Frankfurt Auto Show

Frankfurt Auto Show

In addition to the outrageous concepts and world premieres that have debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show , a number of models who are generously described as concepts yet look more like production previews are also in attendance.

One of these models comes courtesy of French automaker Renault . Specifically, the model is called the Initiale Paris Concept and it’s being touted as a preview model for the automaker’s resident people-carrier, the Espace.

While we’re disappointed that it’s not a preview of its future sports car, the Alpine, the Initiale Paris Concept does look like a very worthy step forward for the normally mundane Espace. Renault’s current styling direction is pretty evident on the concept, specifically the headlight details, the low-slung plexiglass roof, the sleek side styling and of particular note to us, the honeycomb intakes just below the integrated bumper.

The design is also in line with Renault’s recent proclamation that the Espace will look less like a minivan and more like a crossover, something that should appeal to its overall makeup.

Click past the jump to read about the Renault Espace

Not all of the companies that go to the Frankfurt Auto Show are of the established variety. There are some that are trying to break ground with hopes of catching some attention from the gathered crowd.

German engineering house Zesad is one of them, and while the company has become famous for being the world-wide manufacturer of GT3 products with street-legal license for Lamborghini and Ferrari , it still doesn’t hold the cache as the ;likes of Mansory and Hamann .

Zesad hopes to change all that with its first program for the Lamborghini Aventador . It’s called the Vento GT3 and as you’d expect from a company that deals mostly in racecars, Zesad really took to extremes to give the Italian supercar the kind of modifications that will really set it apart.

Aerodynamic upgrades was the first order of business, and Zesad took the task of giving the Aventador a new aero-hood that accelerates the wind supply going to the car’s engine. A new wing spoiler was also installed on the exotic, as were new diffusers, all with the intention of improving the overall makeup of the Aventador.

To back up its new and admittedly insane body, the Aventador was also treated to a performance modification that included a new engine-management system and a new high-performance exhaust system. With these upgrades in tow, the Lamborghini supercar saw its output increase to an impressive 743 horsepower and around 550 pound-feet of torque — up from the base 690 horsepower and 509 pound-feet — good enough to improve the car’s 0-to-60 mph time to just 2.8 seconds with a top speed of 221 mph.

Click past the jump to read about the standard Lamborghini Aventador

Mercedes tuner Carlsson is living large at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show with a handful of new programs for a number of new Mercedes models.

One new program belongs to the company’s resident hot hatch , the A-Class .

Like most of the projects Carlsson does, the A-Class received a steady diet of aerodynamic and performance upgrades. For the exterior, the German tuner fitted the hot hatch with a new front spoiler, a new grille that bears the company’s badge, redesigned side skirts and a new rear apron with an integrated air diffuser.

A new exhaust system was also installed, which comes with four polished tailpipes and a silencer. There’s also a fully adjustable coil-over suspension kit that can be had as an added option. Finally, the A-Class receives a choice of new wheels, ranging from 18 to 20 inches.

Moving to the interior upgrades, the A-Class’ cabin can be designed with a variety of customization programs that feature no shortage of leather upholstery options, as well as floor mats, alloy footrests, pedals, door-lock pins and illuminated door sill panels.

Under its hood, the A-Class receives power upgrades, beginning with the A 200, which now has 187 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque on tap — up from 156 horsepower and 184 pound-feet. The higher trim A 250 also sees a spike in output to the tune of 253 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque — up from 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. Performance numbers weren’t given but we estimate a 0-to-60 mph time of around 7.5 seconds with the Carlsson-tuned A 200 and 6 seconds with a Carlsson-tuned A 250.

Click past the jump to read about the standard Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Hamann’s BMW M6 Coupe Mirr6r program was arguably one of the aftermarket stars back in March at the Geneva Motor Show .

Turns out, the popularity of the Mirr6r program compelled the German tuner to prepare another one; this time for the M6 Coupe’s cousin, the M6 Gran Coupe . Oh, and the car is on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show , making the Mirr6r program two-for-two in the two biggest auto shows of the year.

The cosmetic modifications look pretty similar to the first Mirr6r program with upgrades ranging from a 40 mm (1.6-inch) wide body kit, a carbon-fiber hood with its own air outlets, larger wheel arches, fresh bumpers, new side skirts, and of course, the completely ostentatious mirror-like finish of the body. Rounding out the exterior modifications is the set of 21-inch forged wheels, a new rear spoiler and a rear diffuser.

