DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC

S class and i8 were Frankfurt Web winners

Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
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The Mercedes-Benz S-class luxury sedan and BMW's i8 plug-in hybrid were the big Web winners from this year's Frankfurt auto show, according to a study.

The S class was the show's media champion because of the debut of three very different variants: the high-performance S63 AMG supercar, the low-CO2 S500 plug-in hybrid and a coupe concept.

The S class was mentioned in 5.17 percent of all the online stories and blogs from journalists covering the event, according to UK-based Kantar Media. Second by a very small margin was the BMW i3 (5.16 percent), then the BMW i8 (4.9 percent) followed by the Audi Sport Quattro concept (4.1 percent) while the Audi A3 (4.0 percent) rounded out the top five.

BMW's debut of the new i8 accounted for a show-best 3.3 percent of all social-media buzz. BMW says the production version of the mid-engine supercar will use just 2.5 liters of fuel per 100km (113mpg UK/94 mpg U.S.). That is even better than the 3 liters/100km for the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid. The i8 also goes 0-100kph in just 4.8 seconds. The Jaguar C-X17 concept, which hints at a rival to the BMW X5 and Mercedes M class, ranked second in social media with 3.1 percent of feedback followed by the Audi Sport Quattro concept (2.5 percent). The Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid, which can accelerate from 0 to 100kph in 2.8 seconds and offers an average fuel consumption of between 3.0 liters and 3.3 liters per 100 km, was fourth (2.4 percent) followed by the Toyota Hybrid R concept (2.2 percent).

Best brands

When it comes to brands, Volkswagen created the greatest amount of online chatter from Frankfurt with a mention in 8.4 percent of all Web news stories and blogs from the show, according to the study. Right behind in second place was BMW (8.3 percent). Audi was third (7.6 percent) with Mercedes-Benz and Porsche rounding out the top five (6.8 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively).

Audi was the most mentioned brand on social media, accounting for 10.8 percent of the feedback on Twitter, Facebook, forum posts and comments on video sites including YouTube. BMW ranked second (9.7 percent) because of its i3 and i8, as well as the debut of its new 4 series, face-lifted X5 and the X5 eDrive Concept. VW was third (7.8 percent) followed by Porsche (4.6 percent) and Mercedes-Benz (4.5 percent).

The study's findings are based on more than 51,000 online news articles and blog posts and more than 111,000 social media posts and discussions from Aug. 12, 2013 until the end of the second press day (Sept. 11, 2013).

You can reach Douglas A. Bolduc at dbolduc@crain.com.

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