IAA Frankfurt Auto Show 2013 (3): American & Japanese OEMs

Hybrids and Concept models hint at direction of future vehicles



Toyota booth
Toyota booth
(TS030 HYBRID from 24 Hours of Le Mans)

The IAA 65 Frankfurt Auto Show was held at Messe Frankfurt from September 10 to 22. This is the third and last report of the three-part MarkLines auto show reports covering the exhibits by American and Japanese automakers. The U.S. automakers introduced in this report are: General Motors, Ford, and Tesla. Japanese major automakers include Toyota (including Lexus brands), Nissan, Honda, FHI (Subaru), Suzuki, Mazda, and Isuzu. These major automakers displayed advanced hybrid technologies, electric vehicles, and other concept models, hinting a direction of future vehicles.

Related Reports:
IAA Frankfurt Auto Show 2013 (1): BMW, VW, Daimler
IAA Frankfurt Auto Show 2013 (2): European & Asian OEMs

General Motors: Monza Concept, four-seater coupe from Opel

 GM's Opel division unveiled the four-seater coupe concept, Monza Concept. The division also exhibited the newly-developed 1.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine, installed on the concept vehicle. Opel plans to refresh 80% of its powertrains by 2016. Other models displayed include the Chevrolet-branded 2014MY Camaro convertible and the Cadillac-branded large-size coupe concept, Elmiraj.


Monza Concept
Monza Concept with the large gull-wing doors
1.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine
Newly-developed 1.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine


Opel: Monza Concept, a four-seater coupe concept, and a 1.0-liter turbocharged engine

Monza Concept  Monza Concept hints the direction of the next-generation Opel cars. The four-seater coupe measures 4,690mm in length and 1,310mm in height, with a low center-of-gravity styling. The most characteristic feature is the large gull-wing doors without the B-pillar. In addition to the already low body height, the entire cabin is approximately 150mm lower than other Opel cars. This contributed to give a cabin space which is similar to that of a standard mid-size car, in spite of the low height of the coupe.
 The coupe is designed with several powertrain variants in mind. The exhibited model is a plug-in hybrid (PHV) with a natural gas-fueled 1.0-liter three-cylinder Spark Ignition Direct Injection (SIDI) turbocharged engine (described below) used as the generator. The range extender derives from the system used on the Ampera (Chevrolet Volt PHV's twin model).
1.0 SIDI Turbo  The newly-developed 1.0-liter three-cylinder SIDI turbo unit has the same maximum power output of 85kW (115hp) as the existing 1.6-liter engine. Its maximum torque of 166Nm/1,600rpm is approximately 30% higher (at the same rpm), along with approximately 20% higher fuel efficiency. The new turbo unit will be used on the small-size Adam car slated for market release in 2014. Combined with the all-new six-speed manual transmission, the engine achieves the CO2 emissions significantly lower than the 100g/km mark.
 Opel has plans to launch three families of newly-developed engines, 13 engine variants and all-new transmissions. When the plans are realized, 80% of Opel's powertrains will be refreshed.


Chevrolet- and Cadillac-branded cars

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible   The MY 2014 Camaro convertible will reach the market with a 6.2-liter, V8 engine and either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The car (MT model) has 432hp (318kW) maximum power output along with 569Nm torque.
Cadillac Elmiraj   The four-seater, two-door, large-size coupe concept, which was unveiled in the United States in August 2013. The model measures 5,207mm in length. Powered by a 4.5-liter, V8 twin-turbocharged engine, the car delivers 373kW maximum output with  678Nm maximum torque.


Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
2014MY Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
Cadillac Elmiraj
Cadillac Elmiraj, large-size coupe concept



Ford: S-MAX Concept and Mondeo Vignale Concept

 Ford exhibited two concept cars. The S-MAX Concept presumed to be the next-generation S-MAX minivan. The Mondeo Vignale Concept will be the first of the Vignale trim line, which will be marketed as the high-end model by Ford’s European division. Both models have gold-based body giving a classy air to the venue. Ford also displayed the C-MAX Energi (PHV) and the Mondeo Hybrid slated for market launch in Europe in 2014.


