Saturday, September 12, 2009

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show Preview

Tomorrow, will be the start of the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, and actually, the start to auto-show season. What does Frankfurt store for us? Well, here's some most interesting cars to be seen tomorrow. As a reminder, as usual, we'll be covering the whole show, so keep tuned to see what's latest in the automotive world.

1) 2010 Audi A5 & S5 Sportback: It's a new flavor to the Audi A5 and S5. This Sportback unlike the Coupe and Cabriolet, has 4-doors, but still in a coupish style. The new Sportback adds practicality, into the mix of the A5's and S5's sporty package. While it's still powered by powerful engines, like the 333 hp supercharged 3.0L V6, it still has a luggage and capacity space of a normal mid-size sedan. Sales start in spring 2009.

2) 2011 Audi R8 Spyder: This is the long awaited convertible version of the dream daily-driver supercar - the Audi R8. This new R8 Spyder is fitted with a tractable cloth-top, as well as Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Unlike the coupe, which is offered with either a V8 or a V10, the R8 Spyder is only available with the 5.2L FSI V10, that packs 525 hp, and will top 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, and achieve 195 mph top speed. Sales starts first-quarter of 2010, with a price tag of 156,400 euros.

3) 2009 BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept: This is a concept that BMW will probably never make, but it's a showcase of BMW's future. While it's made out of glass and other thin materials, the EfficientDynamics is set to be an extremely sporty enviromently-friendly automobile. BMW have fitted the EfficientDynamics with a plug-in hybrid system technology; so, it runs entirely electrical for a certain distance, and then the combustion engine comes in as a range-extender. The electric motor comes in the form of two battery-powered electric motors, which one is fitted to the front-axle, and the other goes to the rear-axle. The combustion-engine on the other hand, is a 1.5L turbo-diesel 3-cylinder. Total output is 356 hp and 590 lb-ft. With 0-60 mph comes in 4.8 seconds, and 155 mph top speed, the EfficientDynamics is as fast as a BMW M3, while it still offers 31 miles in electric-drive, and 63 mpg when the hybrid system continues. We won't ever see a production EfficientDynamics, but BMW say that the technology could pass onto realistic Bimmers.

4) 2009 Bugatti Galibier Concept: This will be the surprise of the Frankfurt Motor Show. We saw the teasers, heard the rumors, and even got some speculation renders; but non prepare this: the highly-anticipated 4-door Bugatti Galibier Concept. Though it says that it's a concept, the production version is come very soon, with the same platform, and same engine. Key features to the design, are the chrome door and front-fender panels, and 8 exhaust pipes out back. Inside, it offers 4 seats, with total luxury, wood-inserted dashboard and center console, and a LCD navigation system. The platform features all-wheel-drive, specially developed ceramic brakes and a new suspension design enable the agile, always-sure handling of a saloon of this size. The engine originally comes from the legendary Veryon, so an 8.0L W16 engine; but, instead of turbocharging, the Galibier Concept gets a two stage supercharger. No officials numbers yet, but Bugatti said that this will be the fastest 4-door sedan in the automotive world, with a top sped of 217 mph.

5) 2011 Citroen DS3: Joining the retro compact superminis from the Mini Cooper, and Fiat 500, is this DS3. It channels some of the iconic cues of the '60s DS, and also offers a wide range of paint colors. DS3 is offered with diesel and petrol engines, but top-spec DS3 comes with a turbocharged 1.6L in-line 4-cylinder, with 150 hp. The new DS3 will go on sale in most European markets by early 2010.

6) 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia: This will be the replacement to the beloved F430. It's got an all-new design, a new platform, a new engine, and a new transmission. Powered by a new direct-injection 4.5L V8, which produces 570 hp and 398 lb-ft, the 458 Italia will hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, and will go towards 202 mph. The new 458 is also supported with a new 7-speed dual-clutch F1 transmission. Ferrari F1 also got a new setup for the E-Diff, F1-Trac and ABS systems.

7) 2009 Fiat 695 Abarth Tributo Ferrari: This Fiat 500 may seem like a compact city car, but it's in fact a super hatchback. This Ferrari-inspired Fiat 500 Abarth gets Ferrari kit inside and out, like 4 exhaust pipes with Ferrari Scuderia strips, and a Ferrari F1-style racing seats with a paddle-shift transmission. Even power is uprated from the 500 Abarth; so now, the turbocharged 1.4L in-line 4-cylinder makes 180 hp. 60 mph should come in less than 7 seconds. For anyone who wants a cheap feel of a Ferrari, this 695 Abarth Tributo Ferrari will come to showrooms after reveal.

