Innovative city cars and economical engines were much in evidence at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which opened last week.
Audi’s new A2, seen at Frankfurt as a concept car two years ago, is the first aluminium car to go into true volume production. At 895kg the new car weighs 43% less than it would if built from steel and it boasts a drag coefficient of just 0.28. Petrol and diesel engines both of 1.4 litres capacity will return fuel consumption figures of 67.3mpg and 46.3mpg respectively. A future diesel version that will cover 100km on three litres of fuel is promised.
Another contender in the `three-litre’ car stakes was Nissan’s Cypact concept, using a direct injection diesel engine. Nissan said that its `modulated fire’ combustion reduces fuel consumption and emissions by burning fuel at a lower temperature, made possible through a combination of electronic fuel injection, exhaust gas recirculation and combustion chamber geometry.
Citroen showed its Pluriel concept, with both interior and exterior capable of being configured in different ways – as a convertible saloon, pick up, or roadster.
Mercedes-Benz exhibited two new variable-valve timing and lift systems for future petrol engines.
Smart, recovering after disappointing initial sales, showed a roadster based on its city car, which it is expected will be produced in a right hand-drive version.