The Frankfurt International Motor Show has done it again.
And by “it” I mean increased my excitement about cars that will soon roam the streets of the United States.
From concepts to production models, many automakers are showing vehicles that have a great shot at coming to these shores soon.
Some of my favorites are below, even if one or two are longshots at ever breathing American air. But that’s the great thing about auto shows: There’s always hope.
I was originally excited about the next Toyota FT-86 concept, but a little let down at the result. To my eye, it looks exactly the same as the last concept. In fact, this year’s FT-86 is the *fifth* concept to make auto-show rounds since 2009. It’s time for Toyota to either put the car in showrooms or put it to rest, especially considering other automakers showed concepts that, quite frankly, already make the FT-86 look dated. Kia GT and Ford Evos, I’m looking at you.
I don’t know if we’ll ever see Alfa Romeo in the States, but take a look at the picture above and tell me you hope it doesn’t. The FIAT-owned automaker has teased us in the past, and nothing makes me hope it happens more than the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept and its “fluid metal” finish. Do we have a new candidate for sexiest car on the planet?
The Mazda Tribute was never a great SUV. Based on the Ford Escape, it sold moderately well but failed to make a dent against the competition. The new Mazda CX-5 could change that. Sleeker looks, Mazda’s SkyActiv 2.0-liter gasoline engine and, maybe, Mazda’s first U.S. diesel engine should add up to a sales hit.
Finally, the automaker with the biggest aspirations in the world showed Up! in Frankfurt with a variety of Up! concepts. In fact, six Up!s graced the Volkswagen stage, showing off the versatility of the latest compact from V-dub. My favorite is the Buggy Up!, a kind of throwback to the old VW Thing. Odds of the Buggy Up! making production aren’t good, but a small gas, electric or even natural-gas-powered Up! could be just around the corner. I’d use an exclamation point to emphasize that last sentence, but, well, you know, the button doesn’t work anymore.
Do any of these cars from Frankfurt excite you?