Plenty Of High Tech At NAIAS

SOUTHFIELD — Who needs the International CES when you have the tech show where you can throw the technology down a twisty road?

The North American International Auto Show begins its Media Preview Monday. That’s followed by the Industry Preview Wednesday and Thursday. The show opens to the public Saturday.

And boy, is there ever plenty of high tech on display, and of course you should go. Just check out these highlights:

* Gibbs Sports Amphibians will show off the world’s first high-speed sports amphibian. The Quadski, part all-terrain vehicle and part personal watercraft, is capable of 45 mph on both land and water.

* Continental Automotive will huddle with journalists Monday to talk about the future of autonomous vehicles.

* Toyota is showing off three hybrids — the Prius liftback, the most fuel-efficient, gas-powered passenger car available in the U.S., with a fuel economy rating of 50 mpg; the Camry Hybrid, which earns 41 mpg combined, and the new Avalon Hybrid, which achieves 40 mpg combined.

* Even the exhibits are fine examples of high technology. The Nissan exhibit, designed by Auburn Hills-based George P. Johnson, adds a booth “scent” to advanced lighting and sound and amphitheater seating.

* General Motors will show off two electric vehicles, the Chevrolet Spark EV and the Cadillac ELR.   * Johnson Controls is introducing new 48-volt “micro hybrid” batteries at the auto show. The batteries allow all-electric operation of heavy power use components like air conditioning and active steering control, expanding the prospects for gasoline-electric hybrids.

* Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and V?ia Motors of Orem, Utah will showcase the first extended-range electric sport utility vehicle and cargo van for utilities at the auto show. PG&E and Via teamed up at last year’s show to unveil an extended-range electric pickup truck.   See you at the show!

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