Frankfurt 2013: Top 5 hottest car debuts

frankfurt motor show 2013 preview five hottest car debuts bmw i8 side

Summer break is over, and you know what that means… It’s auto show season! Leading off is the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, which opens Tuesday. Here are the top five significant debuts we’re expecting in the coming days.

Audi Sport quattro concept

At the 2010 Paris Motor Show, Audi teased car enthusiasts with the quattro concept, a reimagined version of the classic 1980s Coupe Quattro rally machine. Now, it’s doing it again.

However, while the 2010 concept had a 2.5 five-cylinder engine, the Sport quattro has a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, with an electric motor spliced between the engine and eight-speed Tiptronic transmission for good measure.

Audi Sport quattro concept overhead

Total system output is 700 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.

The flip side of that is an all-electric mode, allowing the Sport quattro to cruise on volts for up to 31 miles.

BMW i8

The i8 plug-in hybrid sports car debuted as a concept at Frankfurt in 2011, and the production version is finally here. Thankfully, the styling hasn’t changed much from that original concept car. The i8 is impossibly slinky for a BMW, and has doors that look like they belong on a Lamborghini (see photo at the top of this story).

BMW i8 cutaway

Under the skin is a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor. Total system output is 362 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.

The i8 can do 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and, like most BMWs, has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. It also has a 22-mile electric-only range.

Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupe

The car formerly known as CL-Class is about to get a major makeover, with the same aristocratic tech as the S-Class sedan unveiled a few months ago. From the glimpses Mercedes has allowed to slip out, it looks like the Coupe will add a little drama to the sedan’s handsome but staid styling.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe concept sketch

The production S-Class Coupe will likely carry most of the sedan’s features in a more attractive, two-door shell. That means an opulent interior, a battery of sensors to detect potential obstacles and, possibly, a perfume spritzer.

Like the sedan, the coupe will probably launch is an S550 with a 4.7-liter twin-turbocharged V8. A more powerful AMG version, and possibly a V12-powered S600, will likely follow.

Opel Monza concept

Chevrolet Volts and Opels don’t normally get much attention from car enthusiasts, but look what happens when you combine them.

The Opel Monza is named after a car GM’s European produced from 1977 to 1986 (do any of these really qualify as classics?) and features a plug-in hybrid powertrain, plus Gullwing doors.

Opel Monza concept rear three quarter doors open

Equally mesmerizing is the dashboard, which features LED projection technology. This allowed Opel’s designers to eliminate individual gauges and screens, creating one seem-less display across the entire dash.

However, the performance doesn’t back up the looks. It’s range-extender is a 1.0-liter compressed natural gas (CNG) three-cylinder, which will soon find its way into the Opel Adam city car.

Volvo Coupe Concept

A stylish Volvo? It happened once before, and Gothenburg hopes it will happen again. The Coupe Concept is meant to evoke the classic P1800, and remind people that Volvo can build desirable cars.

Beneath the chiseled sheetmetal, the Coupe Concept is an important car for Volvo. It doesn’t just introduce a new styling direction for the Swedish carmaker; it also rides on a new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform that will underpin several future production cars, including the next XC90 SUV.

Volvo Coupe Concept

Volvo says its SPA cars will be designed for autonomous driving, but human beings will probably want to take the wheel of this one.

Like nearly everything else set to appear at Frankfurt this year, the Coupe Concept is a plug-in hybrid. Its powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that is both supercharged and turbocharged, along with an electric motor. Total system ouput is 400 hp and 440 lb-ft. 

Tell us which of these cars is your favorite in the comments, and check back for more 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show coverage.

Cars

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 replaces the CTS in the General Motors luxury brand's lineup. Cadillac will unveil the CT5 at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. Until then, it's keeping most details under wraps.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Cars

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second station wagon will arrive in 2020

The Mission E Cross Turismo concept Porsche unveiled during the 2018 Geneva Auto Show will morph into a production model tentatively named Taycan Cross Turismo. This 600-horsepower electric station wagon will arrive in showrooms by 2021.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will be a concept car set to be unveiled at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show.
Cars

Nuro’s awesome robot delivery pods are tootling into Texas

Robo-delivery startup Nuro is taking its cool-looking autonomous delivery pods to Texas. The pods will deliver Kroger groceries to customers' doors in Houston following a successful pilot program in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: The Tesla Model Y takes on the Tesla Model 3

Tesla expanded its lineup with a fourth car named Model Y. It's an electric crossover positioned as a more spacious alternative to the Model 3. The two cars share about 75 percent of their components, but they're aimed at different buyers.
Cars

Automakers are spending billions on self-driving technology people are afraid of

Automakers are spending billions of dollars on developing the technology that will power self-driving cars, but research shows consumers have no interest in giving up control. Will they ever recoup their investment?
Cars

Can electric cars be S3XY? Tesla says yes with the new Model Y crossover

Tesla introduced a crossover named Model Y at its design studio in Los Angeles. It's a more spacious alternative to the Model 3 it shares 75 percent of its parts with, and is a smaller sibling to the Model X.
Cars

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford posted an enigmatic picture of a blue Mustang emblem on a black background right as Tesla prepared to introduce the Model Y. Is the Blue Oval teasing a hybrid Mustang, or is it previewing a Mustang-inspired, battery-powered crossover?
Cars

Amazon and Kia team up to simplify EV home-charging station installs

Kia Motors announced a new program with Amazon for electric vehicles. Customers planning to purchase a new Kia EV or PHEV can check out recommended Level 2 240-volt home charging stations and arrange installation in their homes.
Cars

Unrestrained by heritage, Polestar sets its sights on becoming a digital brand

With no heritage to worry about, Polestar is free to move full-speed ahead towards its goal of becoming a digital brand. All of the company's upcoming models will be electric, and they will inaugurate an Android-powered infotainment system.
Cars

Audi’s traffic light information system shows the challenges facing V2X tech

Audi’s traffic light information system is among the first commercial applications of potentially game-changing V2X tech. So how does it work in the real world? We spent a few days getting stuck at red lights to find out.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.