Detroit auto show planners faced a new problem this year: A vacuum surplus. After Nissan, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Ferrari, Land Rover, and Rolls-Royce rejected the show's Evites, planners moved Chinese automakers from Michigan Hall to fill the void. This left another empty spot on the lower level of the Cobo Center.

Every blank canvas is just a few thousand brush strokes away from a work of art, and while NAIAS planners might not have created a masterpiece, they filled Michigan Hall with 70,000 square feet of faux forest and track. The MEDEC EcoXperience track, as it's called, will allow the public to demo hybrid and fuel cell vehicles through one-eighth-mile of fake trees and waterfalls. For safety's sake, speeds will stay below 10 mph and professional driver or product specialist will accompany all drivers.

Between six to 12 cars have been selected to participate on the track, including the fuel cell Chevrolet Equinox, reports the Detroit News. Don't be surprised to see hybrids from Ford, Honda, or Lexus either.

We'll be on hand to try it out during NAIAS press days -- look for our coverage beginning next week -- and the track will open to the public January 17 to 25.

Source: North American International Auto Show, The Detroit News