Frankfurt Motor Show: Plug Me In
Every two years, German automakers get to show off their latest wares at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the home playing field when it comes to the auto shows that take place across the globe (the Frankfurt show takes place every two years, alternating with Paris).
This year, a parade of everything from the most humble econoboxes to million-dollar supercars debuted during the press-conference filled opening days of the show, which opened to the public on Saturday. Electricity was literally in the air.
AUDI showed off the Sport quattro Concept, a 700-horsepower plug-in hybrid that the Ingolstadt automaker says is capable of 95 mpg (2.5 l/100 km). Audi also presented the updated A8 luxury sedan, adding Matrix LED technology. In these headlights, the high beam is comprised of 25 individual light-emitting diodes that can be switched on and off or dimmed individually depending on the current driving situation. This enables the headlight system to react extremely precisely to other vehicles and lighting situations while always brightly illuminating the road.
BMW showed off a production-ready version of the i3 and i8, both built with carbon fiber reinforced plastic. The i3 is an electric vehicle with an electric motor generating a maximum output of 170 hp with a peak torque of 184 pound-feet. The zero-emission car can accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 7.2 seconds and offers a driving range of 80-100 miles (130 to 160 km) with fully charged lithium-ion batteries.
The sporty i8 is a plug-in hybrid with a conventional 3.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, in combination with a modified version of the electric motor that powers the BMW i3. The combined power output is 362 hp with 420 pound-feet of torque while the estimated fuel economy is said to be 94 mpg (2.5 l/100 km) in the EU test cycle. BMW also showed off the next generation X5, coming to dealerships soon, an updated 5 Series sedan and wagon, available now, and an X5 plug-in hybrid concept car.
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