Ford Focus ST: An Already Familiar Face Turns Toward Frankfurt

The series production version of the Ford Focus ST will show its face formally — and finally — next week at the Frankfurt motor show. The hot hatch will be sold in the United States later in 2012.

In concept form, the car was first displayed at the Paris auto show a year ago wearing a hue of orange called Tangerine Scream. It made subsequent stops at the Los Angeles, Detroit and New York auto shows.
Continue reading Ford Focus ST: An Already Familiar Face Turns Toward Frankfurt

Opel-Vauxhall Concept Joins Suddenly Crowded E.V. Runabout Segment

Add another contestant to the city-car sweepstakes kicking off next week in Frankfurt: the battery-operated Opel-Vauxhall runabout concept.

The unnamed vehicle, with its one-plus-one seating, will fight for attention on the convention floor with rival Volkswagen’s Nils and with other urban-mobility exercises from Renault, Audi and BMW.
Continue reading Opel-Vauxhall Concept Joins Suddenly Crowded E.V. Runabout Segment

Ahead of Frankfurt, Jaguar Previews C-X16 Concept

Having coasted for a year on the strength of its C-X75 hybrid concept, which is headed into production as a supercar costing upwards of $1.5 million, Jaguar has its predatory eyes on a less rarefied market segment with the C-X19 concept, scheduled to have its debut at the Frankfurt auto show next month.

The company has not disclosed any information about the concept car’s technology, its intended competitors or its likelihood of production, but analysts have long contended that Jaguar needed a smaller car in the lower end of the midrange luxury segment to compete effectively with BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. A production version of the C-X19 could fit within such a strategy.
Continue reading Ahead of Frankfurt, Jaguar Previews C-X16 Concept

Range-Extending Option for Electric BMW i3: a Smart Hedge?

On Friday in Frankfurt, BMW showed working prototypes of its i3 electric runabout and i8 plug-in hybrid sports coupe. The carbon-fiber-reinforced concepts were relatively faithful to the renderings that accompanied the launch of the German automaker’s “i” subbrand in February. A new wrinkle, however, is the addition of an optional gasoline-burning range extender for the i3, an otherwise purely electric car.
Continue reading Range-Extending Option for Electric BMW i3: a Smart Hedge?

Audi Will Unveil Three New Vehicles

2010 Audi A5 SportbackAudi will unveil three new vehicles at Frankfurt’s International Motor Show (IAA): the remarkably dynamic S5 Sportback, the extremely low-emission A4 3.0 TDI clean diesel quattro, and the especially efficient A3 1.2 TFSI. These innovative engines boast some very different key data, yet they share something in common: They embody Audi’s conviction that dynamics and efficiency are not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, they go hand in hand and are mutually complementary. Continue reading Audi Will Unveil Three New Vehicles