• Jan 8th 2009 at 2:24PM
  • 11
Creative Commons by LuvMI

Whilst brainstorming a way to fill a bit of unused space and show off some of the eco-friendly zero-emission vehicles appearing at this years Detroit Auto Show, someone suddenly had a light bulb appear over their head. "Hey! Let's build a track to show the cars in motion!" "That's good, Jim, but we need to push the 'green' angle more," came a quick response. "Perhaps some potted plants," continued the be-lighted one, "No wait, how about a veritable verdant wood!" And so it was decided that an oval course, 700 feet in length, would be nestled amongst a scenic forestscape comprised of 100 Michigan maple, birch and pine trees along with a couple of ponds, replete with waterfalls. And placed in the basement of Cobo Hall. We cannot wait to see this.

Called the "Michigan EcoXperience", the earnest effort will give the public a chance to take a ride in the featured vehicles from Tesla Motors, Mitsubishi, General Motors and Ford (What! No Fisker?). While professionals will be chauffering ticket buyers during the show, freeloaders journalists will be allowed to drive themselves on the press preview days. Officials have wisely placed a 10 mph speed limit on the track as well as crash barriers. Thanks to Patrick M. for the tip!

[Source: Autonet.ca, Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Will these real trees still be alive after being cooped up in a basement for days? Killing some trees wouldn't be very green...
      • 6 Years Ago
      The set-up does look excruciatingly twee - liike a cross between an indoor pony course and Santa's Grotto.

      And EVs crawling around at no more than 10mph? Is someone having a laugh? Is this an attempt to ridicule EVs?

      Come on Detroit - you can surely do better than this. Or maybe they can't and that's what's wrong with Detroit..

      If I were a maker of EVs would I seriously want this kind of embarrassingly patronising toytown display?

      Take over some closed-off portion of real Detroit street - that's what happens at other shows. Who wants to hide in the basement?
      Throw open some
        • 6 Years Ago
        First of all....its sub zero weather in Detroit and NO ONE wants to be driving around in the traffic outside cobo hall... have you even been down there or do you just complain from the compfort of you computer room? There are only a small handfull of shows that have outdoor road courses and they are CERTAINLY not located in downtown areas such as Detroit. I know this because I have worked at every autoshow in this country, there are 73 of them this year ! Know your facts buddy. Plus, the course is designed to show how the TWO mode hybrid systems switch from gas to electric and visa versa and NOT supposed to showcase your horrible high speed driving skills. Also, you obviously havent seen the course, I HAVE and its pretty impressive.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry. Hadn't realised the course incorporates a humour bypass!

        I look forward to the video clips appearing on youtube.com
      • 6 Years Ago
      Experience the liberation of your tax dollars.

      What could be more environmentally friendly than a forest with plastic plants made up primarily of roads with lots of traffic and smog?

      The big X in "EcoXperience" stands for exhaust, which convention goers will be huffing as it seeps up from the basement. Que Hendrix on the loudspeakers: Are you experienced?!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I found an article with pics after I wrote this up. http://www.mlive.com/naias/index.ssf/2009/01/detroit_auto_show_features_tra.html
        The trees used are real and the vehicles driven on it will all be zero-emissions so no worries about carbon monoxide or other exhaust poisons.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Don't expect to see any gassers or diesels on that indoor track. Tesla Motors is pure electric, no exhaust fumes there, and somehow I suspect the cars on that track from Mitsubishi, GM, and Ford will be electric.

        Most likely vehicles would be:
        Tesla Roadster
        Mitsubishi MiEV
        GM Volt
        and the EV concept that Ford planned to unveil at the show.

        Of course, there could be some real suprises, too. Tesla could show off their Model S, Mitsubishi might introduce a new design, and GM might revive an older design as the new EV2.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Get your facts correct. All the journalists that are worth anything (Autoweek, Motortrend, Car and Driver) Have already had private track sessions with 90 percent of the vehicles we are showcasing at this event. You basically have to have a camera and a bad case of body odor to get a press pass to the NAIAS and no ones interested in "Busing" these freeloaders off to some racetrack in the freezing cold. Where do you get your info from because you obviously have no idea what you are talking about.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Stan.... how many auto shows have you been to in your life? Also, what major city that has the show at a convention center in the middle of a downtown city just closes off streets for 2 weeks to drive cars? What streets would you possibly close off to drive these vehicles?! Might as well tell all the parkings garages they can't make money during the show and the Red Wings can't play. This is an outstanding chance for people to get a real feel of the vehicle rather than walk around and not be able to touch or sit in some vehicles! The feedback from the media and press has been outstanding and the comments about the beauty and course appearance have been nothing but positive. Maybe you should be the event coordinator because you have all these great ideas! NOT!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Throw open some nearby racetrack and bus the journalists there for some seriously impressive electric motoring experience.
      • 6 Years Ago

      So is that pronounced "Eco Experience", or "E-Cocksperience"?
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