Daimler AG is in talks with Aston Martin, a cooperation agreement for the Maybach brand
FRANKFURT ( Bloomberg ) – Daimler AG is in talks with Aston Martin to a potential collaboration for the Maybach brand, which the automaker is nearing a decision on the future of the ultra – luxury marque.
” We are close to a decision,” CEO Dieter Zetsche said Tuesday at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Conversations with Aston Martin ” has taken place, ” he said, refusing to give information.
Maybach, a German luxury brand that had its heyday in the 1930s, failed to mount a serious challenge to BMW AG, Rolls- Royce and Volkswagen AG, Bentley, when it was reintroduced in 2002.
[Photo: MERCEDES- BENZ MEDIA]
Earlier in the coverage of the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, we saw Volkswagen release a new concept that paid homage to an iconic concoction made from the Beetle: the dune buggy. Called the Buggy Up!, the concept paved way for a whole series of concepts based on the Up! city car concept.
Volkswagen Up! Azzurra Sailing Team
After the introduction of the Buggy Up!, the Up! Azzurra Sailing Team concept was unveiled. Shaped by famous designers Giorgetta Guigiaro and Walter de Silvia, the Up! Azzura Sailing team is a prototype concept that aims to cater to the eco-friendly automobile world associated with the marina life. There are no doors or roof, so much like the Buggy Up!, the Up! Azzurra Sailing Team Concept is very much a beach vehicle.
Volkswagen Cross Up!
Next up—no pun intended—is the Cross Up!. This particular version speaks for itself in the pictures: it’s a five-door subcompact version of the Up!. Unlike some of the more ambitiously specific concepts, the five-door Up! is said to be slated for production in 2012. The other definition for the “Cross” treatment was to beef up the smaller vehicles in VW’s lineup. In other words, the Golf, Polo and Touran compact cars all received a “Cross” treatment, which toughens up the cars with grippier tires for more versatile climates as well as a slightly increased ride height.
Volkswagen GT Up!
Following the Cross Up! is the GT Up!. From the letters GT alone, you probably guessed that this was the “performance” variant. And you’d be correct! With 100hp and 111 lb-ft of torque instead of the regular Up!’s 75hp, the GT Up! promises to be the GTi of the entire lineup. A more streamlined and aggressive body, larger wheels, twin chrome exhaust and larger wheels help complete the look. VW said that the GT Up! will also see production and will hit 60 in about nine seconds.
On the complete opposite side, the Eco Up! CNG represents the most fuel efficient variant. Featuring the same three-cylinder as all of the other Up!’s the Eco Up! CNG comes with a standard stop/start system and regenerative braking. Additionally, the three-cylinder was designed to run on compressed natural gas with a result of 68hp.
Volkswagen Eco Up!
Lastly is the E-Up!, which denotes an all-electric version of the Up!. Featuring a 80hp and 155 lb-ft of torque electric motor, the E-Up! uses an 18 kWh battery pack that has a projected range of 81 miles. The E-Up! is the third and last model of the group of concepts to get the green light for production as of now. VW said that they hope it will hit the