S-MAX Concept
S-MAX Concept
Mondeo Vignale Concept
Mondeo Vignale Concept


S-MAX Concept  The S-MAX Concept was unveiled previewing the next-generation S-MAX minivan. The unique exterior design, shared with the Mondeo, has been designed using Ford's latest design language. The third-row seat can be folded flat in a single action while the center second-row seat can also be folded flat into the floor.
 The car is equipped with the latest infotainment system that enables vehicle-to-vehicle communication, a collision damage mitigation system that detects a pedestrian, and an active parking assist system. It also features a system that monitors the driver's health via heart rate, etc. The car is fitted with a 1.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost powertrain. Slated for market launch in Europe in 2015, the exhibited concept model is said to be similar to the production model.
Mondeo Vignale Concept  Starting in early 2015, Ford's European division will introduce the premium version for each new model with "Vignale" heading. To start off the plan, Ford disclosed the concept of the Vignale version of the all-new Mondeo, a mid-size sedan. Compared with the basic model, the premium concept features a chrome-plated grille and certain other interior and exterior elements that give a high-class impression. Ford will introduce the Vignale version on several models after the Mondeo sedan and station wagon. According to Ford, more than half of the Ford cars sold in Europe are of the upper-class grades.


C-MAX Energi (PHV)
C-MAX Energi (PHV)
Mondeo Hybrid
Mondeo Hybrid



Tesla: Large-size electric sedan, Model S

 Tesla Motors, Inc., an emerging electric vehicle manufacturer, exhibited the Model S, a large-size electric sedan available in two battery capacity grades, 60kWh and 80kWh. The latter has a cruising range of 500km maximum (NEDC). The Model S is released for sale in Europe in August 2013 first in Norway, then in Germany, Belgium, and other countries.

 Tesla Motors established an assembly plant in Tilburg, the Netherlands, in August 2013. Parts for the Model S are shipped from the United States and assembled at the Tilburg plant.


Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Child seat on Tesla Model S
Child seat on Tesla Model S



Toyota: Focus on hybrid vehicles

 All the models exhibited under both Toyota and Lexus brands were hybrids. The exhibited vehicles include the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept and the Lexus LF-NX, a compact crossover concept.

 Toyota sold more than 110,000 hybrid vehicles in Europe in 2012 with a 75% share in the European hybrid market. The company plans to launch 15 new models including fuel-cell vehicles (FCV) or redesigned hybrid models by 2015 (more details here).


Yaris Hybrid-R Concept
Yaris Hybrid-R Concept
LF-NX: Compact Crossover SUV Concept



Yaris Hybrid-R Concept  An all-wheel drive sports model developed by Toyota Motor Sports GmbH in Germany. Powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine (300hp maximum output) in combination with two motors to drive the rear wheels (420hp maximum system output). The rear-wheel motors are shared with the Yaris hybrid. A generator is fitted between the engine and the transmission. A high power density super-capacitor (electric double-layer capacitor), which has excellent charge and discharge efficiencies, is adopted to enable frequent acceleration and deceleration on racing courses.


LF-NX  A compact crossover SUV concept that belongs to a segment currently not released under the Lexis brand. Built on the RAV4 platform, the model measures 4,640mm long, which is shorter than the Lexus RX (4,770mm). Both the front and rear ends feature sharp edge design. In 2014, Toyota is expected to launch two versions; a model powered by a turbocharged engine and another hybrid model fitted with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.



Nissan: All-new X-TRAIL and Infiniti Q30 Concept

Nissan unveiled the fully redesigned X-TRAIL and Infiniti’s first compact model, the Q30 Concept. The company also exhibited the Nismo, Nissan’s high-performance model aimed for global launch.
  Nissan aspires to become the top Asian brand in Europe by 2016, and has plans to launch seven all-new or fully refreshed models by 2014. These models include the Note, Micra, X-TRAIL, a new hatchback in C segment, and the successor to the Qashqai, the best-selling model in Europe.


All-new X-TRAIL
All-new X-TRAIL: To be launched in July 2014 in Europe
EV e-NV200 Taxi Version
EV e-NV200 Taxi Version produced in Spain



X-TRAIL  Nissan unveiled the third-generation model of the compact SUV X-TRAIL. The model is dubbed “Rogue” in the United States. This is the first model built by Renault-Nissan Alliance’s new modular vehicle architecture called Common Module Family (CMF). It is slated for European launch in July 2014 (in November 2013 in the U.S.). The new X-TRAIL features the Murano-like curved design that entirely replaces the straight lines of the preceding model. Details on the powertrain of the European model will be announced in 2014 (the U.S. model is fitted with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder petrol engine and a CVT).
e-NV200  The electric version of the NV200 will be produced at the Barcelona plant starting in mid-2014 and used as taxi fleet in the city of Barcelona.


