2011 Frankfurt Auto ShowPosted: September 14, 2011
The Frankfurt Auto Show is on now and there are many new models coming out. I will go through my thoughts on each one that I found to be notable and interesting.
Eterniti Hemera: A startup company looking to make an exclusive supercar SUV. From the looks of it though, their car seems to be based on the Porsche Cayenne. If that is the case this car is completely pointless because you are paying a lot of money for a body kit and an ECU chip. Save your money and buy the Porsche.
Maserati Kubang: The rumors surrounding this car were not good at all, it was supposedly going to be a Jeep SRT8 in drag, but with it’s unveil Maserati has clarified things up a bit. They are receiving help from Jeep, but this SUV will be a genuine “Maserati”, using new generation Italian engines and engineering. Performance, style, and luxury are to be the emphasis of the Kubang, and it is obviously to be aimed at the Porsche Cayenne. I must admit, I cringed when I heard this car was coming out, but I must say I feel better knowing that it won’t just be a glorified Jeep. A car like this certainly has a market, albeit almost completely made up of poser tool-bags who only care about having a status symbol. The Kubang will be a huge hit in the Rap community I’m sure, as well as with the Jersey Shore crowd, so I’m sure it will yield healthy profits especially if it is priced around $80-90k.
Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale: It’s great being a Lambo of course, but is rather unremarkable because it’s basically just a Superleggera with cool paint and some racy bits from the Super Trofeo series. I would have rather seen 600hp+ in the final edition Gallardo (if this is indeed that). But of course its cool.
Ford Focus ST: Not a huge surprise, but it will surely be a great addition to the global market. The European Focus has been a huge hit for years, and the US will finally get the good version. In our market it will compete with the likes of the Mazdaspeed3, Civic Si, Lancer Ralliart, Subaru WRX, Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T, etc. It’s power will put it right in the middle of that group, speed wise, but where past Focus STs have really shined is in their overall driving experience. Can’t wait to get behind the wheel for one for a test drive.
Lexus GS-450h: The new GS is a handsome car, if maybe just a little bit bland. The hybrid version carries on this image. It is good, but not so different from the previous generation GS-450h as far as specs are concerned. This new one does have many more technological gizmos working for it though, so maybe in reality it will drive a lot better than its predecessor.
Jaguar C-X16: As I stated in a previous article, I love this car and hope Jag doesn’t change it too much for production.
Audi S6, S7, and S8: All of these new S models share a new twin turbo 4.0L V8 aimed to be more efficient than the outgoing 5.2L V10. Power output is peculiar though, the S6 and S7 make only 414hp while the S8, with the same motor makes 512hp. I’m guessing the differences exist mostly on paper and in actuality the power is around 512hp in all of the models. Another possibility is that Audi gave very conservative ECU settings to the S6 and S7, meaning 512hp will be just a simple re-flash away. Either way, at 414hp it seems Audi has done the same thing with the S6 that it did with the S4, better efficiency with only slightly lower power; but overall performance will be much improved. Keep in mind that Audi’s RS models are what compete with BMW’s M and Mercedes AMG cars, S models compete with the top “normal” models from the other companies. Overall though, I think this is a good move for Audi.
Ferrari 458 Spider: All I can say is it’s about darn time they bring this out. The way its roof works is fantastic, and for the street you definitely want to be able to drop your top so you can hear that glorious Italian symphony behind you.
Porsche 911 (991): The logical next step for the Porsche 911, it’s improved but not radically different; which is just what any Porsche enthusiast would want. The 7-speed manual transmission is an interesting development, and Porsche’s technology clearly is just getting better on all fronts. I cannot wait to see it in person.
Alfa Romeo 4C: Fantastic car in concept, again I just hope it all makes it to showrooms. The announced US price will be around $60k, putting it right in competition with the Porsche Cayman; but the Alfa is so much prettier.
Mercedes SLS Roadster: Cool car, and it should be made to satisfy the demand for an open top variant. It has normal doors though, and for me that takes some of the car’s appeal away.
Audi R8 E-Tron: 313hp, and 3300ft/lbs of torque, and no that is not a typo on the torque figure either. It will have 1200lbs of batteries and will only be able to go 150 miles (still further than a Nissan Leaf though). I think it’s a cool idea, and the limited range works better for a sports car, but overall I’d still have the gas version. Electric technology just isn’t there yet. However, it is good to see a company like Audi forcing some progress so that one day electric cars will be completely viable. Such development is better done with expensive supercars than with mass consumer cars because price is much less a concern and engineers can focus on the technology alone; which will then become cheaper and find its way into normal cars.