Frankfurt Auto Show Will Debut Diesels, Some Hybrids

Diesel is and will remain the solution for auto emissions in Europe. That’s the implied message based on the long and growing list of diesel debuts at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show. A number of models will feature stop-start technology, the mildest of hybrid systems. But more robust gas-electric or purely electric cars are announced mostly as distant future models or merely as concepts. With rare exception, none of the models are intended for the United States. Here’s our quick rundown of announcements so far.

Peugeot Hybrids

Peugeot will reveal its first two vehicles to use the company’s Hybrid4 drivetrain.
The 3008 Hybrid4 crossover and RCZ Hybrid4 concept sports car feature a parallel hybrid system consisting of an electric motor for powering the rear wheels and an internal combustion engine to spin the front wheels. The system provides 4-wheel drive on demand, and can operate in internal combustion, all-electric or blended modes. The 3008 Hybrid4, which will go on sale in Europe in 2011, could be the long-awaited first diesel hybrid to hit the road. No plans yet to market the RCZ Hybrid4.


German manufacturer Herpa plans to show an all-electric prototype version of the Trabant—the much-maligned classic vehicle of Communist East Germany. Three million units of the original model were built between 1957 and 1991. The long shot idea is to revitalize the square boxy model by putting in an electric drive with the capability of 150 miles of driving range. With such gimmicks as a rooftop solar panel, the new owners of the nameplate hope to attract investors and re-launch a modern eco-friendly version by 2012.

Volvo All-Electric C-30

Volvo All-Electric C-30

Volvo All-Electric C-30 concept

According to UK’s Autocar, Volvo will debut an all-electric C30 hatchback in Frankfurt. The electric Volvo is merely a concept, but Volvo has confirmed an upcoming plug-in hybrid version of the V70 wagon, scheduled to launch in 2012.

BMW 320d

BMW 320d

BMW 320d

BMW will use Frankfurt to roll out its 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel 320d sedan, promising more than 57 miles to the gallon. The 320d is expected to deliver 162 horsepower, while keeping CO2 to 109 grams per kilometer in the EU test cycle. Top speed is 140 mph. The BMW 320d comes with regenerative braking and stop-start functionality switching off the engine even during a short stop in traffic, avoiding any unnecessary consumption of fuel while idling. BMW will also show its ActiveHybrid X6 and ActiveHybrid7 models, which will go on sale in the US later this year.

Mazda CX-7

Mazda CX-7

Mazda CX-7

Mazda will show off the CX-7 2.2-liter turbo diesel, the first Japanese brand diesel to use Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to reduce diesel emissions. Like the urea-based systems found in Mercedes and BMW clean diesels, the AdBlue solution is stored in a tank under the rear cargo area and injected into the exhaust stream ahead of the catalytic converter.

Citroën DS3

Citroën DS3

Citroën DS3

Citroën is showing the first production versions of its new DS3 mini car—which is not one, but a portfolio of vehicles. It will ship with a choice of five engines: three gas-powered and two diesels. The diesels put out 90 and 110 hp and have CO2 ratings of 99 and 115 g/km, respectively. The DS3 is small, about 10 inches longer than the Mini Cooper. Like the Mini, drivers can customize components including the roof, body, rearview mirror housings and wheels. Inside, customers get a choice of dashboard strip, gear stick knob and a host of other interior equipment with themes such as Maori, Zebra, Wave, and Daisy.

Suzuki SX4

Suzuki SX4

Suzuki SX4

In Frankfurt, Suzuki will show the diminutive 1.3-liter diesel-powered Splash and Swift models, as well as the gas-powered Alto. It will also display the 2010 Suzuki SX4 five-door hatchback, including the Minor Change model available in Europe with all-wheel-drive and an all-new 2.0-liter diesel engine offering 18 per cent lower emissions. This model will be introduced later in 2010.

Kia Venga

Kia Venga

Kia Venga

Kia will make the world debut of its new small car, the Kia Venga. Just longer than 13 feet, the Venga has a long wheelbase and is packaged for as much interior space as possible. Every engine in the Venga line-up will be available with a stop-start system, and will comply with Euro 5 emission standards. Consumers will be offered a choice of two 1.4-liter and 1.6-liter gas and diesel engines.

