Europe’s biggest auto show is underway in Frankfurt and there are vehicles galore that will catch the eye, as well as those that give us a dramatic look at the electric and self-driving future.
First up, look what Mercedes and AMG have been up to!
The Mercedes-AMG Project One is certainly not a black S-Class limo decked out in luxury. Rather, Mercedes said the two-seat sports show car brings full-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology from the race track to the road.
“With a system output of over 1,000 hp and a top speed beyond 217 mph this hypercar handles exactly as it looks: it takes your breath away,” said Ola Källenius of the Daimler AG Board of Management.
MB said the concept car gives specific indications of what to expect from the upcoming production model.
It sports a 1.6-liter V6 hybrid gas engine mounted ahead of the rear axle urged forward by four electric motors. The electric motors on the front axle are also true rev wonders, with rotor revolutions up to 50,000 rpm – current state of the art is a speed of 20,000 rpm. All-wheel drive of course and an 8-speed manual transmission. 0-124 mph in six seconds.
Said Mercedes in conclusion, “Its purpose is also to obtain extensive findings about performance-oriented plug-in hybrid drive technology, further developments of suspension layouts and extended onboard electronics that will later benefit series production AMG cars. The Project ONE team is working hard on successfully bringing this vision onto the road.”
Over at BMW the phrase of the day was “Die zukunft ist jetzt” or “the future is now.”
That includes the I Vision Dynamic, a four-door Gran Coupe electric with a range of 373 miles, a top speed of over 120 and a 0-62 in four seconds.
BMW officials said that by 2025 the company will have 25 models with electrified drive systems of which a dozen will be pure-electric.
Sketches of the Vision Dynamic, BMW said, give some hints as to what a future electric model might look like. It would fit in the BMW lineup between the i3 and the i8 when a production model is introduced, but there was no indication of when that might be.
BMW gave no details on the electric powertrain and prices will be announced closer to production.
Audi, “the brand with four rings,” presented a fully autonomous concept called the Aicon with no steering wheel or pedals that should have a range of 497 miles on a single charge.
“And as a mobility concept, the Audi Aicon shows the world of tomorrow, in which the advantages of door-to-door individual transportation are combined with the luxurious ambiance of a first-class airline cabin”, Audi proclaimed.
It would be about the length of the Q7 and nine inches longer than the existing A8 and can project warnings to pedestrians and bike riders. When passengers exit the Aicon in the dark, a “light companion” is activated: A mini-drone with a flashlight safely illuminates the user’s walking path.
Seating will be in the 2+2 configuration with two individual seats in front and a two seat bench integrated into the rear panel. Front seats can be adjusted nearly 20 inches back and forth and can be swiveled by up to 15 degrees.
Travelers can relax and watch a film or surf the web. Video conferences are another option, as is interaction on social media.
“The Audi Aicon opens up a new world of mobility to its passengers. Freed from the tasks of driving, they can choose how to spend their time in the car. Working, communicating or simply just relaxing and even napping: Anything is possible while the car autonomously and safely finds its way,” Audi said.
A total of four electric motors, each drives one wheel, produce a total of 260kW and 405.7 lb-ft of torque. The battery can be recharged to 80 percent capacity in less than 30 minutes.
Wireless charging would allow the car to pull up to a charging station on its own and charge its battery without any human assistance.
It certainly is a fascinating look into the future.
Not to be left behind in the volt race, Volkswagen announced it will invest 6 billion euros or $7.1 billion in electric mobility over the next five years.
To that end, it took the wraps off an SUV concept vehicle that “offers a look forward to the production model in 2020.”
The I.D.Crozz has one electric motor at the front axle and one at the rear with a 225 kW battery pack. VW said it will have a top speed of about 112 mph and owners will be able to achieve an 80 percent recharge in about a half hour. It will have a range of about 311 miles in the European model.
It sports power opening front doors and sliding rear doors.
The model displayed just before the start of press days at the Frankfurt show is close to the Tiguan sized production vehicle that should hit show rooms in 2020.
And how fast is the new Bugatti Chiron? Top Gear said Pablo Montoya, the retired F1 driver, took just 42 seconds to go from 0-249 mph.