Motoring London Lite Friday, 4 September 2009 31 T HE Frankfurt M o t o r S h ow, which opens its doors in just under a fort- night, is the big- gest event in the petrolhead calendar. The highlight is the concept cars -- tanta- lising showcases of what we might end up driving one day. Most belong in the pages of science fic- tion novels -- like Cadillacs nuclear-powered Word Thorium Fuel Concept. But others, like the Mini Coup Concept, point the way to cars you and I might well be driving in a few years time. THECONCEPTAUDIRSQ THECARAUDIR PRICEFROM , NOT strictly a concept car, this one was designed by Audi for the sci-fi film I, Robot. In the film the vehicle was powered by hydrogen and instead of wheels it rode on four spheres, which allowed it to move sideways, and the butterfly wing-style doors opened backwards. Audi clearly liked the design, because it spawned the Audi Le Mans Quattro, unveiled at Frankfurt in 2003 with a twin-turbo V10 engine from sister company Lamborghini. The reaction to it was so positive a version was put into production with a twin- turbo V8 and four-wheel drive. THECONCEPT PEUGEOT RC Z THECAR PEUGEOTRCZ PRICEFROM , EVEN if they are intended for production, concept cars usually take years to hit the showrooms. But Peugeot was obviously keen to take on German giant Audi with its TT-rivalling RCZ. The concept debuted at Frankfurt in 2007 with its unmistakable double-bubble carbon-fibre roof, snarling front end and 220bhp turbocharged engine. Now, just two years on, the production version will be on the Peugeot stand in Frankfurt. It has lost a little power and the roof is no longer made of such exotic materials -- although it will be offered as an option -- but the looks are almost unchanged and there is even a sensible diesel version. THECONCEPT VWIROC THECARVW SCIROCCO PRICE FROM , VOLKSWAGEN represents many things to car buyers: reliability, resale value, robustness -- but sexy is defi- nitely not one of them. Which is why the firm decided it needed to spice up its range with a sleek coup based on the ubiquitous Golf. The double turbo and supercharged engine was replaced with the unit from the Golf GTI and the road car lost the racing harnesses, bucket seats, bling alloy wheels and huge aluminium grille. But that was about it -- the result being a VW you actually really want to rather than feel you should own. THECONCEPT JAGUARCX F THECAR JAGUARXF PRICE , JAGUARS have in the past always been as beautiful as they were fast, but recently the company seemed mired in a vicious circle of retro design, produc- ing unloved pastiches of models from its past. That all changed with the C-XF of 2007. It kept the low-slung look of Jags of old but brought the look right up to date with aggressive headlights, Bentley-style square grille and an LED festooned interior that wouldnt look out of place in Buck Rogerss starship. The roadgoing version has replaced the glaring lights with ones that look like a Roger Moore raised eyebrow and the roofline is lower so actual people can sit in the back. The disco lighting has gone and under the bonnet are some of the best petrol and diesel engines in the business. THE CONCEPT FORDIOSISX THECARFORDKUGA PRICE , FORD is a firm that, despite its staid Middle-England image, always offers up some cracking concepts and the Iosis X was no exception at the 2006 Paris Motor Show. It was intended to showcase Fords new design direc- tion, clearly one taken from the lines of a Star Wars Stormtroopers helmet, presented as it was in bright white paintwork. The interior, accessed to the rear by suicide doors, featured lashing of orange trim and a glass floor. By the time the Kuga was on sale two years later, this distracting feature had thankfully been removed as had the clever doors. What remained was a competent but hardly inspiring soft-roader, just like every other manufacturer offers. Shame. THE CONCEPT ROLLS ROYCE EX THECARROLLS ROYCEPHANTOMDHC PRICE , UNDER BMWs tenure, Rolls-Royce has moved from being the epitome of understated Englishness to some- thing approaching RnB bling and the 100EX, built to celebrate the firms centenary in 2004, only served to highlight this. Approaching six metres in length, the bonnet was machined from a solid lump of alu- minium and covered a 9.0-litre, 64- valve V16 engine, with room for four corpulent adults and teak deck- ing like a Riva speedboat. The 2007 road car lost a little in length and had a mere 6.57-litre V12 engine while the teak trim and mirror finish 21- inch alloys are now expensive options. THECONCEPT LANDROVER RANGE STORMER THECARRANGEROVERSPORT PRICEFROM , LAND ROVER has only introduced a handful of truly new models in its 50-plus years and the 2002 Range Stormer was its first ever. Featuring scissor doors, 22-inch wheels, seats made from saddle leather and a super- charged Jaguar V8, it was a car that looked like it meant business, even in its typically garish concept colour of Tango orange. The car it spawned gained a couple of doors and lost the fancy seats, but can often be seen rid- ing on huge rims and, with an eye- watering paintjob, making the most of its supercharged power to menace other road users out of the way. THE CONCEPT BUGATTI CHIRON / THECARBUGATTIVEYRON PRICE M NOW heres an example of a produc- tion car that actually surpassed the concept upon which it was based. The Bugatti Chiron 18/3 was unveiled in 1999 and from the front its Giorgetto Guigiaro design was unmistakably a predecessor of the Veyrons. Under the skin, however, the story was quite different. The Chiron boasted an 18-cylinder engine but performance was in the super rather than the hyper car league. I t w a s V W b o s s B e r n d Pischetsrieder who decided that this would make the ideal basis for the fastest car ever built and at his insistence, two cylinders were lopped off, four turbochargers and all-wheel drive were added, and the worlds ultimate object of automotive envy was born. BY HENRY BIGGS Lovintheconcept...Takeaspinintothe futureattheFrankfurt MotorShow Silver machine: the Audi R8 (inset) and the high-concept Audio RSQ developed for sci-fi blockbuster, I, Robot index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html