More Hybrid News...

  • alancamp

    The Diesel/Electric hybrid is definitely the way to go if it’s going to be a hybrid. It offers the more torque, up to 30% higher fuel economy than the same displacement in a gasoline engine, along with less maintenance. Whoever offers the diesel/electric hybrid here in the states first will win big. Americans seem to need another reason to buy a diesel than just better fuel economy.

  • alancamp

    It’s all about MPG. Which is what Honda has not figured out yet. The new 2010 Insight gets 40/43, while the current 2009 Civic Hybrid gets 40/45. So what’s the point in spending so much development money on a new car when it doesn’t exceed the performance of the current body-style. Then charging $4K more for the current body style that is already a best seller. Why not let the current product line absorb some of the cost of the hybrid system, so it’s delivered closer to the gasoline version. Instead of pouring cash into developing/marketing a product that clearly does not make sense to the ‘consumer’. Ford and Toyota are on the right track.

  • Testy

    Typically too many suvs are being made and sold for use on public roads. This leads to the general publics acceptance of these monsters, whether they are hybrid or not. What is wrong with driving a car that is suitable for the average commute and the occasional family drives. Oversized cars are not necessary and are a blight on our roads and environment. The people in power being the President, Prime Minister, Queen or whatever should legislate against these vehicles, increase taxes on them to such a point that they are not viable. Base registration costs on fuel consumption, road taxes on mass and these vehicles will disappear like the dinosaurs they are.

  • crut100

    What really frost my cookies is that these high mileage diesels from BMW, etc… are not coming to America. 57MPG from a 320d yet here the 3 series diesel gets a crappy 35MPG on the highway – for over $50K. What I really want is a 40MPG+ 5 series (which is in Europe now) but for some reason BMW simply refuses to bring to American. I’ve sold all my BMW’s in a one man protest and purchased a Lexus and a Ford to replace them and I won’t buy another BMW until they bring to America what I want!

  • BMW Fan

    BMW will not bring a 4 cylinder model to the United States because of the public-image damage the ill-conceived 328tii caused the brand. It doesn’t matter how many turbos, hp, or MPG it gets! My bet is in the near future BMW will bring some of the start-stop technology to the US on the high-end models to hide/absorb the cost of the technology (ala X6 Hybrid or monster 7-series).

    Personally I am hoping for a diesel X1 with a smaller turbo’ed diesel engine than is currently in the 335d. The X1 should carry a price tag high enough to absorb the additional cost of the diesel engine, maintain the BMW image in the US for power and luxury, and at the same time be a small enough vehicle to return a good combined MPG.

    I’m sure BMW would prefer to leap frog all the hybrid technologies and take electric cars directly to the market. That would definitely keep the brand image clean (performance and low CO2).

  • Dom

    I’m always jealous of the Europeans and all their diesel choices!!
    I agree with crut100 on the BMWs – we get an overpowered low mpg diesel and gasoline hybrids. Come on! Bring the 320d instead! Or at least in addition.

  • Crut100

    BMW Fan,

    I agree the 318tii was terrible but BMW is still missing the boat. They ARE losing sales – when was the last time you ever heard of BMW offering a $4500 discount – from BMW not the dealer. Add on the additional discounts you can negotiate from the dealer and these are massive price reductions. A couple of years ago it was sticker or maybe couple of grand off total. Some of these deals are reaching 10% off. The only reason any manufacturer discounts is b/c they can’t sell enough units at their standard price. Bring over high mileage cars or suffer. As it stands now, if it truly does ship I’m buying a Fisker Karma next year. That means BMW will be off my list for at least 4-5 more years. Too many people like me and they will be hurting. Get your head out of the sand BMW. You make an awesome car, now make one for the US that gets good gas mileage too!

