The new models and concept cars just keep on coming at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show. One notable trend at this year's event is the willingness of luxury German automakers to finally embrace hybrid technology, with Audi, BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes all either announcing production hybrids or showing off advanced hybrid concepts. Meanwhile, the 2009 Jaguar XF shows that concept technology can make it off the auto show floor, as the latest Big Cat retains its futuristic shifter for production. On the subject of cabin gadgetry, automotive equipment manufacturer Siemens VDO showed off its next-generation in-car touch screen technology, … Read more
Some of the more interesting exhibits at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show are hidden up among the automotive equipment makers, such as this stealth touch interface by Siemens VDO. Although not implemented in any cars yet, Siemens VDO is showing it off as a concept. This black panel uses similar touch technology as the iPod, with no actual buttons. This example is an audio controller, and Siemens VDO demonstrated it with a USB drive, a docked iPod Nano, and a CD. You only have to brush your finger over any button to activate it. For volume, you slide your finger … Read more
If diesels and hybrid cars both get great mileage, why not add a hybrid system to a diesel engine? Mercedes-Benz decided to answer that in the affirmative, showing off numerous diesel-electric hybrids at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show. Because diesel engines and electric motors duplicate their most efficient performance bands, high torque at low RPMs, Mercedes-Benz found a small hybrid system was all that was needed on its Bluetec diesel electrics, rather than the more robust two-mode system coming out on its ML450 and S400.
In 2010, Mercedes-Benz will launch the E300 and the S300, both cars using a Bluetec … Read more
We were surprised that Jaguar got its production XF ready in time for the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, as the c-XF concept was just unveiled at last season's auto shows. Concept to production usually takes a couple of years, and you lose most of the cooler features from the concept. But not in the case of the Jaguar XF. Even though its exterior received plenty of criticism on the Internet for being too bland once photos were released, the production XF looks just like its concept predecessor. The XF is the first sedan in Jaguar's new design language, … Read more
When we saw the Lamborghini Reventon on the floor at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, we had mixed reactions. It was either put on black gloves and sunglasses, and jump in the driver's seat, or find an X-Wing fighter and get into a dogfight with the Reventon. With its matte-gray paint and sharp angles, the thing looks like a stealth fighter or a new Batmobile. It's the most dangerous-looking Lamborghini we've ever seen, and rightly so, as it's named after a bull that won its fight with a famous toreador in 1943. From the front, it … Read more
As evidenced by the F700, launched at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, Mercedes-Benz expects to be building large luxury sedans long into the future. But also recognizing the need to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, the company includes some miraculous-sounding technologies in the F700. It's also using the vehicle to explore advances in passenger comfort and infotainment.
The summer driving season has come and gone--just in time for us to give our undivided attention to the Frankfurt auto show.
On the home turf of BMW, Audi and Volkswagen, the 62nd International Motor Show is playing host this week to carmakers from around the world. They've promised to bring scads of new rides, from the green to the lean to the turbocharged driving machine.
Consider these, for starters: Ferrari's 430 Scuderia has classic sports car lines, Nissan's Mixim packs a pair of electric motors, Volvo's ReCharge is a plug-in hybrid and Ford is trotting … Read more
At the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, German automakers had hybrid cars and concepts on display. Up until now, European automakers seemed uninterested in employing hybrid technologies, but Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, and Audi have all stepped up to the plate. Mercedes-Benz has an actual hybrid SUV ready for production, while the other automakers have concepts that strongly indicate future hybrid powertrain development.
We're not convinced about the wisdom of this one. GM is using this week's Frankfurt auto show to reiterate its commitment to alternative fuel cars with the unveiling of the Opel Flextreme, a concept plug-in car that builds on the buzz of the E-Flex drive train from the Chevy Volt. The car itself relies on a series hybrid drive train, which combines a lithium-ion powered-electric motor with a biodiesel combustion engine that is used solely for running the electric motor when the battery's charge runs out.
However, as blue-sky as the vehicle's power train may be (… Read more
GM goes flex-crazy with the Flextreme concept, throwing around its new favorite marketing term like a flexy flexible flyer. This Opel-branded concept runs on GM's new E-Flex powertrain. It has FlexDoors for the passengers and a FlexLoad rear gate. But the only thing anyone will pay attention to are the two nonflex Segways stowed in the rear.