I have been to quite a few auto shows this year, from the SEMA show in Las Vegas, to the Los Angeles Auto Show in...Los Angeles, but none compare to the scale of this years Detroit show. 2009 was one of the worst years for the auto industry as a whole in several decades, but this years show is all about moving forward. The cars shown this year displayed technologies never seen before in an automobile, and for the first time ever, a display called "Electric Avenue."
Ford revealed one of its most hotly anticipated global vehicles, the new Ford Focus to rave reviews. The car takes the C-segment to a whole new level, with an interior you would more likely find in a luxury vehicle. The Focus also features Ford's new human-machine interface, called MyFord Touch. MyFord Touch uses an 8-inch touch screen and Ford's SYNC technology to control every major cabin function, from the climate control, to entertainment to the navigation system. The systems can be controlled with the touch screen or using simple voice commands. This prevents the driver from having to take their eyes off the road, meaning a safer experience for everyone involved.
Chevrolet also had some interesting technologies to display, but the main focus was on the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt features an electric drive system that will be able to power the vehicle for 40 miles. After the battery has been mostly depleted, a gas engine-generator will come on and power the vehicle. GM expects this car to achieve 230 miles per gallon. One of the more interesting features on the car is the ability to control the lock/unlock, remote start, and charging features, all using a smart phone application!
Chrysler may not have any all-new cars or concepts to display, but they have decided to refresh their cars instead, providing limited edition models of nearly every car they make. There were several special edition Jeeps that recall models from years past, and two new models for the 300 sedan that make it look somewhat newer and more hip.
Electric Avenue is a new feature at this year's Detroit Auto Show and it features, you guessed it, electric cars from just about every major player in the electric car game. Ford had a battery electric Focus, several Chinese companies were on hand with their models as well. There is also a green driving experience in the basement of Cobo Hall that allows you to ride in the latest green models from Detroit's Big Three. The show runs from Saturday, January 16th to Sunday, January 24th. For more details on the show go to www.naias.com.