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2009 Fisker Karma S Sunset concept. Image by Fisker.


2009 Detroit Auto Show. Image by Volvo.

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2009 Detroit Auto Show

Despite the meltdown of the US car industry, the show must go on, and the show in question is the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. Keep up to date with the news as it happens.

   

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2009 Fisker Karma S Sunset concept. Image by Fisker.

2009 Jaguar XKR. Image by Jaguar.

2009 Kia Soulster concept. Image by United Pictures.

2009 Jaguar XF-R. Image by Jaguar.

2009 Honda Insight. Image by Honda.

2009 Audi Sportback Concept. Image by Audi.

2009 BMW Z4. Image by United Pictures.

2009 Subaru Legacy concept. Image by United Pictures.

2009 Toyota FT-EV concept. Image by United Pictures.

2009 VW Concept BlueSport. Image by VW.

2009 Chrysler 200C EV concept. Image by Chrysler.

2009 Dodge Circuit EV. Image by Dodge.

2009 Jeep Patriot EV. Image by Jeep.

2009 Lexus HS 250h. Image by Lexus.

2009 Cadillac Converj concept. Image by Cadillac.

2009 Chevrolet Spark. Image by Chevrolet.
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Motorshows homepage -> 2009 Detroit Auto Show

2009 Detroit Auto Show - Shane O' Donoghue / Kyle Fortune / Mark Nichol


Last updated on January 12th, 2009

It's cold outside here in Motown, but the bright lights of the Detroit motor show are burning warm and bright to kick off 2009 with a host of new model reveals. The worldwide marketplace might be in freefall, but despite this each and every manufacturer, those in attendance at least, seem rather upbeat.

None more so than the home makers, the environmental credentials of their new models being the key focus. It's difficult to take their green proclamations too seriously though when compared to those of the European and Japanese firms in attendance. With 22 US mpg 'highway' - not combined - economy heralded as class leading at Ford's press conference for an SUV it's clear that while US manufacturers are making improvements they started from a very low baseline.

The real star of the show so far has been Volkswagen's Concept BlueSport, the 65mpg capable roadster showing the Americans how it should be done. Mercedes and BMW are confident too, all coming off bumper sales years despite the slow down in the last quarter. Audi is in good mood, so much so it's got its new V10-engined R8 rotating on a well-lit plinth. Not a car that's going to go down with the American autoworkers, who are protesting outside about potential job losses in the beleaguered big three. Unquestionably the 2009 Detroit show will be seen as a watershed event in the car industry. Keep pressing that refresh button on your browser for our latest from-the-floor updates. More tomorrow!

Below you'll find a stand-by-stand rundown, with individual articles and our extensive picture gallery from the show linked to from the left-hand side.

Audi

2009 Audi Sportback Concept.   Updated Jan 11
Despite all the talk about clean diesel power and the announcement that Audi would sell a TDI version of the A3 in the USA from next year, its show stars consisted of the V10-engined R8 supercar and the Sportback Concept, the latter certain to influence a new A7 model, potentially taking on the Mercedes-Benz CLS.

- Audi R8 V10 in detail
- Audi Sportback Concept - live from the show


Bentley

2009 Bentley Continental GTC Speed.   Updated Jan 12
The 200mph Continental GTC Speed headlined the Bentley stand in Detroit, heralding the arrival of the updated GTC range. The company also reiterated its promise that all of its cars will have the capability to run on bio-fuel by 2012, along with a new powertrain that will deliver a 40% reduction in fuel consumption.

- Continental GTC Speed in detail


BMW

2009 BMW Z4. Image by United Pictures.   Updated Jan 11
Although there were no surprises from BMW in Detroit, it was our first chance to see the new Z4 up close, while the company's launch of diesels in the US is a significant occasion. Meanwhile, the X6 and 7 Series hybrids inched closer to reality.

- BMW upbeat about the future - live from the show
- Full BMW Z4 details


Cadillac

2009 Cadillac Converj concept.   Updated Jan 11
General Motors opened the show in dramatic fashion, with the surprise unveiling of a new Cadillac concept. Called the Converj, the sharply-styled two-seat coupé takes the 'range extender' idea of Chevrolet's Volt and applies it to the Cadillac school of design. It looks fantastic and has a good chance of reaching production. Already confirmed for sale this year is the equally stylish Cadillac SRX crossover. We expect the latter to make it to Europe too, with new V6 turbodiesels under the bonnet.

- Cadillac Converj concept in detail - live from the show
- Full details of the new Cadillac SRX crossover


Chevrolet

2009 Chevrolet Spark.   Updated Jan 11
Although the Equinox SUV made its debut for Chevrolet in Detroit, that event was overshadowed by the unveiling of GM's new global small car, and we mean small car by European definitions. The new Chevrolet Spark takes influence from the company's Beat concept car and is much smaller than the typical American-mobile. Despite its name, it's not electric. Nor is it actually on display in Detroit in case you're there and you can't find it. It's not that small...

