HIT: Audi Nanuk Quattro concept
A stunner all around, but, oddly, the rear seems to define the Nanuk. It's broad -- quite broad visually -- with a stack of horizontal lines emphasizing that it is planted on the road and ready to roar. With a direct-injected V-10, this is a supercar take on four-wheel drive.
HIT: Audi Sport Quattro concept
The surprise debut of the Nanuk cast the Sport Quattro concept in the sensible-shoes role. Though overshadowed, the Sport Quattro still comes off as a sleek real-world 4wd that would fit nicely into Audi's lineup.
HIT: Ferrari 458 Speciale
This 597-hp Ferrari variant is bristling with racing technology. It will sell for about $315,000, and no doubt Ferrari will build one less than demand. The Speciale does have some puzzling touches, though: Witness the pair of horizontally mounted vents in the hood. I was assured that air flow will prevent rain from entering the vents when the car is moving. And, of course, the Speciale is not about standing still.
MISS: Lexus LF-NX
At the Geneva show, Lamborghini won the "how many angles can we cram onto this thing?" title with the Veneno. Lexus takes the crown at Frankfurt, mostly on the basis of the front end of this crossover concept, replete with gigantic grille, colliding lines and snarling bladelike surfaces. Lexus says it will use elements from the LF-NX in future vehicles. Let's hope it does so selectively.
HIT: Smart FourJoy
Some goofy concepts just make you smile. Smart's FourJoy previews the return of the ForFour four-seater, although I'm guessing the production version will have doors. The FourJoy, a collection of swooping plastic and metal in a very small space, seems to have derived its name from the fun that its designers had with it.