  • Lost Prius to wife

    alancamp, the main purpose of the gas engine in Toyota’s Prius is to provide electricity to the battery and electric motor. At higher speeds and strong acceleration the gas engine does provide some direct power to the wheels. But most of the time the gas engine is there for the electricity, not the horsepower. By running the gas engine at its most gas efficient RPM and designing the valves and engine system for the least pollution, it provides a relatively clean ride. Also, the power split hybrid system is more efficient than the parallel electric/diesel hybrid systems you mentioned. The power split hybrid has no transmission, no clutch, no alternator, and no starter motor. Because of that there are a lot less parts to break down, a lot less parts to go wrong. In fact, I am surprised that the mechanics of the world do not rise in protest against Toyota. How many times in the past have I heard that I need a new transmission, clutch, alternator, or starter motor along with “its going to cost you big bucks”? Those are now gone with our Prius. Although the parallel electric/diesel hybrid systems are good, they still are not as efficient as a power split hybrid.

  • Samie

    Lost Prius to wife you bring up a good point about less components that could go wrong though it would be interesting to see how much less repairs a pure EV would have over its lifetime.

    Two great business that surround any car produced today is the auto mechanic & the need go to a fueling station for fuel. I have seen some stories in the last few days debating the future of transportation w/c is EV’s or Fuel Cells but I can’t see how consumers would not lean towards EV’s even w/ current limitations due to reducing the inconvenience & costs of stops at the gas station or monthly oil changes. It is unclear to me how dealerships would make up lost revenue in its auto mechanic business & will consumers drive EV’s or hybrids like a Prius longer if less wear & tear happens w/c could hurt sales of new vehicles?

    Side comment on mechanics watch out for them ordering parts from their buddies & not giving you the cheapest parts, (say dealership brand name parts) along w/ parts showing up so quick you don’t have time to checkout if he is telling you the truth… But if you do order the parts yourself beware that the mechanic may up his labor to makeup for lost revenue for him & the auto parts friend. That is why its important to have a good mechanic that doesn’t try to suck as much money out of you as possible.

  • Don the Fireman

    Likely Mahindra will be the FIRST with the Hybrid Diesel in the U.S.A. –

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Samie, I agree that there are some unanswered questions for the future to answer.

    Hybrids that do not run their gas engine all the time are already saving on some maintenance cost. I figure that my wife and I run the Prius gas engine approximately 45% to 65% of the time driven. The only real difference between a Toyota Prius (or a Chevy Volt) and an EV is that there will be no gas engine in the EV. All three of the above have got regenerative brakes, electric motors and batteries. The Prius batteries are only beefy enough to provide sustainer energy while the other two provide main source energy. Although regenerative brakes, electric motors and batteries will have failure rates, they will be low. Regenerative brakes, electric motors and batteries tend to be simpler and less parts to make them. Therefore it stands to reason that all the above vehicles should last longer than any conventional counterpart. People could end up holding on to their cars until the body’s rust out and/or fall apart. The systems running them could be potentially still be in very good shape.

    Because Honda hybrids run their gas engines all the time, they should have expected lifetimes and required maintenance matching that of any conventional vehicle.

    And then there are people that refuse to keep a car more than four or five years. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

  • JettaCal

    Alancamp: Honda is one of the leaders. If you only look at their EPA numbers, then you’ll get the wrong impression. The Real world numbers and testing blow the Prius mileage numbers out of the water. Most tests of the Insight net in the range of 60mpg.
    It will be exciting to see what can be done with a diesel hybrid though. I drive a Jetta Diesel and regularly get 45mpg. Love it !

  • charles holmes

    I agree the diesel/electric hybrid is probably the ultimate way to go….perhaps another choice would be a CNG/electric combo….if you could add the compressor at your home
    to process the natural gas, then you could eliminate any need for oil….what a win/win situation….when some genius develops a better type battery than is presently available,
    they would become super rich, and we could kiss off the middle east cartel, along with
    hugo chavez and venezuela

  • roxyrohit

    I’ve never even thought about commenting till now. I guess if I really like a post I find myself checking the external links for more and favoriting (if that is a word) the post instead.
    From now on though I’ll definitely try and drop a comment every so often.
    Honda Civic–Honda Civic

  • SEO

    I’ve never even thought about commenting till now. I guess if I really like a post I find myself checking the external links for more and favoriting (if that is a word) the post instead.
    From now on though I’ll definitely try and drop a comment every so often.
    Honda Civic–Honda Civic

  • jörgen


    Everybody thinks that Diesel is the solution! (since it has a lower CO2 emisson) but, remember, Diesel isn´t as clean as gasoline to beging with. To be able to make the Diesel engine as clean as a gasoline driven engine the manufacturer has to use a very a lot of expesive solutions to reduce that, for instance particles katalysator etcetera and this costs…= money!