Moving inside, the treatment done on the M6 Mirr6r GC include a wide range of leather and Alcantara options that the customer can choose from. It’s this kind of custom upgrade that will really bring out the personality of the client as well as completely personalize the already attention grabbing nature of Hamann’s program.

Hamann didn’t announce any modifications to the drivetrain, so this M6 Gran Coupe retains the same 4.4-liter V-8 engine that delivers 560 horsepower — 575 horsepower with the Competition Package — and 502 pound-feet of torque. This is enough to launch the four-door coupe to 60 mph in as few as 4.1 seconds (4.3 seconds with a manual transmission).

Click past the jump to read about the BMW M6 Coupe Mirr6r by Hamann

The Mercedes CLA-Class has only been on the market less than a year, and it’s already gathering steam as one of the German brand’s most popular models.

That’s what happens when you have an affordable model that takes advantage of the esteemed history that Mercedes-Benz has in the industry. So with the CLA-Class gaining in popularity, the natural approach from aftermarket companies is to present programs that will only make the model more popular.

At the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show , Mercedes tuner extraordinaire Carlsson presented its first program for the CLA-Class. The usual tuning digs that Carlsson has been known to do are all present in Mercedes’ new four-door compact coupé at the IAA.

Exterior upgrades from Carlsson included a front spoiler that can be fitted with CLA models sporting the AMG sport package, an electro-polished stainless-steel grille insert can also be added as an option, contoured side sills and a new rear apron. The latter, in particular, has cutouts that were put there for the four polished tips of the tuner’s sports exhaust silencer, which functions in reducing backpressure, thus providing more horsepower for the four-door compact coupe.

A set of wheels are also offered in various sizes — 18-, 19- and 20-inch — and two wheel designs — the 1/10 and the 1/16 RS — both of which also come with special edition versions. Rounding out the mods to keep the CLA on the road are sport springs that lower the four-door coupe’s ride hight by 35 mm (1.38 inches).

Interior upgrades are left to the customer’s tastes, and include a choice of high-quality leather and Alcantara from in different colors, courtesy of Carlsson’s in-house "saddler." Other key interior options include new floor mats, alloy door-lock pins, illuminated sill plates and an alloy foot-pedal and footrest set.

For the performance program, Carlsson installed its new C-Tronic CB Plug & Drive module, connecting to the ECU through an adapter plug included in the kit. When installed, the kit drives up the output of the CLA200 to 187 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The CLA250 also saw its output now hit 253 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, while the top level CLA45 AMG nets a new output of 450 horsepower, up from its standard 360-horsepower output.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Mercedes CLA-Class

Posted on by Simona  

Mercedes will expand its S-Class lineup in 2015 with the addition of the new S500 Plug-in Hybrid version. The model made its world debut today at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show , and will be put on sale in the U.S. market in late 2014. This is the third hybrid model in the S-Class global lineup, next to the S400 Hybrid and the S300 BlueTEC Hybrid.

With the addition of this new plug-in variant, Mercedes is quickly becoming a leader in hybrid luxury cars, and the S-Class in particular, is chock-full of these fuel-sipping models.

The model offers four driving modes: Hybrid, E-Mode (electric only), E-Save (less electric, more gasoline) and Charge (charges battery while driving). They all can be selected at the simple push of a button. Unlike the other two S-Class hybrid models, the new S500 is the first one to use a recuperative braking system (RBS) that converts the energy created while braking or coasting and stores it for future use.

Click past the jump to read more about the S500 Plug-In Hybrid

You can always count on Mansory to have more than just one aftermarket program offering whenever a major auto show rolls around.

It’s no different this time at Frankfurt , as the Swiss tuner has some pretty impressive programs on the show floor, one of which includes this completely customized Mercedes CLS 63 AMG .

While not as, shall we say, grandiose, as the other projects it has at Frankfurt, the luxury sports sedan still receives the benefit of being worked on by Mansory, which is regarded as one of the best in the business.

Aesthetic, aerodynamic and performance upgrades are being offered, beginning with the use of autoclave-prepreg carbon fiber on a variety of components on the body. The hood of the CLS 63 AMG is especially new, providing both a visual and aerodynamic improvement to the overall profile of the car. New side-sill sets and cladding allows the sedan to gain some width — around 50 mm on the front axle and 80 mm on the rear.

Speaking of the back, Mansory installed a new diffuser under the equally new rear apron, allowing for a harmonious working relationship with the rear spoiler to increase the sports coupe’s down-thrust.

