The Frankfurt Motor Show: the hottest concepts

This week it’s all about concepts.

Ahead of September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, big name manufacturers have been keen to generate a bit of buzz by unveiling their latest concepts. So let’s take a closer look…

Kia Niro Concept

Kia Niro

Gullwing doors, fluorescent trim and chunky wheels housed inside large wheelarches – the Kia Niro is a compact and mean-looking crossover concept car that looks to have taken inspiration from Nissan’s popular SUV, the Juke.

Inside? Well, it’s all minimal, with a sleek trim and all switches and dials kept to an absolute minimum – and no technical details have yet emerged about the ‘innovative new powertrain’ that Kia has said the Niro will showcase.

Unfortunately Kia don’t have plans to build a production version of the Niro, but say that it’ll be used to gauge customer reaction and help design future Kia cars.

Volvo Concept Coupe

Volvo Concept Coupe

A Volvo that’s all about style? That’s what the Volvo Concept Coupe is all about.

Designed by Volvo’s newest styling chief, Thomas Ingenlath (who’s previously worked with Volkswagen and Skoda), the Volvo Concept Coupe demonstrates the power and flexibility of their new multi-million dollar in-house modular platform: Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).

The concept shows the new direction (we hope!) Ingenlath will be taking with future Volvos and inside showcases an ultra-modern interior with a hand-cut crystal gear lever, large touch-screen display in the centre console and brushed gunmetal and leather dash.

Under the bonnet, it’s able to deliver a performance that’s on a par to a V8 by utilising one of Volvo’s new Drive-E, 4-cylinder petrol engines and hybrid systems.
But will it be built?

Don’t count on it.

2013 Ford S-Max Concept

Ford S max concept

Ford has unveiled their new, economic and sporty MPV, the S-Max concept.

In terms of style, with its sweeping, bullet-like appearance, the S-Max looks closely related to the Fiesta ST Mountune, a sportier, edgier Fiesta that’s due to be released later in the year.

And it’s full of features.

The S-Max boasts on-board wifi, tablet docking in the rear of the front seat headrests, heart rate and glucose monitoring technology as well having Ford’s new 1.5 litre ‘Ecoboost’ petrol engine under the bonnet – an engine that’s set to replace the 1.6 litre version.

The car also features ‘car-to-car communications’, which is one of the latest technologies to be taken up by car manufacturers. Cars with this on board will be able to share information with one another about road accidents, the weather and the traffic, in the hope of increasing road safety and improving traffic flow.

We’re not entirely sure how the production version of the S-Max will differ from the concept that’ll appear at the Frankfurt motor show, but what’s important is that it will undergo production, with a release scheduled for early 2015.

This week in the news… Peugeot Hybrid Air launched at Geneva

Peugeot Hybrid Air launched at Geneva

One of the most interesting unveilings at this year’s Geneva Motor Show was the new Peugeot Hybrid Air – a car that promises to really shake things up in the automotive industry.

While the Hybrid Air doesn’t run entirely on air (it’s actually coupled with a petrol engine), Peugeot say that their new compressed air hybrid is set to overtake its electric-powered rivals, like the Toyota Prius, when it gets its official release in 2016.

Peugeot claim their new car is ‘an innovative full-hybrid gasoline solution. An important step towards the 21/100 km car by 2020’. And looking at some of the figures, it’s easy to see why they’re so excited about it.

With no need to include an electric motor, or find space for a lithium-ion battery, the car will be cheaper to buy (estimates are currently around the £17,000 mark), and it’ll also create extra savings with an impressive fuel economy of about 81 miles per gallon.

Peugeot also say their new hybrid is capable of achieving a 45% saving in consumption in city driving, and offer a 90% increase in range when compared to conventional engines.

You can read more about how the innovative new hybrid engine works on Peugeot’s website, where they give a more detailed account about its inner workings and projected fuel savings.

Is driving getting cheaper?

To reach the proposed target of CO2 emissions, the European Commission has recently proposed a new 95g/km CO2 limit in a bid to reach an overall CO2 reduction of 60% by 2050.

While the limit is set to increase the price of a new car purchase by approximately £860, research conducted by Cambridge Econometrics and Ricardo-AEA (a leading international energy and environmental company) has shown that motorists could stand to recover this £860 in less than three years.

The new CO2 limit actually increases fuel economy by 25%, which would allow for savings of roughly £350 each year in fuel. This would mean that, over the course of a car’s serviceable life, the average motorist could save up to £3,300.

The new proposed CO2 limit might be good news for motorists, but we wonder about how the manufacturers will fare, and what effect the proposed limit could have on the automotive market.

Looking for a space?

It’s been used in a number of American cities for a while now, but the Parker app – an award-winning application that allows you to quickly spot vacant parking spaces – is being trialled by Manchester City Council.

The app works by utilising sensors which are placed in the parking spaces themselves, so that once a car moves off, the user is then alerted that a space as become available. And the Parker app also comes with the added bonus of being able to tell you where you parked, just in case you managed to forget – which happens to us all at some point!

With its complicated one-way system, Manchester city centre has always been difficult to navigate – and motorists slowing to a near standstill to check for parking spaces on every corner has only made things worse.

We’ll have to wait 6 months to see how successful the app is in reducing congestion, but we guarantee that there will be other local authorities keeping a close watch on its development.

Find out more about the Parker app.


Geneva Motor Show 2013 special from WeBuyAnyDamagedCar..

Geneva Motor Show 2013 opens for business

One of the year’s most important events on the motoring calendar, this year’s Geneva Motor Show gets underway from the 5th March.

Highlights from the show will undoubtedly be the unveiling of McLaren’s full production version of the P1 – a car we’ve been looking forward to since its debut at the 2012 Paris Car Show.

All the P1’s specs and details will be released, so you’ll be able to make up your own mind whether or not it’s worth the cool $1.3 million asking price. McLaren have also decided to ‘maintain exclusivity’ with a limited production run of only 375 models, so good luck getting your hands on one!

Also at the show…

Other cars making their world premiers include the Alpha 4C, Alpha Romeo’s new sports roasters, Rolls-Royce’s Wraith coupe, and the hotly anticipated Flying Spur from Bentley, whose ‘sneak peak’ photos from earlier in the year we eagerly blogged about.

Kia have also released the first pictures of their new concept car, the ‘Provo’, ahead of the show. They’ve called the Provo their ‘road-legal racer’, and you can see what they mean judging by the picture…