The top concepts at the Frankfurt motor show give a close look into the shapes that our cars will take in the coming years.
Four of our top five cars will spawn production variants, in fact. It's a trend which has been growing in recent years - you just have to look back to some of the concept cars from the 2011 Frankfurt motor show to see how many are now on sale. The Ford Fiesta ST, Infiniti FX Vettel edition, Range Rover Evoque, and the Alfa Romeo 4C are all either on sale now, or coming very soon.
Concepts are often the headline acts at motor shows, and the Frankfurt motor show has been no exception. Click below for the full stories behind our top five concept cars of the show.
The stunning Jaguar SUV concept sets out the marque's future - and marks the beginning of an ambitious model expansion programme too. Over the next few years the new all-aluminium architecture known as iQ[Al] will start to underpin a new generation of models from Jaguar. Described by bosses as being flexible, modular and scalable, the platform gives Jaguar a lot of design freedom. We already know the new architecture will be used in developing the firm's BMW 3-series rival, planned for 2015.
We've seen leaked pictures of this Toyota concept in the run up to the Frankfurt motor show, but never the full car. Powered by a combination of a 1.6-litre four-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine and two electric motors attached to each of the rear wheels, the Hybrid-R gets a grand total of 414bhp. Among the other technological features on the Hybrid-R is the super-capacitor. Originally used on Toyota's Le-Mans racer, the unit is used to store electrical energy much faster than a conventional battery.
Setting the Range Rover Evoque firmly in its sights, the LF-NX concept from Lexus is being used to assess reaction to a bolder design language. Power for the concept comes from an adaptation of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system used on the ES300h saloon. The front wheels are driven by the combination of a 156bhp 2.5-litre petrol engine and a 44bhp electric motor. A four-wheel-drive version of a future production version is also under consideration.
The Quattro name has been revived by Audi for this concept, which is intended to preview a new production model which would sit above the R8, at the very top of the manufacturer's range. Powered by a V8 engine producing 552bhp, and assisted by a 148bhp electric motor, the Sport Quattro delivers its power to the road via an all-wheel drive system. It's efficient too, with Audi claiming just 59g/km of CO2 emissions and 113mpg.
Citroën has confirmed that its radical Cactus concept will enter production next year, becoming the Citroën C4 Cactus when it goes on sale. As well as becoming a model in itself, the Cactus also sets out a new design language for Citroën's C-line range of vehicles. The concept shown in Frankfurt is powered by PSA's Hybrid Air Technology, which uses compressed air and a hydraulic motor assembly to assist a conventional engine. Citroën says using the technology gives the Cactus an average fuel economy of 'more than 94mpg.'
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