- Initial details of new Chevrolet Spark - live from the show


Chrysler

2009 Chrysler 200C EV concept.   Updated Jan 11
The Chrysler Group focused on new electric cars in its presentation in Detroit. Under the Chrysler brand were the Town & Country EV (electric vehicle) and the stylish 200C EV concept car, certain to influence a new model from the company in the near future, available with regular petrol power, as well as the possibility of an electric or hybrid version.

- Chrysler's new 200C EV concept - live from the show


Dodge

2009 Dodge Circuit EV.   Updated Jan 11
Dodge has restyled the Lotus Europa-based electric sportscar and renamed it the Circuit EV. It looks fantastic and promises a lot. Let's hope it comes to fruition.

- Dodge Circuit EV - live from the show


Fisker

2009 Fisker Karma S Sunset concept.   Updated Jan 12
Fisker's open-topped version of the Karma, christened the S Sunset concept, was no secret, but that didn't detract from its reception in Detroit. If Fisker can deliver on its cars' promises it come become a major player in the emerging alternative energy car market.

- Fisker Karma S Sunset concept - live from the show


Ford

2009 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang.   Updated Jan 11
Although Ford's electric and hybrid car plans make a huge amount of sense, we were a little disappointed not to witness the unveiling of any new concept cars in Cobo Hall. The company's EcoBoost engines are a worthy idea too, though perhaps not so relevant for Europe, where the new Flex and Taurus will not be sold. Muscle car fans the world over will want to know more about the Shelby GT500 Mustang though. Nice.

- Ford's electric car plans - live from the show
- Full details of the new Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang


Honda

2009 Honda Insight.   Updated Jan 12
Hybrids dominate Honda's stand, though the company held no press conference. The new Insight is worth shouting about though, as it is purported to be the cheapest hybrid on sale, undercutting the new Toyota Prius.

- Honda's Insight in detail


Jaguar

2009 Jaguar XF-R and XKR.   Updated Jan 12
Jaguar's stand is crammed full of new metal, with the XF-R taking centre stage. The new super saloon shares an all-new supercharged V8 with the facelifted XKR, while there's also news of a new range of high-performance diesel models.

- Supercharged Jaguar XF-R - live from the show
- Updated Jaguar XK range - live from the show


Jeep

2009 Jeep Patriot EV.   Updated Jan 11
As part of the Chrysler Group's focus on electric cars, two electric Jeeps were on display in Detroit: the Wrangler Unlimited EV, which we've seen before, and the new Patriot EV.


Kia

2009 Kia Soulster concept.   Updated Jan 12
Kia's Soul'ster concept seems a little incongruous in Detroit. Its design would be more in keeping with the LA Show, and it didn't even feature a theoretical electric or hybrid powertrain. Strange. Cool enough, but strange.

- Kia's Soul'ster concept - live from the show


Lexus

2009 Lexus HS 250h.   Updated Jan 12
As suggested ahead of the show, Lexus revealed a new, production-ready hybrid-only saloon. The HS 250h fits between the IS and GS in the Lexus line-up though there are no plans at present to bring it to Europe, as the IS 220d is just as efficient.

- New Lexus HS 250h - live from the show


Mercedes-Benz

2009 Mercedes-Benz BlueZero concept.   Updated Jan 11
Stars of the Mercedes-Benz stand will be three concepts based around the BlueZero and the limited edition Stirling Moss SLR McLaren. Though the overall shape of the BlueZero is likely to influence the Mercedes B-Class replacement, it's the new technologies on show that are of most interest. Unusually, Mercedes revealed the all-new E-Class saloon the night before the first media day at an event in Detroit, but does not intend to display the new car at the show itself.

- Overview of the Mercedes exhibits - live from the show
- Preview of the BlueZero concepts
- Full details and pics of new E-Class
- Awesome new SLR Stirling Moss in detail


MINI

2009 MINI Convertible.   Updated Jan 12
The new-look MINI Convertible hogged the limelight on MINI's stand, debuting the rather odd 'Openometer'.

- MINI Convertible in detail


Subaru

2009 Subaru Legacy concept.   Updated Jan 12
The Subaru Legacy concept is a little garish thanks to its shiny paintwork, but its basic lines will underpin the next Legacy and it certainly looks interesting.

- Subaru Legacy concept - live from the show


Toyota

2009 Toyota FT-EV concept. Image by United Pictures.   Updated Jan 12
One of the last of the major car makers to strut their stuff in Detroit was Toyota and it was worth hanging around to see the all-new, third-generation Prius and an electric car concept based on the diminutive iQ.

- Toyota's new Prius - live from the show


Volvo

2009 Volvo S60 Concept.   Updated Jan 12
Volvo is going all sexy in Detroit, with the advent of the S60 Concept. Like all the best show cars these days, we're hoping that it closely resembles the finished product.

- Volvo's S60 concept


Volkswagen

2009 VW Concept BlueSport.   Updated Jan 11
Our hopes were more than met on VW's stand when the covers were taken off the Concept BlueSport. The name's not very exciting, but the new two-seat, rear-wheel drive roadster is, and it's pretty efficient too thanks to a TDI powerplant. It's highly likely to reach production. But when?

- Full details of new Concept BlueSport - live from the show








 

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