Detroit Auto Show Briefing: VW, AMP, Ford, Kia, Coda, Nissan, Volvo

by | Jan 10, 2012

This year’s Detroit Auto Show is overflowing with hybrid and electric debuts. Here are some of the first big ones to emerge from the show, which started yesterday:

Volkswagen debuted the Jetta Hybrid, which it called the world’s first hybrid to use a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; and the E-Bugster concept car (pictured), a pure electric version of the Beetle. The Bugster can achieve an 80 percent charge in as little as 30 minutes, VW says, and can go 100 miles on a full charge.

AMP, an electric vehicle company specializing in truck conversions, unveiled the all-electric AMP Jeep Grand Cherokee, starting at $57,400. Deliveries are projected to start this fall.

Ford said it’s aiming for its Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, due to hit the streets this fall, to be the most fuel-efficient midsize car in the world. It expects the Energi to deliver over 100 mile per gallon equivalency (MPGe), eight MPG3 more than the Chevy Volt and 13 MPGe more than the efficiency projected for the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid.

The Energi is one of three Fusion varieties at the show. Ford says the Fusion is the first sedan to offer gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid options.

Kia is displaying the Ray, which it calls Korea’s first production EV, and the Naimo EV concept car. Kia says the Ray can charge in 25 minutes, and provides drivers with crucial information such as locations of the nearest recharging stations.

Coda Automotive announced that its electric Coda sedan will have two mileage range and price options in 2012. In addition to the original model, which has a 150-mile range with a MSRP of $39,900, the new 31kWh battery option will provide a driving range of up to 125 miles, for $37,250. Federal tax savings will lower the base price to $29,750, the company said.

Nissan debuted the e-NV200 Concept, which it called a near-future production version of a full electric van. It combines a driving range similar to the Nissan Leaf with payload and cargo space similar to the current NV200, Nissan said.

Volvo showed its XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept, which the company says gets 100 mpg. The driver can choose to put the car in one of three modes: pure electric, hybrid or “power mode.”

Smart unveiled the Smart For-Us concept vehicle, an electric mini-pickup with no roof.

Finally, Lexus unveiled a design concept for a hybrid 2+2 sport coupe, the LF-LC.

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