Detroit Auto Show Preview: New Green Production Cars


General Motors Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan

General Motors Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan

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The 2015 Detroit Auto Show opens next week and so far it's not looking like an especially noteworthy show for green cars.

While Detroit is one of the biggest stops on the global auto-show circuit, there don't seem to be many plug-in electric, hybrid, or other efficient-car debuts lined up.

That doesn't mean there won't be any important green-car news coming out of the Motor City next week. But perhaps it would be best to describe this year's Detroit show as a case of quality over quantity.

As always, we'll be on the ground to bring you live coverage--including updates on any surprise debuts not included in this preview.

Head over to our Detroit Auto Show page for the latest news. In the meantime, here are the significant green cars expected to debut in Detroit so far.

2016 Audi Q7

2016 Audi Q7

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2016 Audi Q7 e-tron

Unveiled last month, the 2016 Audi Q7 e-tron features a diesel plug-in hybrid powertrain with all-wheel drive, and is part of a redesigned Q7 SUV lineup that sheds around 700 pounds compared to the previous generation.

The e-tron's 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine and electric motor (integrated into an eight-speed automatic transmission) have a combined output of 373 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.

DON'T MISS: 2016 Audi Q7 To Offer e-Tron Quattro Diesel Plug-In Hybrid Model

Audi says the 17.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack can provide 35 miles of electric range (albeit on the gentle European testing cycle), while both power sources can propel the Q7 e-tron from 0 to 62 mph in 6.0 seconds, and on to a top speed of 140 mph.

The e-tron will go on sale following the launch of the rest of the 2016 Q7 range next year.

Teaser for 2016 Chevrolet Volt

Teaser for 2016 Chevrolet Volt

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2016 Chevrolet Volt

Easily the biggest green-car news at Detroit will be the unveiling of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car. Already teased numerous times, the new Volt will retain the compact hatchback layout of the current model, but will feature a long list of powertrain and styling updates.

Those updates include a new 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline range extender, a bigger battery pack, and on-demand regenerative braking. The new Volt also features a GPS-based charging-control system, and convenience-focused tweaks like a new charging cord that stows in a dedicated bin in the cargo area.

ALSO SEE: UPDATED: 2016 Chevrolet Volt To Launch In January: What We Know So Far

While overall efficiency will likely increase, the new Volt will probably have the same 38-mile electric-only range as the outgoing version.

Teaser images of the front end show what appears to be a lower nose and some added aerodynamic aids, and the overall shape will likely be a bit sleeker than before.

Since it shares the Volt's platform, an updated version of the Cadillac ELR coupe is also expected soon. However, the luxury brand hasn't confirmed that model for Detroit yet.


 
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