8) 2011 Ford C-MAX: While this may look like somewhat near to the Ford iosis MAX Concept car unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, it is in-fact, the production version and new Ford C-Max. This 7-seater minivan is actually based on a stretched wheel-base of the new Ford Focus. Although this C-Max offers hallmarks of comfort, space, and practicality, it still looks very sporty. In fact, the sporty-looks are supported with an all-new 1.6L in-line 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine. With turbocharging and direct-injection, Ford claim that this 1.6 will offer V6 power, with 4-cylinder economy. The Ford C-MAX will be launched in the second half of 2010, and will be the first C-Max to be sold worldwide.

9) 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour: This variant of the Honda Accord is sort of a crossover version, that gets a rear-hatch. Although it underpins the Accord sedan, the body-panels are entirely unique to the Crosstour. The suspension is raised, and Honda's Super-Handling all-wheel-drive system is standard. Honda claim that this Accord Crosstour has the commanding view of the road like an SUV, but the drive like a sports sedan. No information about engines or performance, not even prices; but all that we'll see tomorrow.

10) 2010 Lamborghini Reventon Roadster: It's a convertible Lamborghini Reventon. The Reventon coupe is considered as one of the most expensive and exclusive supercars. Well, the Reventon Roadster is even more expensive, and more exclusive. The Reventon Roadster keeps the same looks as the coupe variant, and which also keeps the same structural rigidity and all-wheel-drive system. Reventon Roadster is actually powered by a 670 hp 6.5L V12 out of the 2010 Lamborghini Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce. 60 mph comes up after 3.4 seconds, and top speed is 205 mph. Each Lamborghini Reventón Roadster will be sold for 1.1 Million Euro (without taxes), which less than 20 units will be made, and sold for "Lamborghini friends and collectors." Deliveries will begin October 2009.

11) 2009 Lexus LF-Ch Concept: Lexus is trying to aim their new products to younger-aged buyers, to improve badge-image. So while this may be a concept for now, it will come to production plant in a few years. This Lexus LF-Ch Concept hatchback is a showcase, to what Lexus is planning to make a rival to the BMW 1-Series and Audi A3. The Lexus LF-Ch Concept features a full-on hybrid system, so that it can run on fully EV mode for some time. Despite being a hybrid, Lexus claim that the LF-Ch Concept has a sporty driving characteristics.

12) 2011 Maserati GranCabrio: The GranCabrio is the convertible GranTurismo. So it means that it shares the same looks as the GranTurismo, and also the same drive-train. The tractable roof is cloth, and will operate within few seconds. GranCabrio is a little heavier than GranTurismo, because Maserati had to had strengthen beams. However, GranCabrio is only offered with a 440 hp 4.7L V8, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. GranCabrio will hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, and crack 184 mph. All that, plus, the beautiful Italian V8 exhaust note is directly channeled through the cabin. Maserati also claims that this is the largest 4-seater production convertible.

13) 2009 Mazda MX-5 Superlight Concept: This is a concept study, that Mazda say will consider in the future if fans and customers are interested. This MX-5 Superlight Concept is a speedster MX-5 Miata. So no roof, no windshield, no driver aids; plus, a total curb weight of only 940 kilograms. The MX-5 Superlight Concept tries to import those old days of the '40s - '50s Formula-One cars, but with hints of newly modern MX-5 cues. Power comes from a 1.8L in-line 4-cylinder, with 126 hp. While that might not sound as much, this is just a pure racing automobile. So it may not be super fast, but it's certainly a fun job.

14) 2011 McLaren MP4-12C: This is a moment we have all been waiting for; an all-new McLaren. However, even McLaren say, that this MP4-12C won't be as legandary as their 240 mph F1, and won't be even a successor. The MP4-12C is in fact, a daily-driver McLaren supercar. So McLaren are getting in the mix, with a modest-looking british supercar. The interior too, is very tpical with quite supercar material, like carbon-fiber on the door insturments, center console, and dashboard, with a navigation system. Power comes with a McLaren-built twin-turbocharged 3.8L V8, packing 600 hp and driven through the rear-wheels via a McLaren 7-speed Seamless Shift dual clutch transmission (SSG). The brakes and chassis on the MP4-12C have been designed with the McLaren Formula-One team, and even shares some parts with the Formula-One car. Nonetheless, to make this McLaren a drivable supercar, the new engine is consided the most fuel-effiecint engine ever. As it produces 600 hp, and actaully has the lowest CO2 emission among competitors. Competition comes from Ferrari 458 Italia and Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4. No word on prices and showroom debut, but Frankfurt Motor Show is here to reveal those information.

