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BBC Autos

Top 10 debuts at Frankfurt

About the author

Deputy editor of BBC Autos, Jonathan was formerly the editor of The New York Times' Wheels blog. His automotive writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Details, Surface, Intersection and Design Observer. He has an affinity for the Citroën DS and Toyota pickup trucks of the early 1990s.

  • Audi Sport Quattro Concept

    Whereas its other Frankfurt concept, the Nanuk, was almost cartoon-like in its pumped-up aggression, Audi’s Sport Quattro Concept was a handsome hooligan, the kind of thug who wears a sharply tailored suit to a fight. And despite evocations of the original Audi Quattro, a rally-racing pugilist that terrorised the European countryside 30 years ago, the concept neatly side-stepped easy retro-futurist clichés. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

    Click here for more on the Audi Sport Quattro.

  • Audi Sport Quattro Concept

    Whereas its other Frankfurt concept, the Nanuk, was almost cartoon-like in its pumped-up aggression, Audi’s Sport Quattro Concept was a handsome hooligan, the kind of thug who wears a sharply tailored suit to a fight. And despite evocations of the original Audi Quattro, a rally-racing pugilist that terrorised the European countryside 30 years ago, the concept neatly side-stepped easy retro-futurist clichés. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

    Click here for more on the Audi Sport Quattro.

  • Opel Monza Concept

    The last thing expected from a company that has lost money for over 10 years running. Opel, General Motors’ German division, was in rare form at its home motor show. The gullwinged Monza Concept is envisaged as a template for the ailing brand as it overhauls its design language. Expect a Monza-derived crease here or kink there to appear on future Opels, but don’t hold your breath for those doors. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

    Click here for more on the Opel Monza.

  • Opel Monza Concept

    The last thing expected from a company that has lost money for over 10 years running. Opel, General Motors’ German division, was in rare form at its home motor show. The gullwinged Monza Concept is envisaged as a template for the ailing brand as it overhauls its design language. Expect a Monza-derived crease here or kink there to appear on future Opels, but don’t hold your breath for those doors. (Photo: General Motors)

    Click here for more on the Opel Monza.

  • Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupé

    Continuing a string of design successes dating to the Concept A-Class of 2011, Mercedes-Benz’s styling mojo betrays no signs of fatigue. This concept previewed what will become the S-Class-topping Coupé. Part of the car’s drama stems from the lack of a B-pillar – that vertical brace typically positioned between the front and rear seats – which helps accentuate the sweep of the roofline. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

    Click here for more on the Concept S-Class Coupé.

  • Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupé

    Continuing a string of design successes dating to the Concept A-Class of 2011, Mercedes-Benz’s styling mojo betrays no signs of fatigue. This concept previewed what will become the S-Class-topping Coupé. Part of the car’s drama stems from the lack of a B-pillar – that vertical brace typically positioned between the front and rear seats – which helps accentuate the sweep of the roofline. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

    Click here for more on the Concept S-Class Coupé.

  • 2014 Nissan Rogue

    Sport crossovers continued their indelible march towards anonymity in Frankfurt, but the ballooning segment made room for a pleasing redesign among its ranks with the 2014 Nissan Rogue (marketed outside North America as the X-Trail). With the option of a third row of seats and a bevy of passive safety technology, the Rogue suddenly goes from segment afterthought to competitor. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

    Click here for more on the Nissan Rogue.

  • 2014 Nissan Rogue

    Sport crossovers continued their indelible march towards anonymity in Frankfurt, but the ballooning segment made room for a pleasing redesign among its ranks with the 2014 Nissan Rogue (marketed outside North America as the X-Trail). With the option of a third row of seats and a bevy of passive safety technology, the Rogue suddenly goes from segment afterthought to competitor. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

    Click here for more on the Nissan Rogue.

  • BMW i8 and Porsche 918 Spyder

    Having been spotted wearing novelty paint schemes and varying degrees of camouflage for well over two years, BMW and Porsche’s hybrid speed machines nevertheless retained their capacity to awe onlookers in Frankfurt. The i8 looked very much an ultimate driving machine, and at $136,000, should duly spook Audi R8 engineers. Porsche’s next-generation hypercar, meanwhile, bears a quality not common to cars that round Germany’s infamous Nürburgring in less than seven minutes: beauty. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

    Click here for more on the BMW i8.

  • BMW i8 and Porsche 918 Spyder

    Having been spotted wearing novelty paint schemes and varying degrees of camouflage for well over two years, BMW and Porsche’s hybrid speed machines nevertheless retained their capacity to awe onlookers in Frankfurt. The i8 looked very much an ultimate driving machine, and at $136,000, should duly spook Audi R8 engineers. Porsche’s next-generation hypercar, meanwhile, bears a quality not common to cars that round Germany’s infamous Nürburgring in less than seven minutes: beauty. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

  • Jaguar C-X17 Concept

    Just as Jaguar’s XF mid-size sedan has earned a following only gradually since its 2007 debut, so it may be with the British marque’s C-X17 crossover. The concept has not been green-lighted for production, but with Porsche readying its Macan, Audi improving its Q5 and Mercedes-Benz lifting the veil on its GLA in Frankfurt, Jaguar can ill-afford to stand idly by in the luxury sport-crossover wars. Like the XF, the C-X17 suggests another slow burn; it has polarised the faithful, but in time, even they might fancy a Jag SUV in their garages. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

    Click here for more on the Jaguar C-X17.

