Colin Chapman’s simple and chilling definition of a Formula One race car

To see the most interesting document at the Frankfurt Motor Show, one had to get a particular stool at Lotus then not sit down on it. Beneath a layer of glass was a page from Colin Chapman’s notebook from the summer of 1975 which contains many of his iconic quotes about Formula One cars. Some are simple, some are… » 9/16/11 1:30pm 9/16/11 1:30pm

This Ford Focus racer will cost you $100,000

If you have a thousand Benjamins burning a hole in your pocket, may we recommend heading to your local Ford dealership? Ford has unveiled the track-prepped sibling to its Focus ST sports compact, the ST-R, with a price tag just under a hundred grand. » 9/15/11 2:30pm 9/15/11 2:30pm

Opel RAK e wants to be the poor man's electric monopod

At least when Opel decided to join the herd of automakers building one- or two-seat monopod electric vehicles, they tweaked the formula just a bit. The Opel RAK e isn't just slow and small, but cheap as well. » 9/14/11 4:30pm 9/14/11 4:30pm

The Abarth 695 Competizione shows us less is more

Fiat is still milking the trend that Porsche figured out a long time ago: when it comes to sporty cars with image, people will pay a whole lot more to get a whole lot less. » 9/14/11 4:00pm 9/14/11 4:00pm

An SUV as British as sauerkraut-and-mash

British cars are now a lie. They're a fancy title meant to make us forget most of the famous marques are now owned by German, Chinese, Thai, American, Indian, and even Kuwaiti companies. But the obviously Porsche Cayenne-based Eterniti Hemera takes this deception to absurd new levels. Guten Tag, Mates! » 9/14/11 3:15pm 9/14/11 3:15pm

Mini demos anti-gravity engine in a glass of water

This may look like nothing but a handful of redcurrant berries perfectly balanced by the buoyancy of seltzer water, but don’t be fooled. » 9/14/11 3:00pm 9/14/11 3:00pm

The Peugeot HX1 is a conspicuously attractive luxury concept MPV

The French upper crust once lived so luxuriously the masses decided to chop their heads off, perhaps hoping to find gold inside the aristocratic piñatas. Yet the dour, simple Germans have owned the luxury market. Can an MPV place the French back atop the throne of conspicuous consumption? Sadly, no, because it's just… » 9/14/11 2:30pm 9/14/11 2:30pm

Self-driving, laser-equipped Audi A2 drags us, kicking and screaming,…

The original Audi A2 was a minicar ahead of its time, with an expensive aluminum body that couldn't pay off with better fuel savings. Now Audi's reviving the A2 for 2014, planning for better living through technology. Whatever happened to just driving carefully on your own? » 9/14/11 2:15pm 9/14/11 2:15pm

Watch two Smart cars play a giant game of Pong

What more perfect illustration can there be of the non-usefulness of the Smart EV than Smart's own Frankfurt Motor Show display with two cars designed to be the paddles in a giant game of Jumbotron Pong? » 9/14/11 1:40pm 9/14/11 1:40pm

Yo-Auto's sliding door concept wants you to free your mind

It seems we were just a few days premature with our question about the coolest car doors, thanks to Russian upstart Yo-Autos's Yo-Concept, whose doors Yo-slide out the back hatch of this plug-in hybrid. Yes, like caviar, Russian crazy has its own very special flavor. » 9/14/11 1:20pm 9/14/11 1:20pm

Why didn't Mr. Bean start the amazing 9-liter V-16 Rolls-Royce Phantom?

It's an old playwriting trope that if you show a gun in the first act, it has to go off by the end. Note to Rolls-Royce: If you show off a 9-liter V-16 at an auto show, you have to let "Mr. Bean" turn it over. At least once. » 9/14/11 12:30pm 9/14/11 12:30pm

How the iPad ate the auto show display

Two years ago, video displays at auto shows were beginning to look like iPhone interfaces. This year at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the transformation is complete. Gone are the custom video panels and touchscreen PC’s: pretty much every manufacturer has ditched them for a line of iPads. » 9/14/11 12:00pm 9/14/11 12:00pm

The super-fast electric sports car designed by a 23-year-old

The Concept One: it's good looking and technically promising, but three feet thick with hyperbole. Its builders say the electric supercar will have 1,088 hp, 2,802 lb-ft of torque and a theoretical top speed of eleventy trizillion (give or take). Count Von Koenigsegg, call the front desk. » 9/14/11 10:00am 9/14/11 10:00am

Mini Coupé: More mini

Life must be hard for a high-visibility, successful, small-lineup automotive brand like Mini. Everyone loves your products, but there just aren't enough for people to buy! Our hearts bleed for you, Mini. » 9/14/11 7:30am 9/14/11 7:30am

Ford Fiesta ST concept foretells future hot hatch

Don't ask when, or how much, but this is happening: Ford will build a hot-hatch version of the Fiesta under the ST line that will sport a 180-hp turbo engine. The hoon may be strong with this one. » 9/13/11 3:30pm 9/13/11 3:30pm

Alfa Romeo 4C Concept: These show models have had it

What are these models arguing about? Probably the heat. Did I mention it was about 375 degrees F in that hall? It was so hot the models were getting cranky. But still, the Alfa Romeo 4C concept looked promising, even in its new silver-hued skin. » 9/13/11 2:30pm 9/13/11 2:30pm

Volvo Concept You brings more questions than answers

Leave it to Volvo's Swedish-Chinese overlords to pull an enigma into the Frankfurt Motor Show — a big luxury sedan called the Concept You that tells more about its carpets than its engine. Is Volvo turning into an upscale Ikea? » 9/13/11 2:00pm 9/13/11 2:00pm

Volkswagen Nils concept: When you ride alone, you ride more efficiently?

The Volkswagen Nils concept isn't the first time Volkswagen's threatened to change the automotive paradigm. It isn't even the second time. But it is the first time they've also threatened to turn conventional wisdom on fuel efficiency since World War II on its head. » 9/13/11 11:45am 9/13/11 11:45am

The Toyota FT-86 is the perpetual concept car

Would coverage of a modern motor show be complete without Toyota’s ever tantalizing FT-86? Impossible. Here, then, is the car in its latest state as a FT-86 II — colored red. It’s pretty and, of course, it’s still not real. » 9/13/11 11:15am 9/13/11 11:15am

Maserati Kubang SUV is imported from Detroit

Turns out Europe's Photoshopping prognosticators didn't need to create a mockup of the upcoming Maserati SUV concept — the brand's first ever — from scratch. They could have simply dusted off an old Giugiaro design. Because that's what Maserati did — even giving it the same name of that 2003 SUV concept — the Kubang. » 9/13/11 11:00am 9/13/11 11:00am