Frankfurt Auto Show (IAA) 2015: Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, and Hyundai

Fourth-generation Prius unveiled, Mazda Koeru gains popularity



Toyota Prius

 This report is the third in our series of reports on the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show 2015. In it, we report on the exhibits by Japanese and Korean OEMs.

 Toyota Motor Corporation unveiled for the first time in the world its fourth-generation Prius. The company didn't disclose the technical details about the vehicle at the Motor Show, but later the details were released in October and are included in this report. In addition, Toyota's 5-door version of the C-HR Concept, a compact cross-over SUV, made its world debut. Toyota plans to exhibit a market-ready version of the model at the Geneva International Motor Show 2016.

 Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled its Gripz, a new crossover concept. The model is mounted with a series-hybrid type powertrain. In addition, it showcased the NP300, a 1-ton pickup; and the Q30, the first Infiniti-brand compact model. Both were developed in collaboration with Daimler AG.

 Mazda Motor Corporation unveiled its Koeru for the first time, which is a crossover concept designed to open a new market segment for the company. It was extremely popular at the Show, gaining a great amount of attention from the European press.

 Honda Motor Co., Ltd. debuted its Honda Project 2&4 powered by RC213V (a concept car combining the freedom of a motorcycle with the maneuverability of a car), while Suzuki Motor Corporation unveiled the redesigned Baleno compact car.

 Three Korean OEMs (Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corp., and SsangYong Motor Company) also highlighted their latest vehicles and concepts at the Show. Hyundai exhibited its high-performance sub-brand N, unveiling its high-end Vision G Coupe Concept.

Frankfurt Auto Show (IAA) 2015 Reports:
(1) Daimler, BMW, VW & Audi
(2) PSA, Renault, FCA, Jaguar, Opel, Ford

Toyota unveils fourth-generation Prius and compact crossover SUV

 During the Frankfurt Show, Toyota unveiled its fourth-generation Prius, which was the model's global debut. In addition, the company unveiled the SUV C-HR Concept, which is a five-door compact crossover SUV, of which the company plans to unveil a mass-market version at the Geneva International Motor Show 2016.

 Even though the company unveiled the fourth-generation Prius at the show, it did not release any specific details such as fuel economy, for example. Industry visitors to the show took a great number of photos of both the exterior and interior of the model, attempting to do their own comparisons with the previous model, it seemed. In October, the company reported the specifics about the model, which will be reported in this report.


Fourth-generation PriusFourth-generation Prius Fourth-generation Prius makes world debut at IAA Frankfurt 2015

Fourth-generation Prius: World's best-selling, mass-marketed HV now mounted with new E-four system and built on Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA)

 The Prius is the world's best-selling, mass-marketed HV, and this fourth-generation Prius is the first, fully redesigned Prius to be released in six and a half years. It can get more than 20% better fuel economy than prior versions, with some grades designed to achieve 40.0km/L under the Japanese JC08 cycle. This is the first time for Toyota to release an electric four-wheel drive model. It is slated to be released in Japan in December 2015, with plans for it to be released also in other parts of the world.

Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA)

* This is the first model to be built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), Toyota's proprietary new modular architecture. This fourth-generation Prius is 4,540mm in length (60mm longer than prior versions). It is 15mm wider (1,760mm) and 20mm lower (1,470mm), with a 2,700mm wheelbase, the same as that of previous models. Compared to previous versions, it is lower in terms of its nose (by 70mm) and its rear-end of hood (by 62mm) and has a lower center of gravity. All of these improvements enhance driving performance. In addition, it has an exceptional drag coefficient of 0.24.

* Body torsional rigidity was improved by more than 60% due to the use of a ring-shaped frame structure, laser-screw welding, and structural body adhesives.

* The amount of high-tensile strength steel plate was increased to 19% (3% in previous models) by using lightweight, hot-stamp materials with at least 980Mpa.