    Simultanously, the car manufacturer that already has a petrol hybrid on the market today, toyota, ford uses the Atikonson cycle which makes the benefits of Diesels much less..

    . It will be very fun to see how much Peugeut and other manufacturer are able to reduce the consumption compared to Toyota when they, sometime in the future, are tested face to face..

    I mean are there any diesel hybrids yet on the market..? No.

    But lets hope for fun competition when they finally are able to start building the next century and a little bit more technological cars.. Mercedes are very happy for their first, embarresing, try to hybrid. A mild hybrid with 20bhp electrical engine.. :o)

  • Bob Plugh

    2011 – that’s the target for my new car. I have chosen a Tesla Model S. That’s right, an all-electric plug in. Goodbye gas motor. Goodbye starter motor and clutch or torque converter. Goodbye spark plugs. Goodbye filler spout. Good bye gas station. Goodbye to all the maintenance of a gas motor. That’s right – batteries and electric motors. It just doesn’t get any less complicated than that.

    Yes, 50k is a lot for a car like this, but this is not some small car that you can only fit three first grade size people into, the Model S is a full sedan with seating for 5 plus 2 kis (yes, 7 total), or, fold down the rear seat and have a huge storage space, large enough for a 50″ plasma they say. And to top it all off, I think it has fantastic looks.

    50k – a lot, yes, but given the fact that it will take about $4 (electricity) to drive 300 miles, even a car getting 30 mpg would take $25 today (at 2.50 a gal), and we know that’s going to at least double in the next few years.

    At 100,000 miles you save $7000 at $2.50/gal – only $2500 if the car gets 60 mpg, but, if gas goes to $5.00/gal then you save $17,000 versus that 30 mpg car or $8333 savings over a car that gets 60 mpg!

    Remember, that’s only over the first 100k. Double that if you routinely drive your cars 200k miles! Think about that – saving $34,000 over a 30 mpg car – that means that relatively speaking that Tesla only cost me $16k and it’s a heck of a lot nicer than any car for anywhere near that price range. Even at $33k, it’s quite comparable to all the cars in that price (if not nicer!).

    Plus, don’t forget – no more tuneups, nor more emissions tests, no more jumps, oil changes every 3k miles (or less often if you do it that way), etc.

    Forget gas – forget diesel – go electric and really stick it to the arabs. The next thing to do is go for better benefits for home installed PV systems to reduce the load on the grid. If we work had we can let OPEC choke on their overpriced black sludge. Sure, we’ll always need oil for plastics, pharmaceuticals, and other industrial products, but we should get off of using oil for transportation (which is where we use over 2/’3rd of our oil now) and home heating too.

  • presretac

    nice car

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  • Susancai

    Nice cars! I am happy to share this post! Looking forward to more. faucets

  • RonAbner56

    Is great that the German manufacturer Herpa is going to revitalize the mass-production of the old fashioned Trabant. I once spoke with a friend, who sells Land Rover parts about Robbie Coltrane, who is my favorite actor from Harry Potter. He is a big vintage cars fan and we were wondering if he would buy an electric Trabant. I remember that in a television show he removed the engine from a Trabant in just 23 minutes.

  • HarrisLangdon

    I wonder if there is a report about how many Peugeot Hybrids were sold at Frankfurt Auto Show. This Diesel hybrid car is awesome and I hope that the price will soon decrease. Next when I’ll be using Fox Car Rental‘s services I’ll ask if they have such a beautiful model.

  • Suzycharles

    I am not sure if choosing the Peugeot is the best solution. hotel con encanto