Blogs from the Frankfurt auto show

A glimpse at some imaginary future Fords and Lincolns

Posted 12:45 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 11
blogs
Seeing the Mondeo Vignale concept got me dreaming about some fantasy vehicles.
BRADFORD WERNLE:  Ford introduced a new sub-brand at the Frankfurt auto show this week. It’s called Vignale, named for a revered Italian coachbuilder.Since Ford doesn’t sell the Lincoln brand in Europe, Vignale will do the job that Lincoln does here -- appeal to Europe’s version of the “progressive luxury” customers Lincoln hopes to win here.The first Vignale vehicle, appearing in 2015 ...
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Laser headlights? Don't hold your breath

Posted 5:18 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 11
blogs David Sedgwick is special correspondent for Automotive News
 
Automakers have been teasing us with demonstrations of laser headlights, but you shouldn't hold your breath.A senior executive at Audi says LED headlights look so promising that there is no pressure to replace them with a new technology such as lasers.Because lasers can generate a pinpoint of light, automotive engineers could shrink the optics in a headlight to create a very compact package. That ...
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A Nissan concept to watch

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 11
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BRUCE GAIN:  FRANKFURT -- Nissan took infotainment connectivity to a new level by unveiling a wristwatch at the Frankfurt auto show that communicates with a car.The Nismo "smartwatch" receives data from a vehicle and separately records the driver's biometric reactions.The data the watch offers include:average speed and fuel consumptioncar performancethe driver's heart rate and fatiguethe drive's level of conce ...
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A Nissan concept to watch

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 11
blogs

BRUCE GAIN:  FRANKFURT -- Nissan took infotainment connectivity to a new level by unveiling a wristwatch at the Frankfurt auto show that communicates with a car.The Nismo "smartwatch" receives data from a vehicle and separately records the driver's biometric reactions.The data the watch offers include:average speed and fuel consumptioncar performancethe driver's heart rate and fatiguethe drive's level of conce ...
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Taking a peek inside China's Changan

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 11
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
China's Changan Automobile is moving fast but cautiously, according to a top executive with the automaker whose partners include Ford, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Mazda.Martin Joyce, who is group chief engineer at Changan's UK r&d center, said it wasn't long ago that the automaker was 10 years behind its more established rivals, but now it is about two years behind, especially when it comes to pow ...
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Why Opel and Buick are looking more familiar

Posted 9:38 am U.S. ET, Sept. 10
blogs
The flowing lines of the Monza's greyhound-like, fastback shape represents "a symbol of the next wave" of Opel designs, and by extension of Buick's future styling, says GM designer Mark Adams.
MIKE COLIAS:  FRANKFURT -- A memo from overseas to U.S. Buick watchers: Pay attention to what GM's Opel brand is doing on the other side of the pond, including the lithe Monza concept it unwrapped at the auto show here today.Because, more than ever, what's Opel is Buick, and vice versa.The flowing lines of the Monza's greyhound-like, fastback shape represents "a symbol of the next wave" of Opel designs, and by ...
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Tesla vows to charge across Europe

Posted 5:25 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 10
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Tesla plans a network of 120 kilowatt "superchargers" across Europe.
DAVE GUILFORD:  FRANKFURT -- How hot is Tesla? The California electric-vehicle maker drew a jostling crowd of perhaps 100 journalists for its press conference at the Frankfurt auto show Tuesday without the benefit of a new car to show.Tesla executives touted the Model S, now on sale in Europe. But much of their time was spent talking about the network of 120 kilowatt "superchargers" it plans to build in Europe, a ...
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Toyota bets its hybrids can win hearts of diesel-loving Europeans

Posted 5:15 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 9
blogs Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.
 
FRANKFURT -- Can hybrids woo European car buyers away from their traditional favorite fuel-economy technology -- diesels?Toyota, which has searched for a way to replicate its market-leading success elsewhere in Europe, is betting that they can. The automaker is planning to fill its display at the auto show here with hybrids as a statement, Toyota Motor Europe President Didier Leroy told reporters ...
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Former BMW insider bullish on Jaguar crossover

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 9
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Former BMW product development boss Wolfgang Ziebart sees a lot of potential in Jaguar's C-X17 crossover concept."I think a [BMW] X5 or [Audi] Q7 owner might be tempted to have this car," said Ziebart, who is now Jaguar's group engineering director.The C-X17, Jaguar's first sports crossover concept, was unveiled in Frankfurt Monday night on the eve of auto show here. The crossover is underpinned b ...
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Former BMW insider bullish on Jaguar crossover

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 9
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Former BMW product development boss Wolfgang Ziebart sees a lot of potential in Jaguar's C-X17 crossover concept."I think a [BMW] X5 or [Audi] Q7 owner might be tempted to have this car," said Ziebart, who is now Jaguar's group engineering director.The C-X17, Jaguar's first sports crossover concept, was unveiled in Frankfurt Monday night on the eve of auto show here. The crossover is underpinned b ...
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Germans get positive endorsement; PSA looks poised to surprise

Posted 4:00 am U.S. ET, Sept. 9
blogs Luca Ciferri is Editor of Automotive News Europe.
 
