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The past few days have seen car maker after car maker launching new cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show. That’s hardly surprising, it’s one of the most important motor shows in Europe.
But those new cars only tell us what prospective buyers will be driving in the next few months. For a glimpse of what we’ll be driving in the next few years, you need to turn to the concept cars launched at the show.
These are some of the most exciting ones:
1. Porsche Mission E
With the mission E, it looks like Porsche is trying to out-Tesla Tesla. As we wrote yesterday, this electric sports sedan concept has some serious numbers behind it:
According to Porsche, the 800-volt drive system puts out more than 600 hp (440 kW) of system power and over 500 km driving range. It also features all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, zero to 100 km/h acceleration in under 3.5 seconds and a charging time of around 15 minutes to reach an 80% charge of electrical energy.
If Porsche manages to actually bring something like this into production, then we can expect the electric car space to get a heck of a lot more interesting.
2. Peugeot Fractal
Peugeot describes the Fractal as a “electric urban coupé”. What sets it apart, aside from the crazy design angles, is its focus on sound. According to Peugeot, the electric motor, Tall&Narrow tyres, go a long way to ensuring that the car glides through city streets as quietly as possible. In addition, Peugeot says, the wheels feature 3D-printed dihedral components to attenuate aerodynamic noise. Based on anechoic chambers, these additions reduce the intensity of sound waves, and therefore their noise levels, by causing them to bounce from one surface to another.
To ensure that it doesn’t knock over unsuspecting pedestrians, Peugeot has fitted the Fractal with a unique sound signature to alert other road users of its presence.
Inside, the choice of materials is apparently inspired by auditoriums and recording studios: black oak decorates the instrument panel, door panels and bucket seats; copper trim reminiscent of audio connections runs through the interior, “with 3D-printed anechoic motifs enhancing acoustic comfort”. A 3D textile mesh covers the seats and is offset by white leather trim.
Power-wise, the Fractal comes with two electric motors, each delivering 75kW/102hp, fitted to the front and rear axles.
3. Mercedes Benz Concept IAA
Merc claims that that the Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile, known in short as the Concept IAA, is actually two cars in one. The first is a four-door coupé “with a fascinating design” and the second “an aerodynamic world record breaker with a cd figure of 0.19”.
Those aerodynamics are as the result of some very clever people doing some very clever things with numbers, but it’s enough to know that Merc’s engineers spent about as much time working on them as they do developing a full-on production model.
The IAA is also equipped with a large number of sensors and modules that enable autonomous driving and car-to-x communication. Further innovations like the operating concept with touch-based functionalities in the interior likewise point the way to the business saloon of the near future.
4. Honda Project 2&4
The Honda Project 2&4 is the winning entry from Honda’s ‘Global Design Project’ and is the least powerful of the cars featured on this list. It comes with a 999 cc V-4 four-stroke unit, which was originally developed for the MotoGP motorcycle racing series and has been specially tuned for the public road.
Its most unique feature though is the driver’s seat, which is suspended just above the road when the car’s in use. That’s pretty damn cool.
5. Nissan Gripz
Can a sports car be tall? If the Gripz concept by Nissan is anything to go by, then the answer is very definitely in the affirmative. According to the Japanese car-maker, the Gripz blends the ability and practicality of a compact crossover with the excitement and performance of a sports car.
The Nissan Gripz Concept is equipped with an EV technology based series hybrid system `Pure Drive’ e-Power. A petrol engine powers the electric motor found in the Nissan LEAF. This configuration generates outputs of 80kW and 254Nm.