenths of Awesomeness

Hyundai CURB Concept

Hyundai Curb Concept is a Crossover for Hipsters

Chevy Sonic Hatchback, Sedan and Z-Spec

Chevy Sonic Hatch and Sedan Debut Alongside Sporty Z-Spec Concept

2012 Ford C-Max

Ford C-Max Marks Blue Oval’s Return to Minivan Segment

MINI Paceman Concept

MINI Paceman Confirmed for Production in 2013

2012 Buick Verano

Buick Verano Could Push Brand into Top Three in Luxury Sales Race

Kia KV7 Concept

Kia KV7 Concept: The Mystery Machine for the 21st Century Scooby Doo

2012 BMW 650i

2012 BMW 650i Convertible Debuts, Priced from $91,375

Ford C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi

Ford C-Max Hybrid and Energi Plug-In Hit Prius Square in the Junk

Mercedes SLS E-Cell

Mercedes-Benz SLS e-Cell Faszination Mit Strom Und Gelb

2012 Audi A6

2012 Audi A6 and A6 Hybrid Unveiled

Colum Wood
Colum Wood

With AutoGuide from its launch, Colum previously acted as Editor-in-Chief of Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine where he became a certifiable car snob driving supercars like the Koenigsegg CCX and racing down the autobahn in anything over 500 hp. Find Colum on <a href="http://www.google.com">Twitter.</a>

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  • Joe Yoman Joe Yoman on Jan 12, 2011

    LOL the Prius is still ugly no matter how many times Toyota inbreeds it! The "made in America" but company exists in Germany new Passat is a total snorefest bore of a sedan just like the Jetta. A Toyota Carolla badge would be more fitting.

  • Mark P Mark P on Jan 12, 2011

    Prius looks great. I don't know what you're smoking.