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Detroit Auto Show 2009: What's New

Detroit Auto Show 2009
Despite a historically troubling year for the auto industry, the show must go on, and the major automakers are showcasing a new breed of environmentally friendly concepts that reflect the direction of the industry as a whole. Some companies, most notably Nissan Motor have decided to skip the Detroit show altogether after the rough year for the industry as a whole. Click ahead for this year's innovative concepts and new cars on display at this year's Detroit Auto Show.

Trouble aside, the major automakers are showcasing a new breed of environmentally-friendly concepts that reflect the direction of the industry as a whole, alhtough some companies, most notably Nissan Motor, have decided to skip the Detroit auto show altogether this year. Click ahead for the innovative concepts and new cars on display at the show, officially known as the North American International Auto Show.

By Paul Toscano
Posted 13 Jan 2009

Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Stirling Moss
With a $1.01 million price tag and only 75 units to be produced, Mercedes kicked off this year's Detroit Auto Show with the unveiling of the McLaren SLR Stirling Moss. With a top speed of approximately 220 mph, the car also has neither a roof nor windscreen to protect the driver from outside elements, so they may "enjoy unadulterated high-speed excitement with all the attributes of a speedster."Photo Courtesy:

Mercedes kicked off this year's Detroit Auto Show with the unveiling of the McLaren SLR Stirling Moss. The car carries a price tag of $1.01 million price tag, and only 75 of them will be built. With a top speed of some 220 mph, the car has neither a roof nor windscreen to protect drivers, so they may "enjoy unadulterated high-speed excitement with all the attributes of a speedster."

Photo Courtesy: Jalopnik.com

Dodge Circuit
The newest breed in the all-electric sports car niche boasts performance of 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds and a top speed of 120 mph. As a full-electric vehicle, its estimated driving range is between 150-200 miles between charges, which is triple the distance of the average commuter. Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

The newest breed in the all-electric sports car niche, the Dodge Circuit boasts performance of 0-60 mph in under five seconds and a top speed of 120 mph. As a full-electric vehicle, its estimated driving range is 150-200 miles between charges, which is triple the distance of the average commuter.

Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

Bentley Continental GTC Speed
Bentley Convertible embraces biofuels as part of its far-reaching environmental strategy, but does not sacrifice performance. With a 6-litre, 12-cylinder engine this model boasts 600 horsepower and a top speed of 200mph. Scheduled to arrive in showrooms in June, the model has a starting price of $231,400.  Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

The Bentley Convertible embraces biofuels as part of its far-reaching environmental strategy, but does not sacrifice performance. With a 6-litre, 12-cylinder engine this model boasts 600 horsepower and a top speed of 200 mph. Scheduled to arrive in showrooms in June, the model has a starting price of $231,400. 

Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

Volvo S60 Concept
Featuring Volvo's new "racetrack" design, the car also offers safety features like visual warnings on a head-up display if the car detects a collision. The system can also enable a full automatic breaking system in order to reduce damage when a collision is imminent.  Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

Featuring Volvo's new "racetrack" design, the car also offers safety features like visual warnings on an eye-level windshield display unit if the car detects a collision. The system can also enable a full automatic braking system in order to reduce damage when a collision is imminent. 

Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

Cadillac Converj
Taking advantage of GM's "Voltec" power system, the Converj takes concepts present in the Volt and Cadillac has developed this new luxury model. The car is touted to get up to 40 miles of gas and emissions-free driving with extended-range fuel capabilities. The Converj also features seating for four, a top speed of 161 mph and less than 3 hours to charge to full capacity.  Photo Courtesy:

Taking advantage of GM's "Voltec" power system, the Cadillac Converj incorporates concepts present in the Volt and takes them to a luxury scale. The car can travel 30-40 miles usung only its electric power. The Converj also features seating for four and a top speed of 161 mph. Its battery takes less than three hours to charge to full capacity. 

Photo Courtesy: Jalopnik.com

Audi R8 5.2 FSI
With a 517 horsepower V10, the Audi R8 5.2 FSI can go 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, with a top speed around 200mph. To be released in Europe in the second quarter of 2009, it also comes with a price tag of approximately $190,000.Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

With a 517 horsepower V10, the Audi R8 5.2 FSI can go 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, with a top speed around 200 mph. To be released in Europe in the second quarter of 2009, it also comes with a price tag of approximately $190,000.

Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

Chrysler 200C EV Concept
Not just another EV concept car, this model is the test bed for Chrysler's Uconnect in-car computer and communication device. Allowing you to connect directly to your iPhone, you can preprogram temperature, lock doors, view an in-car camera and track the car's location, all from your iPhone. It is also seen by show-goers to have the best chance of all Chrysler models in reaching production. Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

Not just another EV concept car, this model is the test bed for Chrysler's Uconnect in-car computer and communication device. Allowing you to connect directly to your iPhone, you can preprogram temperature, lock doors, view an in-car camera and track the car's location, all from your iPhone. It is also seen by show-goers as having the best chance of all Chrysler models in reaching production.

Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

2010 Buick Lacrosse
Redesigned from the ground up, this 2010 model features fuel-efficient V-6 engines and is focused on attracting a younger demographic than past Buick models. Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

Redesigned from the ground up, this 2010 model features a fuel-efficient V-6 engine and is focused on attracting a younger demographic than past Buick models.

Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

2010 Jaguar XKR
With the first customer deliveries coming this summer, the XKR features a supercharged AJ-V8 engine, which offers a maximum speed of 155mph and 0-60mph in 5.2 seconds. Photo Courtesy:

With the first customer deliveries coming this summer, the XKR features a supercharged AJ-V8 engine, which offers a maximum speed of 155 mph and 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds.

Photo Courtesy: Jalopnik.com

Ford Escape plug in hybrid
Although technically a concept car, Ford has already delivered dozens of units to utility providers in Southern California for testing. The Escape plug-in can get between 30-40 miles on electric power and 120 mpg in traditional hybrid mode. At this year's Detroit auto show, the car is available to be test-driven in the show's 1/8 mile basement test track. Photo Courtesy:

Although technically a concept car, Ford's Escape is already being tested by drivers in Southern California. The Escape plug-in can get between 30-40 miles on electric power and 120 mpg in traditional hybrid mode. The car is available to be test-driven at the Detroit show's 1/8 mile basement test track.

Photo Courtesy: Jalopnik.com

Kia Soul'ster
Aimed at the community of youthful, beach-going Californians, the Kia Soul'ster, redesigned from the already existing Kia Soul. Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

Aimed at the community of youthful, beach-going Californians, the Kia Soul'ster is based on the already-existing Kia Soul.

Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

VW Bluesport Concept
This flashy new roadster also demonstrates a key component of most cars on display at this year's auto show: fuel efficiency. Getting an estimated 42 MPG, this model has created significant interest in Detroit this year.Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

This flashy new roadster also demonstrates a key component of most cars on display at this year's auto show: fuel efficiency. Getting an estimated 42 mpg, this model has created significant interest in Detroit this year.

Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

Lexus HS250h
Lexus debuts the 2010 HS250h, the world's first dedicated luxury hybrid. Many describe it as a more stylish and more expensive version of the Prius, it will offer the fuel economy of the 2010 Prius model. Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

Lexus will debut the 2010 HS250h, the world's first dedicated luxury hybrid. Many describe it as a more stylish and more expensive version of the Prius and have similar fuel economy.

Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

Subaru Legacy
Marking the 20th anniversary of Subaru Legacy, the company is showcasing this model to demonstrate the future of the line, combining sport and luxury. The Legacy line was introduced in 1989 and since otal global production has exceeded 3.6 million units, making it Subaru's core model.Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

Marking the 20th anniversary of Subaru Legacy, the company is showcasing this model to demonstrate the future of the line, combining sport and luxury. The Legacy line was introduced in 1989 and since then total global production has exceeded 3.6 million units, making it Subaru's core model.

Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

2010 Ford Taurus
The flagship of the Ford brand, the redesigned Taurus encompasses a wide range of gadgets, including a voice activated navigation system, safety enhancements and additional luxury features. It will also start at the same price - $25,995 - as the 2009 Taurus model.Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

The flagship of the Ford brand, the redesigned Taurus encompasses a wide range of gadgets, including a voice-activated navigation system. It will also start at the same price - $25,995 - as the 2009 Taurus model.

Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

2010 Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry has been the best selling car in America for seven years running and this new model hopes to keep the streak alive. This year's Camry Hybrid produces 70 percent less smog-forming emissions than the average new car, meeting the strict standard of "Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle" (AT-PZEV).Photo Courtesy: NAIAS

The Toyota Camry has been the best selling car in America for seven years running. This year's Camry Hybrid produces 70 percent less smog-forming emissions than the average new car, meeting the strict standard of "Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle" (AT-PZEV).

>> Full Coverage: 2009 Detroit Auto Show 
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Photo Courtesy: NAIAS