Record-breaking hybrids take an early lead at Frankfurt

Marion Dakers
HIGH-POWERED hybrid models have impressed motorists at the 65th Frankfurt Auto Show this week, with new vehicles from Porsche, BMW and Audi.

Porsche unveiled the 918 Spyder, the £657,400 vehicle that has this week set a new record for a production car on the famous Nurburgring race track.

BMW showed off its new i8, alongside other production-based performance hybrids at the show including the Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-In Hybrid and Land Rover's Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid.

Toyota, which has taken an early lead in the green car market, has set aside its entire stand to its new hybrid vehicles.

• Maserati chief executive Harald Wester said he expects the Italian luxury marque to sell a record-breaking 16,000 cars this year, up from 6,300 last year. New models such as the Ghibli sedan will grab new customers for the upmarket brand, Wester said.

• Ferrari unveiled its 458 Speciale, which will have a top speed of 220km per hour and a price tag of €238,000. Chairman Luca di Montezemolo confirmed plans to cut production this year, from 7,400 to 7,000 cars, in an attempt to maintain Ferrari’s exclusive image. And the firm aims to spend €2bn (£1.7bn) on research and development over the next five years, not spending on Formula 1.