Frankfurt Motor Show 2013: the highlights
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Q by Aston Martin
These highly customised Aston Martin Vanquish Volantes - one in Red Ember paint with bronze metallic leather and Gulf orange front and rear splitters - showcase 'Q by Aston Martin', a new personalisation service that goes 'beyond the options list,' according to the luxury marque, to encourage customers to specify highly bespoke models.
Audi Sport Quattro Coupé
With its oversize front grille and air-intakes, the Sport Quattro Coupé concept is a much-anticipated design study based on the 1980s all-wheel drive icon that revives the Quattro name, and previews a flagship production model to sit above the R8. It features a bi-turbo V8 engine and electric motor with plug-in capability, and claims to emit just 59g/km of C02.
The Nanuk is a coupé off-roader concept penned by Italian design consultancy Italdesign and an evolution of their Parcour Concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show. There are no current plans to build this car.
This is the second car to join BMW's new electric sub-brand. Following on the footsteps of the small city i3 car, the i8 manages to maintain much of the concept car's unusual form language, especially with the exterior, for a distinctive BMW electric vernacular. The futuristic door structure - where it opens up and forwards - remains as does the overlapping panels at the front and over the rear wheels. LED lights are standard with an option of going for the more powerful laser lights that create a powerful pure white light that the marque says is 'pleasing to the eye'. The interior retains a more conventional arrangement yet its quiet elegance nods to the future of BMWs interior design.
Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse
This is the second of six special edition Bugatti 'Legends' cars that celebrate significant creations from the marque's history. It references the Type 57SC Atlantic, nicknamed 'La Voiture Noire', Jean Bugatti's personal car that ceased production in 1945.
This rather radical concept by the Citroën will lead the way for next year's C4 Cactus production car. Powered by the firm's Hybrid Air Technology, with compressed air and a hydraulic motor assembly assisting the conventional engine, it also sets a new and bold design language for the marque's C-line family.
Ferrari 458 Speciale
A more powerful Ferrari 458, the Speciale, designed in collaboration with Italian consultancy Pininfarina, is the most punchy, naturally aspirated V8 ever built by the company, with 597bhp and 398lb ft of torque. It reveals some of the technical innovations in its future road cars.
The Infiniti Q30 concept is an intriguing combination of coupé, hatch and crossover in a compact size. It's been designed with Europe in mind and to help Nissan's luxury arm establish itself among younger buyers who are predicted to make up 80% of global luxury sales by 2020. The confident design, with its sweeping roofline, reflects the marque's unique approach to luxury cars. Said design director Alfonso Albaisa: 'There are some very good luxury cars out there so ours will be much more sensual, provocative and seductive. We need to create noise. We need to be some kind of black sheep.' A production model will follow in 2015.
The C-X17 marks Jaguar's entry into the popular luxury sports compact SUV market, hinting at an upcoming small car and revealing the marque's ambitious expansion programme. The C-X17 is showcasing Jaguar's new aluminium monocoque architecture that offers much freedom in terms of design, and will underpin a new generation of models in the coming years. The cabin features a small F-type steering wheel and four individual slim bucket seats. It previews Jaguar's future interior design direction focusing on cleaner and stronger lines.
Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse
The Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse is the most powerful Gallardo ever built, the name referring to the marque's new Squadra Corse race division. Powered by the same 562bhp V10 as the Gallardo Super Trofeo race car, and with a top speed of 199mph, this road car hits 62mph in just 3.4 seconds.
The LF-NX marks an evident leap in design direction by Lexus. This concept is bold, if a little over-excitable, in its execution yet, according to the firm, 'explores design possibilities for a future crossover' due next year.
Maserati Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna
Maserati unveiled the results of its collaboration with Ermenegildo Zegna, a beautifully trimmed limited edition of the Quattroporte four door sports saloon. Featuring rich special effect paintwork and a warm-hued interior, the Zegna Quattroporte gives the Italian icon an even more sophisticated suit.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé
The S-class Coupé concept previews the Mercedes-Benz upcoming two door version of the flagship S-Class. At 5005mm long and 1958mm wide, with a 2945mm wheelbase, it isn't a petite car, yet clever surface manipulation and sweeping profile lines disguise the bulk. The S-class Coupé benefits from Mercedes' current confident design language. A raised edge runs all the way from the front wings to the rear wheel arch and a full-glazed glass roof creates a clean, lean cabin - an 'expression of modern luxury,' says Mercedes.
Porsche 918 Spyder
First revealed three years ago at the Geneva Motor Show, Porsche has finally unveiled the final production 918 Spyder V8 hybrid supercar. As the name suggests, only 918 units of this £657,400, 214mph petrol-electric hybrid two-seater will be built over the next 18 months.
Rolls-Royce Celestial Phantom
Rolls-Royce celebrates the first decade of production at its Goodwood manufacturing plant with the Celestial Phantom. This limited edition car has a long-wheelbase and features this unique purple paint, special alloy wheels, 'Dusk' leather seats inside, a diamond set dividing wall clock and fibre-optic star-effect roof lining.
VW e-Golf and e-Up
The e-Golf and e-Up are the latest electric cars to join the VW family. Powered by electric motors, on the Golf this produces 113bhp and 199lb ft of torque, a top speed of 87mph and a 118-mile range. The e-Up has a range of up to 93 miles, but can be charged up to 80 per cent in 30 minutes.
Following on from the 2011 Forspeed and 2012 Forstars, the Fourjoy is the latest Smart design study to preview the second-generation Forfour due next year. This buggy-like concept car will no doubt be given doors and a roof, but the proportions will be that of the production car. The Fourjoy features a rear-drive electric powertrain developed in partnership with Renault.
Volvo Concept Coupé
The Concept Coupé reveals Volvo's new and confident design under the direction of new boss Thomas Ingenlath. This includes a new face replete with a slim floating radiator grille and new T-shape LED daytime running lights. It also highlights the marque's new interior design that incorporates handcrafted leather and wood, and features a large touchscreen in the centre console. In addition, it showcases the versatility of Volvo's new Scalable Product Architecture.
Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.
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