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BW Businessworld

Frankfurt Auto Show 2011

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Every other year, the future of automobiles is on display at the Frankfurt motor show. This year was no different with every major automobile company around the world showing off their to-be-launched cars for the coming season as well as the concept cars that would lead to production models in the future.

The highlight of this year's show were the hybrid concepts displayed by practically every manufacturer. But while the hybrid models gave a glimpse of a  future, when petrol engines would take a back seat, the show-stoppers at Frankfurt were still the sexy sports cars from Mercedes, Porsche, Maserati, Ferrari and the others. Here are some of the more eye catching models displayed at the show this year.

LAUNCHES
At the top of the spectrum are the drool-worthy queen bees — Bentley Continental GTC (ready for orders); the Porsche 911 (may be on sale in Europe from January 2012); Mercedes-Benz AMG Roadster SLS (will be available in Europe by the end of 2011); and the much-anticipated Audi S6, S7 and S8 series.

Hyundai launches its i30 car (1.6-litre petrol and diesel variants). But it might come to India as the Elantra sedan, and not as a hatchback. The VW Up! could compete with the Fiat 500, as both are about 140-inches-long, and Up! has a
1-litre, three-cylinder engine.











1. Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale — auto race thrill guaranteed
2. Aston Martin V12 Zagato — made from hand-crafted sheet metal
3. Eterniti Motors Hemera Super SUV — limousine-like comforts


LUXURY CARS
Hogging the limelight was the Lamborghini's Super Trofeo Stardale with its 570-horse power V10 engine that can do 0-100 kmph in 3.4 seconds. If that is not enough, the Ferrari 458 Spider aims to achieve the same speed in 3.5 seconds with a V8 engine. Aston Martin's V12
Zagato, too, is for those who are in love with the fast lane.

And then there is the super-SUV, Hemera, by UK firm Eterniti Motors. It is expected to be built in London, have a top speed of 180 kmph, a carbon fibre body and a 620-horse power, twin-turbo V7 engine. Italian brand Maserati showcases its first-ever SUV, the Kubang, which could be in production soon.











1. BMW i8 — a move up from i3; dual combustion engine
2. Smart Electric ForTwo — solar-powered interior fans
3. VW's Nils — power-packed one-seater; full charge in two hours
4. Jaguar CX16 hybrid — has an electric motor for short runs


CONCEPT CARS
A superbly designed and sporty concept car was the BMW i8. It seats four, and can do 0-100 kmph in under five seconds. Another concept that made the mark was Jaguar's C-X16 hybrid, a smaller XK. It has an electric motor that kicks in for short distances and powers the car at 90 miles an hour.

Smart's ForTwo and VW's Nils electric cars are futuristic in design and transmission. The ForTwo has plastic wheels and hexagonal cut-offs (solar panels) on its semi-transparent roof. VW Nils is a single-seater, powered by a 15-KW electric motor and a 5.3 KW/hr lithium ion battery. Its transmission is like Reva's but the battery charges to full power in two hours, while the Reva takes 5-8 hours.

Compiled by Vishal Krishna

 (This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 26-09-2011)