When we saw the Lamborghini Reventon on the floor at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, we had mixed reactions. It was either put on black gloves and sunglasses, and jump in the driver's seat, or find an X-Wing fighter and get into a dogfight with the Reventon. With its matte-gray paint and sharp angles, the thing looks like a stealth fighter or a new Batmobile. It's the most dangerous-looking Lamborghini we've ever seen, and rightly so, as it's named after a bull that won its fight with a famous toreador in 1943. From the front, it … Read more
As evidenced by the F700, launched at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, Mercedes-Benz expects to be building large luxury sedans long into the future. But also recognizing the need to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, the company includes some miraculous-sounding technologies in the F700. It's also using the vehicle to explore advances in passenger comfort and infotainment.
At the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, German automakers had hybrid cars and concepts on display. Up until now, European automakers seemed uninterested in employing hybrid technologies, but Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, and Audi have all stepped up to the plate. Mercedes-Benz has an actual hybrid SUV ready for production, while the other automakers have concepts that strongly indicate future hybrid powertrain development.
We're not convinced about the wisdom of this one. GM is using this week's Frankfurt auto show to reiterate its commitment to alternative fuel cars with the unveiling of the Opel Flextreme, a concept plug-in car that builds on the buzz of the E-Flex drive train from the Chevy Volt. The car itself relies on a series hybrid drive train, which combines a lithium-ion powered-electric motor with a biodiesel combustion engine that is used solely for running the electric motor when the battery's charge runs out.
However, as blue-sky as the vehicle's power train may be (… Read more
GM goes flex-crazy with the Flextreme concept, throwing around its new favorite marketing term like a flexy flexible flyer. This Opel-branded concept runs on GM's new E-Flex powertrain. It has FlexDoors for the passengers and a FlexLoad rear gate. But the only thing anyone will pay attention to are the two nonflex Segways stowed in the rear.
As we reported earlier, Mercedes-Benz promised 19 cars in 15 minutes at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, and damn if they didn't deliver. The German automakers press conference resulted in a fleet of cars out on the show floor. As one might expect, Frankfurt is a huge auto show for Mercedes-Benz--the company gets a whole concert hall in the fair grounds to show off its cars. It filled the lower level of the hall with everything from the new F700 research vehicle to the Smart Micro-Hybrid. There were also quite a few variations on the hybrid theme, from regular … Read more
Volkswagen dropped a bomb at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show in the form of an unexpected little concept called Up. Actually, it's more of a grenade, as the Up is a city car--small but able to hold four people. What makes the Up interesting is that the engine is in the rear, a configuration Volkswagen used with the original beetle. And from its press materials, Volkswagen suggests that the Up could be as iconic. That remains to be seen. Although we like the clean look of the Up, it doesn't stray far from the Golf's design.
It … Read more
In Honda's exhibition area at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, we were surprised to find a Civic all painted up in racing colors and promotions. Even stranger, it's a Civic Hybrid, not a car you see on the NASCAR circuit. This Civic Hybrid, the accompanying placard informed us, has been entered in the 2007 Nurburgring 24-hour race. That got our attention.
Honda considers its finish of 108th out of 220 teams starting a "sensational result." We will give them that. Twenty-four hours of laps around the Nurburgring, one of the world's most grueling courses, is … Read more
Last July we wrote about the new Fiat 500, a modern take on a classic small car. Walking around the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, we saw it live for the first time, and didn't expect it to be so big. The Fiat 500 towers over the Fiat floor area, and could easily squash a Hummer. We're pretty sure European roads haven't gotten substantially wider, so we don't know what Fiat's engineers were thinking.
Oh wait, our mistake--the actual Fiat 500 was sitting nearby. The giant Fiat 500 is just a bit of booth dressing, although … Read more
Or maybe BMW your Google? At BMW's ConnectedDrive exhibit at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, the company showed off the first ever implementation of Google local search in a car. You can enter any search term in your BMW's navigation system, and it will find any Google matches for local businesses either within the vicinity of your car or another location you choose. It amounts to having a points-of-interest database searchable by keyword that always gets updated.
Or, if you're not the hands-on type, you can just use an entry in the navigation system to call BMW'… Read more