Among the exhibitors will be Mitsubishi, which plans to present the world premiere of its Concept-CT MIEV. In this hybrid powertrain design, a gasoline engine works in conjunction with four in-wheel electric motors. Having the drive system inside the wheel itself, the company says, eliminates some mechanical components and frees up space for a hybrid's battery system--or the fuel cell stacks and hydrogen tanks in fuel cell vehicles.
Another gasoline-electric hybrid at NAIAS 2006 will be Subaru's all-wheel-drive B5-TPH, making its first North American showing following its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in October.
For those more interested in entertainment than alternative energy, Nissan will offer the Urge concept car. The 6-speed-manual, rear-wheel-drive vehicle features a built-in Xbox gaming system.
Reminiscent of the Honda Element and Toyota Scion xB, the Kia Soul concept car features a sportier wraparound windshield. The diminutive Soul also has a reconfigurable cargo space, and the rear lift gate includes a "drawer" for items such as a sopping wetsuit or muddy hiking shoes.
Chrysler Group plans to flex its muscle car lineup at the show with a new Dodge Challenger design that echoes the high-powered sports cars of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
In the 1954 edition of the event, when it was known as the Detroit Auto Show, the hot new models included the Studebaker Starliner coupe. The first Detroit Auto Show was held at Beller's Beer Garden in 1907; the event was renamed the North American International Auto Show in 1989.