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Frankfurt motor show 2015: Top five concepts

Date: 18 September 2015

Paul Barker, Chris Lloyd and Hugh Hunston report on the concept car highlights from the Frankfurt motor show.

Audi E-tron Quattro concept

Audi's luxurious electric SUV concept is capable of covering hundreds of miles per charge and sprinting to 62mph in a sports car-rivalling 4.6 seconds.

Why is it interesting?

With the ability to travel 310 miles per charge thanks to high-capacity 95kWh lithium-ion batteries, the concept comes close to matching the range of Tesla's range-topping Model S.

Fully recharged in as little as 50 minutes, the technology should make an Audi EV a viable option business users when a version arrives in showrooms.

When is it on sale?

Expect to see a production model in 2018.

Any other business?

The concept includes a piloted parking system that can guide it into place at the charging plate.

Nissan Gripz

Nissan claims to have created "a new type of crossover" and "a fresh perspective on what a sports car can and arguably should be". It's the same basic dimensions as the Juke small crossover.

Why is it interesting?

Nissan's past - the Qashqai and Juke pioneered the crossover and compact crossover segments - shows the firm can put seemingly outlandish concepts into production. Power comes from a series hybrid system, with a petrol engine powering the electric motor.

When is it on sale?

"What influence this Concept's design has on the next crossover generation from Nissan remains to be seen, though we are keen to gauge public reaction," is the official line from chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura, but the firm has previously put many of its concepts into production.

Any other business?

The Gripz includes cameras built into headlamps that can record or stream live footage of journeys.

Mazda Koeru

An upper medium SUV crossover coupe design exercise to gauge media and public enthusiasm for a production car.

Why is it interesting?

It offers scope to extend the brand's portfolio along the lines of BMW's X4 small crossover coupe, which is a sportier version of the X3 off-roader.

A CX-4 badge would fit within Mazda's portfolio and complement the range, with insiders suggesting it could slot between the CX-3 and CX5. Allegedly not on an existing platform, it virtually matches the CX-5's dimensions.

When is it on sale?

Likely to be 2017.

Any other business?

Despite denials it looks virtually oven-ready. Expect the finished article to appear at next autumn's Paris show.

Seat Leon Cross Sport

Based on Seat's three-door Leon hatchback, the company's latest concept combines a high-riding off-roader-style body with a high-performance 300hp turbocharged engine.

Why is it interesting?

Seat's Leon has proven popular with company car users, thanks to its sharp styling, economical engines and strong value. This new version, however, adds butch off-roader style to the equation along with a powerful motor shared with the Golf R. Consequently, it can accelerate to 62mph in a rapid 4.9 seconds, while gaining all-wheel drive traction.

When is it on sale?

Seat doesn't have definite plans to build the Cross Sport, but could be persuaded if potential customers show enough interest.

Any other business?

Ground clearance that has been boosted by 41mm and standard four-wheel drive give the Leon Cross Sport mild off-roading ability and guaranteed driving fun, "even when the route involves poor road surfaces", according to the company.

Mercedes Concept IAA

A four-door coupe using an extending rear deck to reduce drag.

Why is it interesting?

Thanks to extending rear segments, the Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile boasts record-breaking aerodynamics for its class, with eight panels sliding 390mm out of the back at above 50mph to make it more streamlined. Also helping to reduce mpg/CO2 at higher speeds are active wheels, with rims that change in shape at speed to reduce the amount of drag.

When is it on sale?

Elements of the IAA's active aerodynamics could appear in the generation after next of production Mercedes models.

Any other business?

Powered by a petrol-electric hybrid set-up, the car is capable of CO2 of 28g/km and travelling up to 41 miles on electricity alone.