By Matt DeLorenzo • Photos by Marc Urbano and John Lamm
Sometimes a concept isn’t just an idea, but rather a movement. At the North American International Auto Show, these five significant debuts point the way that the industry will reshape itself in the years to come. The Ford Explorer America is proof that the days of the traditional truck-based, body-on-frame sport/ute are indeed numbered. Eschewing V-8 power, this Ford concept uses a choice of 4- or 6-cylinder engines in a car-based unit-body that still retains the rugged styling of a true off-roader. Proof that the conventional compact pickup truck is being rethought comes in the form of the Toyota A-BAT concept, which also uses unit-body construction and the Prius’ hybrid drivetrain. The Fisker, from noted designer Henrik Fisker, also relies on hybrid power and exclusive coachworks to redefine the traditional 4-door luxury sedan. From General Motors, the Cadillac Provoq fuses fuel cell and lithium-ion battery technology to develop the next generation in small luxury crossovers. And the Mercedes-Benz Vision GLK Freeside demonstrates that high technology diesels will become an increasingly important element in achieving high fuel economy and low emissions.
2. Toyota A-BAT
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