  • Jaguar C-X17 Concept

    Just as Jaguar’s XF mid-size sedan has earned a following only gradually since its 2007 debut, so it may be with the British marque’s C-X17 crossover. The concept has not been green-lighted for production, but with Porsche readying its Macan, Audi improving its Q5 and Mercedes-Benz lifting the veil on its GLA in Frankfurt, Jaguar can ill-afford to stand idly by in the luxury sport-crossover wars. Like the XF, the C-X17 suggests another slow burn; it has polarised the faithful, but in time, even they might fancy a Jag SUV in their garages. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

    Click here for more on the Jaguar C-X17.

  • Infiniti Q30 Concept

    Former Audi of America chief Johan de Nysschen has signed on. Styling rock star Simon Cox has signed on. Formula 1 triple-champion Sebastian Vettel has signed on. And critically, corporate parent Nissan has signed on to the notion that Infiniti needs fresh ideas. The Q30 Concept is a strong step: a lithe, sinuous, buildable hatchback that points the way forward for a brand that has cast about for a cohesive identity for nearly 25 years. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

    Click here for more on the Infiniti Q30.

  • Infiniti Q30 Concept

    Former Audi of America chief Johan de Nysschen has signed on. Styling rock star Simon Cox has signed on. Formula 1 triple-champion Sebastian Vettel has signed on. And critically, corporate parent Nissan has signed on to the notion that Infiniti needs fresh ideas. The Q30 Concept is a strong step: a lithe, sinuous, buildable hatchback that points the way forward for a brand that has cast about for a cohesive identity for nearly 25 years. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

    Click here for more on the Infiniti Q30.

  • Volvo Concept Coupe

    It takes a willful eye to discern – as Volvo would like you to do – the influence of the iconic P1800 coupe of the 1960s on the Concept Coupe (CC). If only Volvo recognised that, thanks to new styling director Thomas Ingenlath’s work on the CC, it has a design language that stands on its own merits – strong shoulder lines, a snub-nosed grille, a high beltline and clean, Spartan rear deck. Are these cues traceable to the P1800? Not really. Are they gorgeous? Ja. (Photo: Newspress)

    Click here for more on the Volvo CC.

  • Volvo Concept Coupe

    It takes a willful eye to discern – as Volvo would like you to do – the influence of the iconic P1800 coupe of the 1960s on the Concept Coupe (CC). If only Volvo recognised that, thanks to new styling director Thomas Ingenlath’s work on the CC, it has a design language that stands on its own merits – strong shoulder lines, a snub-nosed grille, a high beltline and clean, Spartan rear deck. Are these cues traceable to the P1800? Not really. Are they gorgeous? Ja. (Photo: Newspress)

    Click here for more on the Volvo CC.

  • Kia Niro Concept

    Just when Kia seems to have exhausted its trove of crossover concept ideas, it dusts off the 22in wheels, rigs up the butterfly doors and surprises the world yet again. The Niro, whose production prospects hover just above 0%, won the hearts of metallurgists everywhere with its stainless-steel roof, while its familiar Kia grille reined in the extroverted exterior – and put passersby on notice that the Korean brand was no longer the arriviste crashing the European auto salons. (Photo: Kia Motor)

  • Kia Niro Concept

    Just when Kia seems to have exhausted its trove of crossover concept ideas, it dusts off the 22in wheels, rigs up the butterfly doors and surprises the world yet again. The Niro, whose production prospects hover just above 0%, won the hearts of metallurgists everywhere with its stainless-steel roof, while its familiar Kia grille reined in the extroverted exterior – and put passersby on notice that the Korean brand was no longer the arriviste crashing the European auto salons. (Photo: Stefan Bischoff)

  • *Bonus* Nissan Nismo Watch Concept

    The cars are the stars in Frankfurt, but the show’s 2013 edition was unique for the inclusion of a wristwatch concept brought by Nissan’s Nismo performance division. Even if it proves as illusory as some of the concept cars displayed inside the Frankfurt exhibition grounds, it was a reminder that sometimes the most effective marketing exercises come packaged in recycled tire rubber. (Photo: Nissan North America)

    Click here for more on the Nismo Watch Concept.

  • *Bonus* Nissan Nismo Watch Concept

    The cars are the stars in Frankfurt, but the show’s 2013 edition was unique for the inclusion of a wristwatch concept brought by Nissan’s Nismo performance division. Even if it proves as illusory as some of the concept cars displayed inside the Frankfurt exhibition grounds, it was a reminder that sometimes the most effective marketing exercises come packaged in recycled tire rubber. (Photo: Nissan North America)

    Click here for more on the Nismo Watch Concept.

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