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Home : Autoshows : Frankfurt 2003 : Highlights

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Citroën C-Airlounge concept

The C-Airlounge is interesting for two reasons: it displays new research for aerodynamics and provides further studies into interior ambience using various new forms of lighting.

The large double-chevron grille, with chrome whiskers that feed into the headlamps, previews the face of the forthcoming C4 model, while the lower grille motif gives a powerful expression to the front face. The most interesting aspect of the C-Airlounge is the radical new take on interior lighting systems, which allows the passengers to select the mood of lighting. NH

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Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione

A sports car that delivers authentic emotions, says Alfa Romeo. Perhaps this is a reminder to so many other brands who have recently started to fashionably claim to be more emotional, that Alfa Romeo produces innately more emotional designs than any other mass market car brand?

Daniel Bandiera, president of Alfa Romeo, presented the 8c Competizione concept car as an icon for the Alfa brand. Powered by a front mounted 400bhp, eight cylinder engine and harking back in name to the 8c racing and road cars of the 1930s and 40s and in its frontal aspect to the 33 coupe Stradale, the 2 seat GT was designed at the Alfa Romeo Style Centre.

Over ten years ago Alfa produced the conceptually similar SZ in small numbers, lets hope that the 8c might also make it to production. SL





Mercedes SLR McLaren

Showing at Frankfurt in its final production form for the first time was the SLR, four years after it debuted in concept car form as the Vision SLR at Frankfurt.

It was shown alongside its impressive carbon fibre monocoque body that demonstrates the lengths that the Maclaren and Mercedes Benz development teams went to produce a strong and lightweight structure, although the announcement at Frankfurt of the car’s final weight of 1693kg surpasses its target of 1600kg and the convertible Porsche Carrera GT’s weight of 1380kg, suggesting that if the SLR is not the fastest of the new breed of super supercars, then it is likely to be the most refined. SL





Mitsubishi i concept

The i is a prelude to a Japanese market K-car coming in two years time and showcases a completely new, very frugal powertrain, and lightweight aluminium and plastic body construction.

Designed under Mitsubishi chief designer Olivier Boulay, i is a very spacious car for its size, offering similar levels of accommodation to the European B-class. This space is afforded by the exceptionally long wheelbase which in term is possible because of the rear mounted engine that enables the front wheels to be pushed far forward in a similar way to the Smart City Coupe. SL





Nissan Dunehawk concept

With the Dunehawk Nissan showed a concept car version of the soon to be announced large production SUV designed predominately for the North American market.

The design is dominated by the new ‘iconic Nissan 4x4 front grille design with its balanced angle strut motif’ and the chunky doors, reminiscent of the Hummer H2.

The interior features seven seats with the rear two rows folding electrically and an impressive roof mounted centre storage console similar in concept to that of an airliner. SL






Suzuki S2

The S2 is based closely on the design of the Concept-S shown at Paris last year, but introduces a novel, three piece, electrically folding hard roof and design resolution slightly closer to the production car due next year. You can see the roof in action here: www.globalsuzuki.com/concept-s2/hardware.html

Suzuki claim to focus on cars that are ‘small in size but styled to project a powerful presence’ and the diminutive S2 appears to be just that, sharing some front design cues with the similarly small and mighty Citroen C2 launched also at Frankfurt. If the production car has the stance of the show car (which means keeping the large wheels) then it should be a real winner. SL

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Last updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2003