Chevrolet Volt-1For the first time in many years, a U.S. manufacturer dominated Detroit's huge auto show with a concept car based on advanced technology. Obvious, you'd think, right? Well, no.

For the first time in many years, a U.S. manufacturer dominated Detroit’s huge auto show with a concept car based on advanced technology. Obvious, you’d think, right?

Well, no. Tech is all over Tokyo and Frankfurt, the two other major dates on the global auto-show circuit. The Germans have diesels and the Japanese have pretty much anything you could imagine and a lot more you couldn’t. Even the South Americans have flex fuels.

But Detroit’s showstoppers have traditionally been muscle cars, SUVs and pickup trucks–with bread-and-butter family sedans sitting far to the rear. Technology was usually reduced to a mention in the 38th paragraph of mind-numbingly tedious press releases.

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