Infiniti Q30 Concept  The Q30 Concept hints the first premium compact model under the Infiniti brand. It is evolved from the Etherea concept car unveiled at the 2011 Geneva motor show. It combines the sportiness of the coupe, spaciousness of the hatchback, and the height of the crossover. It is built upon Daimler’s platform. The production model will be produced at Nissan’s plant in the U.K. starting in 2015. Nissan regards this type of premium compact model is imperative for the company’s growth in Chinese and European markets.


Juke Nismo Version
Juke Nismo Version
Infiniti Q30 Concept
Infiniti Q30 Concept



Honda, FHI (Subaru), Suzuki, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Isuzu



Civic Tourer  Honda unveiled the Civic Tourer, an all-new wagon exclusively designed for European markets. Powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, 1.6 i-DTEC, or a 1.8-liter four-cylinder petrol engine, 1.8 i-VTEC. These engines are developed based on Earth Dreams Technology, Honda’s next-generation powertrain technology. The two powertrains have achieved CO2 emissions of 99g/km and 149g/km, respectively. The center-tank layout from the Fit is used to maximize the cabin space and provide a luggage space of 624 liters. The Civic Tourer is expected to reach the market in early 2014.


Civic Tourer
All-new Civic Tourer Wagon
1.6 i-DTEC
1.6 i-DTEC
1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, built upon Earth Dreams Technology


Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI: Subaru)

WRX Concept The concept car hinting the design of the next-generation WRX (unveiled at the 2013 New York motor show). The concept car measures 4,520mm in length (60mm shorter), and 2,760mm in wheelbase (135mm longer) than the ongoing model (sedan).
VIZIV CONCEPT  The plug-in hybrid concept equipped with a diesel engine (disclosed at the 2013 Geneva motor show). The car has a horizontally-opposed 2-liter diesel engine and a motor for generating power at the front, as well as two motors at the rear that drive the rear wheels independently. The concept car also features EyeSight concept, the company’s next-generation driver assistance system (see Note).

(Note) In October 2013, FHI announced that the company had developed the next-generation EyeSight. The new driver assistance system has a stereo camera with color recognition and approximately 40% improvement of detected angle and range. The color recognition allows the camera to recognize brake lights of another car in front and activate faster deceleration on the cruise control. Addition of a steering assist control function has enabled the lane keeping and the lane departure prevention functions. The collision avoidance condition of the pre-crash braking control has been increased from approximately 30km/h to 50km/h. These new features will be adopted in new models being launched in Japan starting in 2014.


WRX Concept
WRX Concept



iV-4  The compact SUV concept hinting a design of next model. It measures 4,215mm in length. Production will start in Hungary starting in 2015.
SX4 S-CROSS  Production of Suzuki’s first crossover in C segment started at Suzuki’s plant in Hungary in September 2013. It inherits the title of “SX4” although it is 150mm longer than the previous model and is clad in a new design. The purchaser can choose a 1.6-liter petrol or diesel engine. The front-wheel drive model powered by a diesel engine and a six-speed manual transmission (with start/stop system) has fuel efficiency of 4.2-liter/100km.


Compact SUV Concept iV-4
Crossover SX4 S-CROSS in C Segment



Mazda3 (Axela)
 The all-new sedan is the fully-redesigned version of the Mazda3 (Axela), the company’s best-selling car (the hatchback model was uncovered earlier in June). The sedan is entirely built upon the SKYACTIV technology with “Soul of Motion” design theme. Including the newly-developed SKYACTIV-G 1.5 petrol engine, the sedan will reach the market fitted with 1.5- to 2.5-liter petrol engines and 2.2-liter diesel engine variants depending on the specific needs of each market. A hybrid system will be fitted in the sedan model sold in Japan.
 The sedan will be the first model equipped with the Mazda Connect, the company’s next-generation connectivity system with the head-up display and other driving safety features.


Mazad3 Sedan
Mazda3 Sedan
Mazda Connect
A hands-on model to experience Mazda Connect,
the next-generation connectivity system to enjoy
Internet radio via a smartphone, etc.



Outlander PHEV   Mitsubishi’s first plug-in hybrid, the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), was unveiled in Germany. The PHEV will go on sale in October 2013 in the Netherlands and in Scandinavian countries. It is slated for launch in the rest of European markets from November 2013 to the first quarter of 2014.


D-MAX  The all-new D-MAX was released for sale in Germany in June 2012. The D-MAX sold 956 units in 2012 through Isuzu's German distributor.


Outlander PHEV
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Isuzu D-MAX


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