If snow doesn’t get in my way, I’m heading for the Detroit Auto Show on Sunday. The show is considerably diminished from its usual splendor. The city of Detroit usually makes $450 million from the opulent event, but this week the take will probably be $100 million less. Nissan is out entirely, and others are watching the spending. Cars will be unveiled without much pizzazz, and they’re cutting down on the caviar and champagne for the press.
The industry is hurting, but it still has some news, all of it green. Toyota will be showing off the new and somewhat bigger (but more fuel-efficient) third generation Prius, and a concept battery electric that is designed to sell for less than $20,000.
Fisker is hardly a household name, but it’s $80,000 Karma is a car of dreams: a plug-in hybrid that can travel 50 miles on a charge, but also do zero to 60 in less than six seconds. With two big electric motors, its two electric motors produce an amazing 408 horsepower.
I will be blogging from the show, and interviewing executives from Tesla, Toyota, Fisker, AutoData, Ford, the Automotive X Prize, and many more. With luck, I’ll be sending in video too. Stay tuned for some dispatches from the Motor City. Speaking of which, check out the epic retrospective on Motown in the latest Mojo. The Top 100 countdown is really cool.