The Frankfurt Motor Show has just opened and features a definite theme – green.
Car makers have been jostling for position as each tries to show off its eco-friendly credentials with every major manufacturer featuring models with improved fuel efficiency, running on bio-diesel, batteries or hydrogen.
Even the official theme of the show – “See what will move your future” (a change from the traditional slogan of “Auto Fascination”) supports the push for car makers to push to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The German manufacturers are leading the charge with Porsche introducing a hybrid version of its popular Cayenne SUV, Daimler Chrysler unveiling the latest Smart car (the engine of which even cuts out whilst waiting at traffic lights) and BMW bringing out its long awaited BMW X6, the world’s first 4WD Coupe which also is available with a hybrid engine (The BMW X6 will hit the Australian market towards the end of 2008. Full preview coming soon on our news and reviews pages.)
Citroen have made a notable contribution to eco-friendly models including the striking Citroen C-Cactus, a hybrid car with a fuel consumption of around 3.4l/100km. Perhaps a little more mainstream in design, the Citroen C4 BioFlex, was also on display and will be launched in France and Sweden later this year. By being able to use both regular fuel and ethanol, the “flex fuel” engine helps to reduce emissions by over 30%.
The other big news at the Frankfurt Motor Show has been the controversy over copyright breach. BMW have now launched legal proceedings against Shuanghuan, the Chinese car maker. The claims concern the similarities between the Chinese made CEO and the BMW X5.
Whilst BMW have claimed the Chinese car is a direct rip-off of its successful X5, a spokesman for Shuanghuan suggested that the fuss has been deliberately created as part of a wider campaign to keep Chinese made cars out of Europe.
Rumours that BMW planned to somehow prevent Shuanghuan from exhibiting the CEO have been rife although we can confirm that two versions of the Chinese model are being displayed at the show.
To find out more about the show, visit the official IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung) website.