Who were the big online winners for this 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show? According to a study by United Kingdom-based research group Kantar Media, the Mercedes-Benz S-class luxury sedan and BMW’s i8 plug-in hybrid got the attention of most online journalists. The S-Class dominated other exhibits at the international auto show, thanks to the unveiling of three unique variants -- the high-performance S63 AMG supercar, the low-carbon dioxide S500 plug-in hybrid and a coupe concept.
In fact, the S class was mentioned in 5.17 percent of all the online stories and blogs from journalists covering the event. At close second is the BMW i3 with 5.16 percent. Completing the five biggest online winners are the BMW i8 with 4.9 percent, the Audi Sport Quattro Concept with 4.1 percent, and the Audi A3 with 4.0 percent.
On the social media front, generating the most feedback on Twitter, Facebook, forums and even YouTube among all cars at the show is the new i8 mid-engine supercar, which had its debut at the show. According to BMW, the production version of new i8 will consume just 2.5 liters of fuel per 100km (113mpg UK/94 mpg US) – using less fuel than the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid, which has a consumption figure of 3 liters/100km.
At second place is the Jaguar C-X17 Concept that provides a glimpse of a rival to the BMW X5 and Mercedes M class, accounting for 3.1 percent of social media buzz. Rounding up the five top-buzzing cars are the Audi Sport Quattro concept with 2.5 percent, the Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid with 2.4 percent and the Toyota Hybrid R Concept with 2.2 percent.
In terms of brands, the biggest Web winner is Volkswagen, accounting for 8.4 percent of all Web news stories and blogs from the show, according to the Kantar study. Volkswagen is followed by BMW (8.3 percent), Audi (7.6 percent), Mercedes-Benz (6.8 percent) and Porsche (4.4 percent).
Gaining the most social media buzz among brands is Audi, generating 10.8 percent of all feedback on Twitter, Facebook, forums and video sharing sites. At second is BMW (9.7 percent), boosted by its i3 and i8 and the debut of its new 4 series, face-lifted X5 and the X5 eDrive Concept. Completing the five top-buzzing brands at the show were Volkswagen with 7.8 percent, Porsche with 4.6 percent, and Mercedes-Benz with 4.5 percent.
The architecture of the BMW i8 body is as ingenious as the plug-in hybrid sports vehicle’s concept all in all. Signature BMW dynamics, lightweight design and maximum effectivity are altogether displayed in the vehicle’s proportions, lines and surface design. The 2+2-seater is quickly identified as a BMW i model and a new generation sports vehicle.
The design of covering and interlocking surfaces – given additional highlight by the car's color scheme - likewise adds to the indubitable look of the BMW i8. This layering principle enables aerodynamic structures to be swathed in a dynamically styled package, while robust framed wheel arches attract attention to the broad track of the BMW i8. The compact structure, recognizing both the electric and combustion engine, allows the front and rear areas of the car to have an especially low-slung design and consequently putting the focus on its dynamically extended flanks. The doors, which open forwards and upwards like wings, add significant interest to the sports vehicle design of the BMW i8.
A trademark highlight of BMW i vehicles is the "black belt". On the BMW i8, it rises in a "V" shape from the bonnet and stretches out back above the roof into the rear section of the car, where it covers the center section of the rear apron. At the front end, the black belt is surrounded by the body-colored apron and side boards, while at the rear it is covered by the "floating" roof pillars, which stretch out across the rear lights.
Another component of the independent BMW i design language is the "stream flow" contour of the side window styling. On the BMW i8, the stream flow also calculates the path explored by the air between the falling roofline and the character line ascending through the rear section of the car's flanks towards the rear spoiler lip.