Rounding out the mod list for the exterior is a new set of 20-inch ultralight forged wheels

The usual interior digs are offered for this program, including aluminum pedals and footrests, a redesigned sports steering wheel, carbon-fiber components on the dash and console, and of course, full-leather upholstery.

As always, Mansory went to town working on the CLS 63 AMG’s 5.5-liter V-8 engine. In this instance, the modifications involved setting up a newly programmed control unit and adding a new sports air filter for increased oxygen supply to the engine. All told, the CLS 63 AMG is now capable of pumping out 631 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque — a boost of 81 horsepower and 132 pound-feet over the stock model. We estimate these improvements to give the CLS 63 AMG a 0-to-60 mph sprint time of 3.6 seconds with a top speed in the neighborhood of 190 mph.

Click past the jump to read about the Mercedes CLS 63 AMG

Posted on by Simona  

Volkswagen is preparing to expand its Golf lineup with the addition of a new Sportsvan version. The new model was previewed at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and will be put into production as the Golf Plus in the middle of next year.

When compared to a base Golf VII , the new Sportsvan was built on a wheelbase increased by 48 mm (1.88 inches), plus it is also 126 mm (4.96 inches) taller and 8 mm (0.31 inches) wider. As a result, it features a more flexible and roomier interior. This larger interior gives the rear bench seat 180 mm (7.08 inches) of fore and aft adjustment, and over 1,500 liters (53 cubic feet) of cargo capacity.

Under the hood, the Sportvan is equipped with the same six engines offered by the standard Golf, with power ranging from 85 to 150 horsepower.

When the production version arrives on the market, it will come with XDS+, Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, air conditioning, seven airbags, the new electronic parking brake, a 5-inch touchscreen, variable cargo floor and a cargo cover.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Volkswagen Golf.

To be clear: you’ve seen this program before from Mansory at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show back in March.

But the Swiss tuner wasn’t content with building just one show-piece model of the Gronos program for the Mercedes G63 and G65 AMG models. So it built another one, and quite frankly, the model that’s being shown at the Frankfurt Auto Show is even more over-the-top than the one we saw in Geneva.

If you remember, the Gronos program back in Geneva sported a Magic Yellow paint finish, outlandish but not really too out-of-this-world. This one appears to come in naked carbon, with Mansory opting to show the newly designed bodywork in all of its ultra-light carbon glory. Notice also similar treatments done on the front spoiler, particularly the way the tuner positioned the LED daytime running lights and the front fairing that lays over it. Even the roof, the mirror housings and the decorative trims on the sides of the utility SUV exude the pure-carbon design without any coloring.

Moving inside, the modifications are a little more subdued, although still distinct enough to warrant attention. The dashboard, as well as the entire area of the center console, is completely redesigned, while various parts of the cabin are treated to a combination of pristine leather, fine wood and carbon-fiber details. With all these materials in play and subject to a customer’s whims and tastes, you can pretty much dress up your own G63 AMG anyway you want using only the finest materials available.

Like the first Gronos program that was showcased in Geneva, this one received a completely reworked 5.5-liter V-8 engine that’s been kitted with real racing components, a lot of which have been changed to go with a newly designed exhaust system. In the end, the G63 AMG Gronos now pushes out 840 horsepower and an electronically limited 738 pound-feet of torque. The 0-to-60 mph sprint is now estimated at just under four seconds, and top speed is now 175 mph.

For the entire program, vehicle included, Mansory is asking quite a pretty penny for the Gronos program to the tune of €1.1 million, which is about $1.4 million based on current exchange rates.

Click past the jump to read about the 2013 Mercedes G65 AMG Gronos program from Geneva

Posted on by Simona  

Audi unveiled the new-generation A3 hatchback at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show , and shortly after, it started to test the other models in the A3 lineup, including the convertible version.

After being caught testing in many times, the new A3 Cabriolet will make its official debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show . To no one’s surprise, the model will carry over many of the components from the hatchback version, with the only exception being, of course, that new cloth top.

The new model grew significantly, as its total length goes from 166.8 inches to 174 inches. Despite this growth, the A3 actually drops 110 pounds over the previous model, thanks to Audi switching over to lightweight materials and the new building technologies.

Updated 09/09/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images, specs and video.

Updated 06/19/2014: Audi announced prices for the all new A3 Convertible which will be put on sale on the U.S. market as a 2015 model year. Set to go on sale this summer, the A3 Convertible will be priced from $35,600. You will also find a new set of high res images and one new video. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A3 Cabriolet.


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