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Innovations of the year: electric speedster and lightweight sedan

Innovations of the year
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W he was looking for trend-setting innovations at this year's trade fairs especially small electric vehicles. Both the young audience and the classic commuter were the focus of the developers.

Cabin scooters and small cars

Audi and Volkswagen presented the Urban Concept and the VW Nils, two approximately three-meter-short cabin scooters with free-standing wheels, which should travel 50 to 60 kilometers with their electric motors. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, the monocoque mobiles, which can reach speeds of up to 100 km /h, can bring the commuter to the office quickly and without emissions.

Opel also showed the RAK e, an electrically operated city mobile at his booth. According to the manufacturer, the vehicle is almost ready for series production and can reach speeds of up to 120 km /h; a variant that has been throttled to 45 km /h could also bring young drivers into the electric car in the future.

Only for drivers aged 18 and over, but The Smart Fortwo ED, on the other hand, is also purely electrically operated and is about to be launched. The electric version of the third generation can be ordered for 18,921 euros - plus a monthly rent of 60 euros for the 17.6 kWh lithium-ion battery.

How VW is making its city- Flitzer presents, revealed the Up blue e-motion at the IAA. Driven by a 60 kilowatt electric motor, it should travel up to 130 kilometers. Also developed for locally emission-free use in the city and already on the road for a maximum of 105 kilometers in a row in the USA in 2012: the Toyota FT-EV III.

Lightweight construction and aerodynamics

Despite rapid developments in the field of battery and electric motor technology, one weak point remains : the high weight of the batteries and the associated short range. It is all the more important to reduce the dead weight of the body, improve the aerodynamics and thus keep the power consumption of the vehicles as low as possible.

This year, BMW with its i-models proved to be particularly innovative. With the i3, the manufacturer showed a small car that weighs 1,250 kilos and will go on sale from 2013 - at a price close to the 40,000 euro mark. The 3.85 meter long four-seater, whose passenger cell is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, is powered by a 125 kW electric motorpowered, which should bring the rear-wheel drive vehicle up to 160 kilometers.

In conjunction with a 224 hp three-cylinder turbo on the rear axle, the electric motor also provides the i8, an aerodynamically optimized plug-in hybrid , for propulsion. The 2 + 2-seater has a top speed of 250 km /h and should accelerate from zero to 100 km /h in 4.6 seconds. Despite a length of 4.63 meters, the i8, which will be manufactured in Leipzig from 2013, weighs only 1,480 kilograms according to BMW.

The new Porsche 911 is even faster and more economical than its predecessor. Thanks to the use of aluminum in doors, The hood, roof and fenders of the new 911 are around 100 kilos lighter. Mercedes also relies on the material: the chassis of the future SL (254 kg) consists largely of aluminum. Lamborghini, on the other hand, relies fully on carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Lightweight construction is therefore very much in demand for e-mobiles and sports car construction.

Alternative drive concepts

The manufacturers also racked their brains about very distant drive concepts this year. With the F125, which is supposed to give an outlook on luxury sedans of the year 2025, Mercedes is daring the furthest look ahead. The result was a fuel cell hybrid drive that should guarantee a range of 1,000 kilometers. A small part of it (50 kilometers) can also be covered purely electrically thanks to the lithium-sulfur battery, which is charged at the socket (plug-in hybrid). The energy flows to four electric motors mounted close to the wheel, which together have 313 hp and should accelerate the 1.7-ton truck to 100 km /h in 4.9 seconds.

Toyota uses FCV-R for its sedan study Tokyo Motor Show also focuses on fuel cells. By accommodating the drive unit in the vehicle floor, the 4.75 meter long four-seater should offer plenty of space for passengers and luggage despite its streamlined body. A generously sized hydrogen tank also provides a range of 700 kilometers.

But the hybrid drive also offers a lot of savings potential: the Peugeot HX-1 diesel hybrid study promises a standard consumption of 3.2 liters /100 km. If the battery is pre-charged at home, you can cover 30 kilometers driven purely electrically. The Volvo V60 diesel hybrid, announced for 2012, should even drive 50 kilometers purely electrically thanks to its 12 kWh battery.


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