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Hybrids, concept cars generate auto show buzz

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tenFRANKFURT, Germany – Here are 10 of the most eagerly awaited new cars going on display at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The show opens to journalists on Tuesday, industry visitors on Thursday and the public on Saturday. It runs through Sept. 22.

- BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car: Uses carbon fiber parts to achieve light weight and quick acceleration – zero to 100 kph (0-62 mph) in 4.5 seconds.

- Volkswagen e-Golf electric-only compact: VW takes the plunge into electric vehicles with a version of its sales volume leader it says has a range of 190 kilometers and costs €3.30 to drive 100 kilometers (62 miles.)

- BMW Concept X5 eDrive hybrid electric: A large, luxurious SUV that BMW says gets an average 62 miles per gallon, or 3.8 liters per 100 kilometers.

- Peugeot 308 hatchback: The lossmaking French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen badly needs this new model to be a winner in a rough European market.

- Ferrari 458 Speciale: Has adjustable aerodynamic elements to keep it on the road at high speed. Zero to 100 kph (62 mph) in a breathtaking 3.0 seconds.

- Mercedes S 500 plug-in hybrid. The luxury brand’s flagship S-Class sedan already had a hybrid version – but this one’s got more horsepower and luxury features.

- Opel Monza concept: This concept car – meaning not necessarily headed for production – should provide clues to future designs from GM’s European subsidiary, which is struggling to turn its earnings around.

- Audi Sport Quattro concept plug-in hybrid: A four-seat coupe with big air intakes giving the front end an aggressive look, and an enormous 700 horsepower from its electric motor and large 4-liter V8 internal combustion engine. Top speed: 305 kph (190 mph.)

- Dacia Duster. This moderately priced SUV from Renault’s Romania-based Dacia brand has been an unexpected big seller; the 2014 version is getting an updated front end in hopes of keeping it that way.

- Toyota Yaris Hybrid R concept: Meant to demonstrate high-performance hybrid technology, this not-for-sale compact juggles power from three electric motors and a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine to generate over 400 horsepower.

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