UPDATE: Green Car Preview: 2014 Detroit Auto Show Concepts & Production Models
The important global auto shows tend to go in waves, and this year's Detroit Auto Show isn't looking particularly notable for its green cars.
Barring surprises, there will be no global debuts of new plug-in electric cars, hybrids, or even new diesel vehicles.
Instead, the most popular introductions are likely to be the 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck, the 2015 Ford Mustang unveiled last month, and most likely some new vehicles from Chrysler-Fiat.
The list of green or even green-ish concepts and cars, on the other hand, looks pretty light at this point.
There are lots of luxury models, high-performance cars, and sports cars planned, but relatively few that break new ground in fuel economy or powertrain technologies for greater efficiency.
It all depends on how you define green, though, since under the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) rules now in place through 2025, pretty much every new vehicle will get better fuel-efficiency ratings from the EPA than the model it replaces.
For all the latest news on the concepts and production cars at the event over the next two weeks, see our 2014 Detroit Auto Show page.
2015 Honda Fit
Probably the most important green car to debut in Detroit will be the all-new 2015 Honda Fit, the latest generation of Honda's five-door subcompact hatchback.
An important car globally for Honda, the new Fit has already gone on sale in Japan, where the majority of its sales are the Fit Hybrid version that Honda isn't currently planning to sell in the U.S.
The latest Fit, along with a four-door sedan model and also a subcompact crossover on the same underpinnings, will be built at a Honda plant in Mexico--which should let Honda make more money on its smallest volume line.
The Fit competes with the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Nissan Versa, and Toyota Yaris in the subcompact class.
The outgoing 2013 model (there is no 2014 Fit) remains the most versatile and flexible model in the class--leading to high hopes for its successor.
Honda Vezel (Japanese market model) at 2013 Tokyo Motor Show
2015 Honda small crossover (nee Vezel)
The Fit will spawn, among other vehicles, a new small crossover that was launched at the Tokyo Motor Show last November under the Vezel model name.