2013 Frankfurt Motor Show - Eyewitness Comments from the World's Largest Automobile Show | Part Three Mercedes-Benz-Volvo +VIDEO


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PART THREE Mercedes-Benz - Volvo

SEE ALSO: PART ONE 2013 | Frankfurt Auto Show Alfa Romeo - Chevrolet
SEE ALSO: PART TWO 2013 | Frankfurt Auto Show Citroën - Mazda


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By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel


FRANKFURT - September 10, 2013: The 2013 IAA Frankfurt Auto Show opened its doors for the media earlier today. The Frankfurt show is organized every other year and there are so many new and updated models to see that I have divided this overview report into 3 sections.


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Mercedes-Benz GLA: After the A-, B- en CLA-Class it is time for the fourth new model, the GLA. This model is the first Benz available with 4Matic all-wheel drive with full variable torque distribution. It makes sense for Mercedes to enter this compact SUV segment, as this is one of the fastest growing world wide. The GLA will arrive in showrooms in 2014.


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Mercedes S-Class Concept Coupe: Busy times in the Daimler pavilion, which was already packed during the pre-night for invited media to look at the new Mercedes S-Class. The rolling technology park got company during media day from the Concept S-Class Coupe. Indeed, the two-door concept is a fore bode of the new model that will succeed the CL under a new name. After 17 years, the CL nameplate will be extinct because Mercedes wants to simplify its program. Probably you will agree it is really good looking.


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Mercedes CLA 45 AMG Racing Series: The CLA 45 AMG Racing Series celebrates its world premiere. The production model is based on the four door high performance coupe and is mean for homologation in the popular race classes with 2-liter turbo cars.


Watch Henny's exclusive interview with Mercedes-Benz



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Mini: No news on the Mini stand, but a launch of the Original Mini Accessories program with a novelty, the first 25-watt Xenon headlamp suitable for a number of Mini models. Visitors of the stand will probably enjoy to jump in the slide after climbing the stairs and look at the score board for the time it took to go down and post their picture on Facebook.


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Nissan Friend-Me Concept: The Friend-Me is the first concept that has been designed according Nissan’s new philosophy. It is a concept for a four-seater with an interactive interior with multi display infotainment system meant for a new generation of customers that is constantly on line.


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Nissan Rogue: The Americans know the name Rogue, but is is new to Europe. Therefore the world debut for the new model is in Frankfurt. The new model will be instrumental in Nissan’s efforts to reach the league of the best sold models within three years.


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Opel Monza: An old name has been survived by the debut of the Opel Monza. At the time, the former Monza was a under-valued model, because Opel did not do much to promote the coupe. This time, the GM brand will have to make it right. If not, the amount of some 4 billion dollar (!) that has been invested in the development of the new Monza, will be wasted.


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Opel Insignia Sports Tourer OPC: The refreshed Opel Insignia debuts with all-wheel drive in the sporty OPC-models. The system has been developed by Haldex and offers an electronic limited slip differential. Unfortunately the Insignia does not live up to the expectations of the company when it comes to sales.


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Peugeot 308 : New at Peugeot is the new 308 hatchback, that is lighter than the outgoing model and will be offered with a very fuel efficient engine. The 308 name plate stood for a well sold model, but now, the French manufacturer is struggling to survive strong losses. Will the 308 save Peugeot...?


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Peugeot RCZ-R: The Peugeot RCZ-R shows the fastest production model that has been built by the PSA brand so far. It has a 267 hp strong 1.6-liter turbo engine and will undoubtedly attract fans of super sporty variants of the French brand.


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Porsche 918 Spyder: Finally, the Porsche 918 Spyder takes the stage. Porsche says that its plug-in hybrid sports car offers better fuel consumption than the hybrid Toyota Auris. That does not mean that the 918 is a super car with 875 hp strong drive line. Another car to look forward for driving!