15) 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: This is the latest supercar creation from Mercedes-Benz. However, unlike their last SLR, which was engineered by McLaren, this new SLS AMG is purly designed and engineered by Mercedes' in-house tuning company - AMG. The looks is somewhat retro to the 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL; specially the Gullwing doors, and the sharp roof. It also catches some design cues of the 2010 Mercedes SL. Inside, the SLS AMG gets a besboquie interior. Weighing in at around 1600 kilograms, the new SLS AMG is powered by a natrually-aspirated 6.3L AMG V8, which now produces 571 hp, which goes to the rear-wheels through an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed automatic transmission. 60 mph happens in 3.7 seconds, and electronically-limited top speed is 200 mph. However, because the 6.3L is actaully very refind, the SLS AMG achieves 21 mpg fuel-economy on combined roads. Handling claims is supported by a 50/50 weight disturbotion, and a 3-stage ESP program. Sales will start in spring 2010, with prices in Germany start at 177,000 euros.

16) 2009 Mini Coupe Concept: While Mini say that this a concept, this Mini Coupe Concept is actually a production-capable car, and will see production next year. The Mini Coupe Concept is loosly based on a Mini Cooper hatchback, but in a new roof style, and the emilation of the rear-seats, to make this Coupe Concept a 2-seater. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.6L engine, making 211 hp, through a 6-speed manual and a front-wheel-drive chassis. The Mini Coupe is set to be a rival to the base Audi TT.

17) 2010 Porsche 911 Sport Classic: This is yet another speical edition Porsche 911. However, Porshce is adament that this is the best special edition yet - a Classic. The 911 Sport Classic pays a tribute to the beloved 1973 Carrera RS 2.7 with unique double-bubble roof, special Fuchs-style 19-inch wheels designed that echo the last 911SC, and a classic “ducktail” style spoiler. The 911 Sport Classic also spots more power out the exhaust system, so now this 911's 3.8L flat-6 packs 408 hp. It is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and also features Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, PASM sports suspension. Only 250 units will be made, with a price tag of 169,300 euros.

18) 2010 Porshce 911 Turbo: Although very little differences has been made to the exterior and interior, but this 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo is a nearly a new car beneath compared to last year. A new engine, and a new transmission. The 911 Turbo finally gets a direct-injection 3.8L flat-6 engine; with added two varuable turbocharges, it devilers 500 hp. So 60 mph is finished in 3.4 seconds, and top speed is over 200 mph. The new transmission is Porsche's latest twin-clutch PDK 7-speed transmission. Porsche also tweaked the all-wheel-drive system for a new setup, and improved fuel-economy by 18%, to make it 25 mpg combined. Prices start $132,800 and $143,800 respectively, with an on-sale date of November 2009 in Germany and January 2010 world-wide.

19) 2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost: The production version of the Rolls-Royce 200EX, here it is, in a new Ghost name. This "baby-Rolls" is set to be more afforable than a Phantom, but yet offer pure Rolls-Royce elegance. While it's still looks like a Rolls, the Ghost is in fact, based on the new BMW 7-Series. So the Ghost might be even sporty! Nevertheless, it's powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.6L V12, developing 563 hp and 575 lb-ft of torque. 0 to 60 mph comes in just 4.7 seconds with a top-speed electronically governed at 155 mph. The engine is mated to a 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. For those of you wondering, the Rolls-Royce Ghost manages an estimated fuel-economy of 17 mpg. Orders have already been taken, with prices range between 200,000 and 300,000 euros. Buyers will have a choice of 12 exterior colors, each of which can be contrasted by an available Silver Satin hood.

20) 2010 Saab 9-5 Sedan: While this is an all-new Saab, it's in fact, the last Saab that will ever to come-out of General Motors, as Koenigsegg now has full control and ownership of Saab. The 9-5's exterior styling has been inspired by the Aero X concept car while the windshield and roof are reminiscent of the classic 900 model. Inside, Saab owners will feel right at home with the traditional, driver-focused cockpit that features an aircraft-inspired head-up information display. Beneath that body, lives GM's Epsilon II platform, that is shared with the Opel Insignia, and Buick LaCrosse, though the 9-5 actually has a longer wheel-base. Engines vary from diesel and petrol, though the 2010 9-5 is best with the new twin-turbocharged 2.8L V6 making 300 hp, mated to a 6-speed automatic and Haldex all-wheel drive system.

So check out tomorrow, for more Frankfurt releases.

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