Top 5 Frankfurt 2013 Debuts


It might not have been the most exciting car show of the year, but there were still plenty to keep us entertained.

The 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show won't be remembered for any surprise unveilings. In some cases (918 Spyder, we're looking at you) the cars that made their world debuts had already been seen in concept form and via spy shots countless time, but that didn't make their introduction any less exciting. We've looked back at what went down at the Masse last week and collated the top five debuts in no particular order. Check it.

Upon its unveiling, the production-ready 918 Spyder looked almost identical to the concept that debuted two years earlier with only minor differences made to the plug-in hybrid drivetrain. A race-bred 4.6-liter V8 rated at 608 hp is paired to a 154 hp electric motor at the rear and 127 hp motor up front for a combined output of 887 hp and 940 lb-ft of torque. 0-62 mph in at 2.8 seconds, 0-124 mph is clocked at 7.7 seconds, but the 918 labors to 186 mph in 22 seconds. In electric power alone, it can reach 93 mph, hit 0-62 mph in seven seconds and manage up to 20 miles per charge. At 6.57 minutes, the 918 Spyder now holds the Nurburgring lap record for a production car.

By the time the BMW i8 debuted at Frankfurt, its specs were already well-known: a 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, and an electric motor driving the front wheels for a combined total of 362 hp and 320 lb-ft. The i8 can sprint from 0-62 mph in only 4.4 seconds, has a top speed of 155 mph (while also managing 75 mph in pure electric mode), returns an estimated 94 mpg and can travel up to 22 miles on battery power alone. In hybrid mode, BMW claims a 310 mile range. US pricing will start at $135,925 (only the 760Li costs more) and sales will begin next spring.

Mercedes whisked the wraps off the 2015 GLA compact crossover for the first time at Frankfurt. The smallest model in its utility range, the GLA shares its architecture and powertrain lineup with the A- and CLA-Class compacts and is certainly stylish enough to make BMW X1 buyers think twice and may even pinch a few Range Rover Evoque fans away from Land Rover.

Like its predecessor, the new A3 Cabrio has seating for four, but it has grown in size providing additional interior and cargo space. The soft cloth top is stretched over a lightweight kinematic mechanism made of magnesium-steel, and at the push of a button it will open or close in less than 18 seconds while driving up to 31 mph. Buyers will have their choice of either 1.4- or 1.8-liter TFSI engines that produce 140 and 180 horsepower respectively, and can opt for either a seven-speed S tronic gearbox or a six-speed manual transmission that will send power to all four wheels.

The Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse could well turn out to be the last of the seemingly endless Gallardo special editions. Power comes from a 5.2-liter V10 that produces 570 horsepower and is mated to an e-gear six-speed auto with paddle shifters. It comes with carbon-ceramic brakes, carbon-fiber bucket seats and tons of Alcantara trim throughout the interior. Because the Squadra Corse is basically the street legal version of the track-only Super Trofeo, its performance is truly quite something. It'll blast from 0-60 mph in only 3.4 seconds and 0-124 mph in 10.4 seconds. Top speed is a claimed 199 mph and carries a price tag of €191,100.

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