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Porsche 911 Carrera S limited: I think it is a real accomplishment: in 50 years of its existence the Porsche 911 has been developed into a highly modern sports car with the latest technology, but without losing its iconic heritage. Thumps up for the all design chiefs involved over the past half decade. The special ’50 Years 911’ edition also honors them.


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Qoros: No stand, no premiere, no cars in Frankfurt of the new Qoros brand. This joint venture of the Chinese manufacturer Chery and holding company Israel Corporation chose to be invisible. According to Gerd Hildebrand, former Mini design chief and now in charge of design at Qoros, who I met at the Mini stand: “It is too expensive, to be present here.”


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Renault Espace concept: Will Renault bring back the Espace minivan? It is a real possibility since the French unveiled a concept for a new Espace. In 2011, the last generation was discontinued as part of the efforts to minimize losses at Renault.


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Skoda Rapid Spaceback: The Tsjechian Volkswagen division is popular because it offers VW quality at more competitive prices. The Skoda Rapid Spaceback undoubtedly will be in high demand. It offers a practical interior in a good looking and popular body style.


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Smart Forjoy: In the Daimler pavilion, the huge stage hosted the unveiling of the Smart Fourjoy, a concept for a model that seats four. It is another try to keep Smart rolling. The old Smart Fourfour did not sell well, but with a new design, mother Daimler is looking into the future. The concept car looks a lot like the Toyota IQ, but I have to admit, there is not much room – or length - or design in the micro class.


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Subaru Concept WRX: Two premieres at the Subaru stand. For fans of the sporty WRX STI models, Subaru showed a concept for a complete new version. The WRX Concept has a much sleeker and more elegant looking body with a coupe like roof line. It will be a relief for fans to see that Subaru has not discarded the WRX. The concept car is equipped with a Subaru-typical boxer engine.


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Subaru Viziv Concept: We may be not the first, because we want to come up with excellent technology. That is a sentence that I have heard earlier from Subaru executives. It undoubtedly is also the case with the Viziv concept car, with the new Boxer-Diesel-Hybrid. It is a plug-in hybrid driveline that combines three electric engines with a 2.0-liter boxer turbo diesel power plant. Interesting enough to look forward to the arrival of the production model!


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Suzuki iV-4: Although out of the US market Suzuki is alive and well around the world. With the Suzuki iV-4 the Nissan Juke gets another competitor from this upcoming compact crossover model. It is not ready for production yet, but the iV-4 Concept shows that we can expect more Suzuki with its family look of the Jimny and Grand Vitara.


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Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R concept: Excitement at Toyota, which shows the Yaris Hybrid-R. It is a concept for a super fast Yaris with a 400 hp strong 1.6-liter motor, driving the front wheels. Two electric motors drive the rear wheels. The concept has been developed by Toyota’s motor sport division and the engine is dubbed GRE (Global Race Engine). Must be a fast little beast!


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Toyota Land Cruiser: Sharing the show floor with the small Yaris is the face lifted Land Cruiser. The SUV has an improved chassis and is equipped with new technology.


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Volkswagen Golf R, Golf Plus, e-Golf en e-Up: The huge Volkswagen pavilion hosts new variants of the Golf VII: the fast R, the roomy Golf Plus and the electric e-Golf. Also the small Up gets an electric model with the e-Up.


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Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept: The CrossBlue Concept debuted in Shanghai and is shown for the first time in Europe. The design study shows a lot of details that we will see in upcoming design at Volkswagen. New is also the hybrid drive line with e 6-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor. It should offer a fuel consumption of 3 l/100 km (EU test cycle).


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Volvo Concept C-Coupé: There may be people who remember the Volvo P118 and they may be able to see some connection with the Concept C Coupé. Volvo’s new design chief Thomas Ingenlath is responsible for the nicely styled coupe, that offers a preview of the design of upcoming models. The concept has a 400 h k strong 4-cylinder plug-in hybrid drive line.

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