TNGA Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) (Source: Toyota) Ring-shaped structure Ring-shaped structure (Source: Toyota)


New-generation hybrid system

Engine Equipped with re-engineered 1.8-liter 2ZR-FXE engine, the new Prius achieves a maximum thermal efficiency of 40%. By redesigning the intake ports and piston shape, the airflow inside the exhaust chamber has been improved. In addition, it has a large-capacity exhaust-gas-recirculation (EGR) system and lower friction.
Transaxle The transaxle has been made more compact (47mm shorter than previous models) based on relocating the multi-shaft motor and changing the design of the reduction gear from a planetary gear to a parallel axis gear. Loss reduction has been reduced by 20%. Through the use of an innovative rolling-coil design for the motor, both loss reduction and weight have been lowered by more than 20%. Furthermore, combing the transaxle and motor reduced weight by 6%.
Power-control unit (PCU) The PCU has been improved as a result of reducing electrical loss by 20%, size by 33% and weight by 11%. As a result, the PCU on this model was relocated above the transaxle. The auxiliary battery has been relocated to the extra space created in the engine compartment, from the luggage area.
Drive batteries The newly developed hybrid batteries (lithium ion and nickel hydride) are market-specific for this Prius. The nickel-hydride battery weighs 2% less than previous batteries and is 10% smaller. The lithium-ion battery is 31% lighter in weight and 6% more compact than the battery mounted on the Priusα. As a result of its smaller size, it has been relocated from the luggage compartment to under the rear seat, increasing the capacity of the luggage area from 446L to 502L.
New-generation hybrid system New-generation hybrid system (Source: Toyota) Cutaway model of 1.8L 2ZR-FXE engine Cutaway model of 1.8L 2ZR-FXE engine (Source: Toyota)
Transaxle Transaxle (Source: Toyota) Power control unit Power control unit (Source: Toyota)


C-HR Concept: market-ready version of this compact crossover concept to be exhibited at Geneva International Motor Show 2016

 The C-HR Concept exhibited at the Frankfurt Show is the second-generation of this compact crossover model. The first-generation model was a three-door version unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. This second-generation model has been created with a greater emphasis on being mass-marketed, based on its five-door design. A market-ready version is scheduled to make its global debut at the Geneva International Motor Show 2016.

 This model, like the redesigned Prius, has an all-new hybrid system and has been designed on TNGA. As an SUV model, this one is being positioned between the B and C segments in terms of size.


C-HR ConceptC-HR Concept C-HR Concept



Nissan premieres Gripz crossover concept, NP300, plus Infiniti 30

 Nissan's Gripz, a new-breed crossover concept, made its world debut at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show. The design, which is based on desert rally cars and racing bikes, includes gull-wing doors that are one of its major new features. The Series hybrid EV system power drivetrain is the same as that equipped on the EV Leaf

 In addition, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which is strengthening collaboration with Daimler, debuted two models jointly developed through their collaboration. The Nissan-brand redesigned 1-ton NP300 pickup was unveiled for the first time in Europe. It will be built on a platform being used for Mercedes-Benz-brand pickup trucks. In a separate hall, Infiniti debuted its Q30 compact model for the first time in the world. The Q30 shares the same Mercedes-Benz-brand platform used for compact vehicles.


Gripz Concept sports crossover mounted with Series hybrid EV power drivetrain system

 Nissan unveiled the Gripz sports crossover, which was designed in the image of desert rally cars and racing bikes. It features gullwing front doors and rear-hinged half-doors behind, without any B pillar. It is 4,100mm long, 1,890mm wide, and 1,500mm high, with a 2,580 wheelbase.

 The vehicle is powered by a Series hybrid EV (Nissan's Pure Drive e-Power) that uses the same motor as that equipped on the EV Leaf. It generates a maximum output of 80kW and maximum torque of 254Nm. The gasoline engine powers the electric motor.


GRIPZ ConceptGRIPZ ConceptGRIPZ Concept Gripz Concept sports crossover


NP300: redesigned 1-ton pickup built on Mercedes-Benz architecture

 Nissan unveiled its redesigned NP300 1-ton pickup for the first time in Europe at the Frankfurt Show. The body is based on a platform that Daimler designed for building Mercedes-Benz-brand pickups. The NP300 is slated to launch by 2020 and be built at Nissan's production plant in Spain and Renault's plant in Argentina.

