European car manufacturers focus on economical engines

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 […]

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.