Next week we will be bringing you live coverage from the greenest auto show in history - the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which is expected to offer up dozens of green car reveals. To get your taste buds salivating, we have compiled 6 of the top cars to watch for this historic event. First up, the Lexus LF-LC Sports Coupe Concept, which is promised to be a hybrid and a new design language for Lexus. The automaker won't tell us much more than that, other than that the gorgeous car was designed by the company's Calty design studio in Newport Beach. We can't wait to learn more about this lovely newcomer and will give you the inside scoop on Monday, when the LF-LC is officially unveiled.
Lexus LF-LC Sports Coupe Concept
Many automakers will be bringing a hybrid or electric car to the 2012 Detroit auto show for the first time, but Lexus has been at this hybrid thing for a while, so we expect their new LF-LC Sports Coupe Concept to be quite competent, with a fuel-efficient hybrid system that offers up sporty performance to match its good looks. We’re also excited about this new design language the company indicates the new LF-LC will lead the way in. From the side the LF-LC looks like nothing more than a small Ferrari, though from the front its unique lighting elements and muscular stance are at once unique and traditionally exciting. Lexus pulls the cover off this new beauty on Monday, and we will be there to bring the unveiling to you live.
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid + Secret EV Concept
Volkswagen is a little late to the EV and hybrid party, but it is planning to make up for lost time by releasing a whole line of hybrid and electric vehicles to the public over the next few years, starting with the new Jetta Hybrid. VW is also hinting at an all-new electric concept car to be revealed at next week’s show. Stay tuned for exclusive photos and all the details.
Mercedes E300 + E400 Hybrids
Mercedes will is planning to reveal its new E300 diesel hybrid next week, alongside a gasoline hybrid called the E400. Mercedes is expert in highly efficient hybrid technologies, so expect these cars to have impressive range and performance, with mid-level fuel efficiency to balance out the equation. We’re also hoping to get another look at last year’s gullwinged flaming yellow electric beauty. Just one more look, Mercedes?
Smart For-Us Mini Pickup
The Smart For-Us Pickup Concept will be unique at this year’s Detroit auto show, normally famous for its revived muscle cars and heavy duty trucks. This ultra-compact electric pickup truck concept can not only carry two electric bikes in its tiny pickup bed; it can charge them while it drives. The For-Us allegedly will have 74 horsepower and 96 lb-ft of torque, which isn’t a lot but may be enough if the vehicle is light enough on its feet. We’ll let you know the details of how far this little juicer can travel on a charge when it is officially revealed next week.
Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid + V60 Plug-in Hybrid
Volvo already released the V60 plug-in hybrid to the European market a month ago, but only in limited quantities. We are looking forward to seeing the V60 and its new cousin the XC60 plug-in hybrid concept at the Detroit auto show, as they are the first plug-in hybrids we have seen stateside from the company thus far. The XC60 is near production ready, likely only going on display to garner final feedback from the media and consumers before the automaker puts it into production. The green crossover is reportedly powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine, whereas the V60 is diesel to make the Europeans swoon. Don’t worry about power: the XC60 will snort out 280 horsepower with 280 lb-ft of torque and will have a new 8-speed transmission. The rear wheels will additionally have a 70-horsepower motor to drive them for a combined out put of 350 horsepower overall.
Ford Focus Electric
The Ford Focus Electric hasn’t promised us any concrete range or mpge numbers yet, but we still see this small car as a potential tipping point for the industry. When a major automaker like Ford creates an all-electric powertrain for its best-selling small car, you can expect the greenpocalypse will come soon for those resisting the changeover to eco-friendly vehicles. The Focus Electric is promising a 240-volt quick-charging station that can power up the car in 3-4 hours, a unique braking coach that teaches you how to make the most out of your regenerative braking system, and MyKey technology that allows parents to program a separate key for their teenagers that includes a limited top speed and other controls for save driving.