 While the standard European version of the NP300 will come factory equipped with a 2.3L diesel engine and a 6-speed manual transmission, a version with an optional 7-speed automatic transmission also will be available. It can haul up to a maximum of 3,500kg and the dual-cab version's bed is 67mm longer than that of previous models, at 1,578mm.


NP300NP300 Redesigned NP300 1-ton pickup


Infiniti debuts Q30 built on Mercedes-Benz architecture

 Nissan's luxury brand, Infiniti, debuted its first-ever compact car, the Q30, for the first time in the world at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The design is basically the same as the Q30 Concept that was exhibited at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Q30, which will be built at Nissan's Sunderland Plant in the U.K., is scheduled to be launched on the market at the end of 2015.

 This is one of the models currently being built jointly based on the growing collaboration between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance. It is based on the architecture used to build Mercedes-Benz-brand compact cars. In addition, some of its engines will be supplied by Mercedes-Benz.

 It is 4,425mm long, 2,083mm wide, and 1,495mm high (Sport). Its wheelbase is 2,700mm. It comes with either 1.6L or 2.0L gasoline engines, or either 1.5L or 2.2L diesel engines, and with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.


Q30Q30 Q30: Infiniti's first compact model



Mazda, Honda, and Suzuki, Mazda Koeru gains popularity


Mazda unveils the Koeru, a crossover SUV concept

 The Koeru was designed under the concept of delivering value that transcends the ordinary, and is the realization of Mazda's efforts to launch into the crossover SUV segment, a new market segment to the company. It is a fusion of styles coming from mid-sized wagons, coupes, and SUVs, and will be featured as one part of Mazda's future product range. It became a popular sensation, gaining the attention of the European press who still continued to flock to the stage in large numbers to have a look, even on the second day.

 It is 4,600 long, 1,900mm wide, and 1,500mm high. Compared with Mazda's existing CX-5 SUV, the Koeru is 60mm longer and wider. Compared to the height of the CX-3 SUV, it is 50mm lower. In addition, compared to the Axela (Mazda3) compact hatchback, the Koeru is 140mm longer and 80mm higher. The Koeru's wheelbase is 2,700mm, the same as that of the CX-5 and Axela.


KOERUKOERUKOERU Mazda's Koeru crossover SUV concept with LED guiding ring on headlamp


Honda exhibits Honda Project 2&4 powered by RC213V, a concept based on a motorcycle and car

 The Honda Project 2&4 concept is based on a Honda F1 racing car from the 1960s. It is like a car, with the engine located midship, but like a motorcycle because of its body design. It has an overall length, width, and height of 3,040mm, 1,820mm, and 995mm, respectively; and weighs 405kg.

 The Project 2&4's 999 cc V-4 four-stroke engine is the one equipped on the RC213V-S, a road-legal motorcycle modeled after the RC213V MotoGP racing machine. The engine, which was specially tuned for travel on public roads, has been mated to a specifically designed 6-speed DCT and has a peak output of 215ps/13,000rpm. The instrument panel is like a headup display, in that the panel is illuminated from the back with light projected onto the dashboard.

 Also, the Honda Project 2&4 was the concept model that won the Global Design Award that was based a competition Honda conducted between its global design studios.


Honda Project 2&4 powered by RC213VHonda Project 2&4 powered by RC213VHonda Project 2&4 powered by RC213V Honda Project 2&4 powered by RC213V


Suzuki: world debut of redesigned Baleno compact car

 Suzuki showcased its redesigned, five-door Baleno for the first time in the world at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The mass-market Baleno is modeled after the iK-2 concept car that the company unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 2015. The Baleno is built on a platform that is designed for the newly established B segment and is slated for market launch in Europe in 2016 spring.

 The Baleno comes equipped with three power drive trains: (1) a 1.0L direct-injection turbo engine; (2) a 1.2L engine; and (3) a 1.2 engine combined with an Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) i.e., a mild hybrid version called Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki* (SHVS).The CO2 emission of the mild-hybrid model is 93g/km, while that of the 1.2L model is101g/km.

