Detroit this coming week will be bitterly cold, and it's not looking too green either.

Thus far, we know of just a handful of concept cars and new production models that could be described as green to be revealed or displayed at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.

And at least two of them debuted last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Here are the green cars we expect to see in Detroit starting on Monday, January 11.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This piece was originally published on December 22; we have updated it with further information about vehicles appearing at the Detroit show this week.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV spy shots

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV spy shots

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

The full production version of the 2017 Chevy Bolt is expected to be unveiled by General Motors CEO Mary Barra at CES the week before the Detroit show.

It was captured fully uncovered in spy shots last month, so we know essentially what it will look like--and it will surely show up in Detroit.

The Bolt EV is expected to go on sale late in 2016--perhaps even on December 5, which would be the 20th anniversary of the first delivery of GM's groundbreaking EV1 electric car.

And the Bolt has clearly raised expectations for mass-priced electric cars since it was unveiled as a concept at the previous Detroit show last January.

The car will, Barra promised, have 200 miles of range and a price of $37,500 before incentives.

Other makers of compact and subcompact battery electric cars, most notably Nissan and BMW, are expected to have to match those specs within the next few years.

Volkswagen Bulli Microvan Concept

Volkswagen Bulli Microvan Concept

Volkswagen e-Microbus Concept

The other vehicle expected from CES is a concept version of a long-range electric Volkswagen Microbus, possibly an update to the VW Bulli concept shown in 2011.

("Bulli" is the German nickname for what's known in North America as the VW Bus or Microbus.)

With its TDI diesel-emission scandal having no immediate resolution in sight, VW Group has been far more public about electric-car plans from its Volkswagen and Audi brands.

And an all-electric VW Microbus with 200 miles or more of range would definitely get attention.

2016 Chrysler Town & Country

2016 Chrysler Town & Country

2017 Chrysler plug-in hybrid minivan

We know very little so far about the all-new Chrysler minivan that will kick off Monday's scheduled press events in Detroit's Cobo Hall.

It's a crucial product for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, though, which continues to dominate the segment it invented more than 30 years ago.

The current Chrysler Town & Country now dates back to 2007, so if anything, the new one is overdue.

While it seems likely to continue with a new version of Chrysler's Pentastar V-6 engine, a plug-in hybrid version has been confirmed by the company.

What hybrid system it uses, what range it offers, and how it functions in practical use all remain to be determined.

We should know more within 24 hours.

2016 Ford Fusion Energi

2016 Ford Fusion Energi

2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid and Energi

We also know the Ford Fusion mid-size sedan is getting updates, though we don't yet know what they are.

They seem likely to include some mild styling tweaks, and perhaps a revised interior and/or infotainment upgrades.

But presumably they'll be extended to the Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid versions as well.

Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show


It's not clear so far what Audi plans to display at the Detroit Auto Show.

But the luxury brand got a lot of attention for the Audi e-Tron Quattro Concept it showed at last fall's Los Angeles Auto Show, which will launch as a production car in 2017 or 2018.

Audi also generated considerable notice for promising that a 150-kilowatt DC fast-charging network would be available for buyers of that car to use for long-distance travel.

While Audi seems likely to have higher-end gasoline models to show in Detroit, we have to wonder if there might not be another plug-in vehicle of some sort on tap.

But this is one we may simply have to wait until January for.

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show


Meanwhile, Volkswagen--Audi's sibling in the VW Group--is also expected to show a plug-in concept vehicle of some sort.

Published rumor suggests it'll be a plug-in hybrid version of the next-generation Tiguan compact crossover, which was unveiled last fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

With compact crossovers among the hottest segments of the new-car market, a Tiguan targeted squarely at U.S. buyers should do well for VW.

And because the Tiguan GTE plug-in hybrid version has already appeared at Frankfurt, it might be a logical show car for Detroit as well.

2017 Smart ForTwo Cabrio, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

2017 Smart ForTwo Cabrio, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

2017 Smart ForTwo Cabrio

Following last summer's debut of the all-new 2016 Smart ForTwo coupe, we're likely to see the cloth-roofed ForTwo Cabrio unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show.

Like the Tiguan, it too first appeared at last fall's Frankfurt Motor Show.

We still don't have any information on the electric version of the new Smart, but the Cabrio is the second of two traditional Smart body styles, and the smallest open-roof car on sale.

Its fuel efficiency is likely to be identical to that of the hardtop Smart, at 36 mpg combined for the version with a six-speed direct-shift automatic transmission and 35 mpg combined for the base model with a five-speed manual gearbox.

2016 Buick Envision

2016 Buick Envision

2016 Buick Envision

A compact crossover utility vehicle isn't all that green, but the upcoming Envision is notable because it's the first vehicle made in China that GM will import and sell in the U.S.

It will fill the gap between the subcompact Encore crossover hatchback and the large Enclave SUV in the Buick premium lineup.

That's due, said Buick marketing chief Tony DiSalle, to the projected low sales volumes.

It's a car Buick needs, he said, but it won't sell in the U.S. in numbers large enough to justify making it here when more than 125,000 a year are built and sold in China.

For all the latest news on cars and concepts in Detroit, see our Detroit Auto Show news page.


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