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Automotive

Lexus LF-Ch full hybrid concept debuts at IAA Frankfurt

Back in August we told you that Toyota would be releasing its Lexus hybrid concept car at IAA Frankfurt, and here it is – in the flesh. Our team of journalists on the ground captured these images of the LF-Ch (Compact hybrid) as soon as the wraps came off at its world debut. Set to rival the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series, the vehicle is the first Lexus full hybrid in the European premium compact segment – one that’s sure to be bursting with quality competition. If you thought hybrids and luxury didn’t mix, think again. And if you thought Lexus was a brand just for the over-50s, look closer.Read More

Lotus announces purpose-built Range Extender Engine

Designed specifically for the new breed of highly efficient series hybrid vehicles, Lotus Engineering’s Range Extender engine was shown for the first time at the 63rd Frankfurt International Motor Show. In a series hybrid vehicle, the Range Extender engine is attached to an electricity generator and provides a highly efficient source of energy to power the electric motor directly or charge the vehicle's battery. The three-cylinder 1.2 liter Range Extender engine is optimized between two power generation points, giving 15 kW of electrical power at 1,500 rpm and 35 kW at 3,500 rpm via the integrated electrical generator. The battery can also power the electric motor which enables the design of a drivetrain with low emissions, optimized performance and acceptable range.Read More

Citroen's REVOLTe - the electric 2CV

Citroen showed an ultra-chic plug-in REVOLTe hybrid concept inspired by its iconic 2CV at the Frankfurt Motorshow. Compact, with a visually-stunning low stance, REVOLTe measures just 3.68m long, 1.73m wide and 1.35m tall. Apart from the drive train, the most interesting feature is its original and distinctive three-seater layout - driver’s seat to one side with two passenger seats behind it - is designed to resemble a lounge, with the rear seats taking the form of a contemporary sofa.Read More

The Peugeot BB1 electric four seater just 2.5 metres long

One of the most visually distinctive cars on show at Frankfurt on the opening day of the world’s most important car show was Peugeot’s BB1 concept car. Looks aside though, the inbuilt practicality of a car just 2.5 metres long and capable of seating four people indicates how the design freedom afforded by electric cars opens the way for reinventing the automobile in every way: architecture, style, interior design, interior space and connectivity.Read More

The environmentally-responsible Qubo Trekking with Traction +

FIAT is likely to develop a whole new set of cult followers with the release of its Qubo Trekking, a new version of Fiat’s “free space” vehicle targeting nature lovers, outdoor sports and leisure enthusiasts. This original vehicle is also ideal for the non-conformist driver in search of substance with a sense of environmental responsibility. Powered by the 75 HP 1.3 Multijet, and equipped with the new “Traction +” system, the new Qubo Trekking offers performance similar to that of a “light crossover” but with the economic benefits that only a diesel-fuelled 4X2 can offer (27 km per litre in the extra urban cycle). Environmental performance is excellent too (115 g/km of CO2). Read More

Feature

The Audi e-tron electric Quattro with 4,500 Nm of torque

One of the highlights of IAA 2009 was undoubtedly Audi’s electric Quattro, and the development ecosystem the company is establishing. Dubbed the e-tron, it has four motors producing in total a 230 kW (313 hp) and a stunning 4,500 Nm (3,319.03 lb-ft) of torque, enabling it to accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 4.8 seconds, and from 60 to 120 km/h (37.28 – 74.56 mph) in 4.1 seconds. The car’s lithium-ion battery is stored directly behind the passenger cabin for an optimal center of gravity, and holds 42.4 kilowatt hours, enabling a range of 250 km.Read More

Renault presents stunning electric range at Frankfurt

Electric vehicles of small proportions are beginning to emerge as the theme of this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, and the presentation of a comprehensive range of electric vehicles by Renault, dubbed the Z.E. range, was the clincher. Perhaps more important, was Renault’s commitment to begin selling its new Z.E. range at affordable prices in 2010. Read More

MINI shows production-ready two-seat Coupe

The pick of the first morning of the Frankfurt Motor Show was the MINI Coupe Concept, one of just two previously unannounced cars we’ve seen so far, the other being the equally minimalist MINI Roadster Concept. The coupe will go into production, has just two seats, and the 1.6 litre twin-scroll turbo motor from the MINI Cooper S.Read More

VW shows 170 mpg tandem diesel hybrid two-seater

Volkswagen rocked the automotive world at a lunchtime press conference on the first day of the Frankfurt Motor Show with a carbon fiber, half width, 1-liter hybrid electric diesel tandem two-seater car named the L1. When the car makes production in 2013, four years from now, it will almost certainly be the most fuel efficient car available with a combined diesel fuel consumption figure of 1.38 l/100km (170 U.S. mpg), thanks to its frugal motor combo, feather-like weight – 380 kg in total - and an aerodynamic drag co-efficient of just 0.195!Read More

British Steam team achieves dream: smashes two world speed records

Last month, we reported that the British Steam Car had its sights set on several long-standing world records – and we’re happy to report that they’ve smashed not one, but two in the last week of August at Edwards Air Force Base in California. On Tuesday, August 25, they broke the world’s longest-standing speed record with a 139.843mph measured mile and then, the next day, clobbered the record for a measured kilometer with a speed of 148.308mph.Read More

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