It not exactly a surprise (see all the hints dropped in the related stories below), but it's still good to hear again that GM will likely unveil a prototype plug-in hybrid at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, the Detroit News is reporting today. This would be the first plug-in hybrid (PHEV) from a major manufacturer, and we've hear it called the "I-car" (for Icon car).

But look at the image above. While the Detroit News used a picture of the EV-1, Reuters accompanied this announcement with a picture of a truck power cord plugged into a pick-up truck bed. My guess is that this is really a standard-issue accessory source for any electronics you'd want to run at a tailgate rather than a leaked preview of the I-truck. Why else would there be two plugs? Anyone else have any guesses?

Lastly, what is a bit of a surprise, and an oh so tempting one to the fuel conscious, is that unnamed GM officials told the newspaper that the engine coupled to the electric motor would be powered by either gasoline or diesel. Wow. If GM gets a diesel hybrid to the North American market first, the green crowd will have a new hero. It'll leave Ford wondering how come they didn't announce this bold move first and Toyota and Honda have yet to unveil any PHEV vehicles they are working on.

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[Source: Detroit News, thanks to John Stockard]