* The mild hybrid system, called the Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki (SHVS), is equipped on the Solio marketed in Japan. This system is referred to by Suzuki as "S-enecharge," for minicars.


BalenoBalenomild hybrid system Suzuki's redesigned Baleno with 1.2L engine mated to a mild hybrid system



Hyundai, Kia, and SsangYong; Hyundai introduces high-performance N sub-brand

Hyundai: announces new sub-brand N and exhibits high-end coupe concept

 At this Frankfurt Motor Show, Hyundai announced the launch of its new, high-performance sub-brand N, which it created to compete against Daimler's AMG and BMW's M sub-brands. Hyundai formed an expert engineering team dedicated to developing high-performance vehicles at its R&D center in Namyang, South Korea. Performance evaluation and testing is being conducted at Nurburgring, Germany. The top-of-line N-brand model is slated to be launched for sale in 2017. In order to highlight the concept of its N brand, Hyundai showcased three models.

RM15 (Racing Midship 2015): This concept model demonstrates the future direction of the N-brand's technology that could come into production. It features a 2.0L direct-injection turbo engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, and achieves a peak output of 300ps/6,000rpm. Both the engine and transmission are located midship between the seats and axle. For the body, an aluminum frame and CFRP panels were used, making the car 195kg lighter compared to a steel-content car.

N 2015 Vision Gran Turismo: This model is based on the car seen in the Gran Turismo racing game. The powertrain consists of hydrogen fuel-cell batteries and a super capacitor system. The maximum system output is 650kW (884ps).

Redesigned i20 WRC: This is a preview of the model designed to compete in the 2016 World Rally Championship (WRC).


RM15 RM15 (Racing Midship 2015) RM15 body RM15 body is built from an aluminum frame and CFRP panels
N 2015 Vision Gran Turismo N 2015 Vision Gran Turismo New i20 WRC New i20 WRC


Vision G Coupe Concept: Hyundai-brand's luxury coupe concept

 The Vision G Coupe Concept, which made its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, is a concept of the Hyundai-brand's first endeavor into the luxury segment. Based on the key concept of "chivalry," this concept sports a 5.0L V8 engine (peak output 420hp) and a dashboard that features a very wide display panel. The center console features a "remote wheel," which is a circular-shaped touch panel for controlling various devices and functions.


Vision G Coupe ConceptVision G Coupe ConceptVision G Coupe Concept Hyundai-brand luxury Vision G Coupe Concept


Kia: Sportage compact SUV makes world debut

 Kia, which is in the Hyundai Group, debuted for the first time in the world its all-new compact SUV, the Sportage, at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Compared to previous versions, it was made 40mm longer (4,480mm) and has a 30-mm longer wheelbase (2,670mm), boosting occupant comfort. In order to improve the vehicle's performance against collisions, Kia increased the content of super high tensile steel from 18% (previous version) to 51%, significantly strengthening body torsional rigidity by 39%. Also, hot-stamp materials were incorporated into the A, B, and C pillars; side seals; and roof.

 In 2014, Kia shipped 97,000 units of the Sportage in Europe, which is being produced at Kia's production plant in Slovakia. It is Kia's best-selling model in Europe, accounting for more than a quarter of the company's European sales.


Kia's all-new Sportage SUVKia's all-new Sportage SUV Kia's all-new Sportage SUV


SsangYong: unveils two SUV concepts

 SsangYong, which is under the umbrella of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. based in India, is a Korean OEM mainly building SUVs. In 2015, the company launched its Tivoli (SUV) in Europe. At the Frankfurt Show 2015, the OEM unveiled two concept vehicles. One is the XLV-Air, which is a long wheelbase version of the Tivoli. The vehicle is in pre-production, with a target launch date scheduled for some time in early 2016.

 The other model unveiled at the show was the XLV-Adventure, a concept SUV hybrid mounted with two electric motors in the rear. This model, which is still larger than the Tivoli, is hinted to be the reincarnation of the company's iconic Korando brand.


XLV-Air XLV-Air XLV-Adventure XLV-Adventure


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