On the eve of their massive domestic auto show, German automakers received another strong endorsement, this time from the Fitch Ratings agency, which might be underestimating PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's potential for a strong rebound.In a report released today, Fitch said that German carmakers remain better positioned than their European peers.No one can argue with Fitch's view that BMW Group, Daimler A ...
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Racing beyond LED to the next big thing -- OLED lighting

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 8
blogs David Sedgwick is special correspondent for Automotive News
 
In a few years, the current generation of high-tech LED tail lights and headlights may look quaintly Victorian.Lighting suppliers are rushing to develop the Next Big Thing: a super-thin lighting source -- dubbed OLED -- that creates a 3D look for instrument clusters, tail lights or brake lights.An Organic Light Emitting Diode, or OLED, is a layer of material that lights up when electricity is pass ...
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Jaguar, Lexus to push Germans in key SUV segment

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 8
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Jaguar and Lexus are using the Frankfurt auto show to send a message to their German rivals: the premium compact SUV segment is about to get even more competitive.Jaguar will reveal its C-X17 concept, which reports say will spawn a rival aimed at the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. The move gives the British brand its first entry in the luxury SUV segment.Lexus's LF-NX concept previews an SUV that will challe ...
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Jaguar, Lexus to push Germans in key SUV segment

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 8
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Jaguar and Lexus are using the Frankfurt auto show to send a message to their German rivals: the premium compact SUV segment is about to get even more competitive.Jaguar will reveal its C-X17 concept, which reports say will spawn a rival aimed at the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. The move gives the British brand its first entry in the luxury SUV segment.Lexus's LF-NX concept previews an SUV that will challe ...
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Audi has a supercar conundrum

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 7
blogs
The Sport Quattro Concept: Reasserting the "technik" in Audi's motto -- Vorsprung durch Technik
GABE NELSON:  Audi intends to wow the Frankfurt crowds with the latest concept car bearing the revered Quattro name -- this time, a plug-in hybrid with 700 hp and hot-hatch lines so infernal that Satan might strike a deal to drive it.But for Audi, the Sport Quattro Concept is a whole lot more than that. ...
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Tough questions for Chevy Europe's new chief

Posted 3:30 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 6
blogs Mike Colias covers General Motors for Automotive News.
 
At next week's Frankfurt auto show, Chevrolet will show the convertible version of the refreshed 2014 Camaro. But Chevy execs at the show likely will field fewer questions about the topless muscle car than they will about the brand's sales rut in Europe.Through July this year, Chevy's sales in Europe sank 24 percent, to 88,252 units, according to the latest figures available from JATO Dynamics. Th ...
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For ailing Volvo, Frankfurt concept won't ease doubts

Posted 2:50 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 6
blogs
Design cues from the Volvo Concept Coupe will appear on the next XC90.
DIANA T. KURYLKO:  The Volvo brand -- starving for new product -- is tanking in the United States and under siege from German rivals in Europe.Company officials are now trying to stir up interest and confidence in the troubled brand -- it swung to a loss in the first half on weaker global sales and price cuts -- with the Concept Coupe debuting at the Frankfurt auto show.The Swedish brand calls the concept "the expre ...
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Tough questions for Chevy Europe's new chief

Posted 3:30 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 6
blogs Mike Colias covers General Motors for Automotive News.
 
At next week's Frankfurt auto show, Chevrolet will show the convertible version of the refreshed 2014 Camaro. But Chevy execs at the show likely will field fewer questions about the topless muscle car than they will about the brand's sales rut in Europe.Through July this year, Chevy's sales in Europe sank 24 percent, to 88,252 units, according to the latest figures available from JATO Dynamics. Th ...
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For ailing Volvo, Frankfurt concept won't ease doubts

Posted 2:50 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 6
blogs
Design cues from the Volvo Concept Coupe will appear on the next XC90.
DIANA T. KURYLKO:  The Volvo brand -- starving for new product -- is tanking in the United States and under siege from German rivals in Europe.Company officials are now trying to stir up interest and confidence in the troubled brand -- it swung to a loss in the first half on weaker global sales and price cuts -- with the Concept Coupe debuting at the Frankfurt auto show.The Swedish brand calls the concept "the expre ...
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Autonomous driving technology takes center stage

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 6
blogs Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.
 
Automakers love to display their technological prowess at the big auto shows, searching for that cutting-edge feature that will dazzle consumers.A few years ago it was electric drive. No respectable auto show stand could be without a car with a plug stuck into its side.But now that seems so, you know, 2010.Instead, autonomous driving technology will be to the Frankfurt auto show what electric driv ...
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