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The curtain has lifted in Frankfurt for the 65th International Motor Show, a chance for automakers from around the globe to show off their latest models.
Nearly 100,000 visitors are expected at the Messe Frankfurt trade fair, including drivers, developers and manufacturers. Last year the show featured presentations from over 1,000 exhibitors from 32 countries, and 183 new products were unveiled.
Growth is the key word on every executive's lips at this year's event. While the U.S. auto industry has been restructured — with massive job cuts and cuts to production levels — the European industry is still suffering from overcapacity. Although there are signs of "green shoots", sales for the region have slumped to near 20-year lows.
(Read more: Auto CEOs: 2014 will not be an easy year)
Despite the gloom, the world's automakers are still showing off their shiniest and most technologically advanced vehicles this year. Trends include cars powered by either batteries or hybrid gas-electric systems. SUVs — sport utility vehicles — have also made waves in Frankfurt, as well as outlandish concept cars that won't even be available on the market. CNBC highlights these and other new releases on show at this year's event.
British sports car maker Jaguar revealed its new C-X17 concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. As many expected it is an SUV, one of Europe's fastest growing car groups. It will utilize the brand's modular aluminium architecture, which reduces the weight of the car, and will form the basis of a new generation of compact Jaguars.
(Read more: Jaguar Land Rover unveils UK investment plans)
A concept version of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, revealed at the Frankfurt motor show, is powered by a twin-turbo V-8 engine and has 449 horsepower and 516 pounds-feet of torque.
The concept car hints at the appearance of the Mercedes coupe model due to go on sale in 2014, after its debut at next year's Geneva Motor Show.
(View more: Daimler will 'over-achieve' this year: CEO)
Audi unveiled the Nanuk Quattro concept car, which combines elements of a sports car with an SUV, and hints at what the new R8 will look like. Audi says the sports car is equally at home on the race track as it is off-road, and its body can be raised or lowered depending on whether it is driving on a highway or gravel road.
(View more: Audi happy with flat European performance: CEO)
Luxury U.S. automaker Infiniti launched a premium compact car, the Q30, in a bid to challenge Germany's dominance in the European high-end car space.
Infiniti President Johann de Nysschen said the car, a blend of a coupe, hatchback and a crossover, featured a smaller engine than some of its more U.S.-orientated models, in order to broaden its appeal to Europeans.
"This car has really been conceived with Europe in mind. One of the challenges with being so successful in the U.S. is that are product strategy was not really suited to the needs of the European market," he told CNBC.
(Read more: To Infiniti and beyond: Carmaker starts EU drive)
Luxury sports car maker Bugatti unveiled the 'Jean Bugatti' Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse in Frankfurt. It's the second of six special-edition Veyrons which pay tribute to individuals who have shaped the company's history.
This car commemorates Jean Bugatti, the eldest son of company founder Ettore, who was killed at the age of 30-year-old when he lost control of a Type 57 Bugatti during testing in 1939.
The mechanics of the car are identical to the standard Grand Sport Vitesse, with a top speed of 254 mph (miles per hour). If you're interested in snapping one you'd better be quick, as Bugatti is only building three, each with a price tag of £1.92 million ($3.01 million).
Bentley unveiled new performance-focused versions of its Continental GT and GTC models, which will both hit showrooms in the U.K. early next year.
The top speed for both cars has been boosted by 4 mph, meaning the coupe can now reach 192 mph and the convertible can hit 191 mph. The steering systems have also been tweaked to deliver sharper handling.
The Ferrari 458 Speciale, launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show, is described by the company as "a completely new, uncompromising, streamlined sports car concept".
The Speciale can get from 0 to 62 mph in three seconds, and can reach 124 mph in 9.1 seconds. Ferrari says the car lapped its Fiorano test track in 1.24 minutes -- that's 1.5 seconds faster than the standard Ferrari 458 Italia, and just half a second slower than a Ferrari F12.
Pricing information for the Speciale has yet to be released.
BMW revealed its i8 hybrid sports car in Frankfurt. The vehicle combines a plug-in hybrid drive system with a passenger cell made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and an aluminium frame for the engine and electric motor, the battery pack and the suspension.
Featuring all-wheel drive, the i8 can get to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds. It is expected to arrive in the U.S. (which BMW expects to overtake China to become the world's largest auto market) in the spring of 2014. Prices start at $135,925, which makes the i8 the second-most expensive BMW on the market.
(Read more: Car industry dynamics 'are shifting': BMW)
Named after a famous fighting bull breed, this Gallardo will deliver "high levels of performance, while bringing the thrills associated with motorsport to the street-legal world," according to the Italian carmaker.
It achieves better aerodynamics than its predecessor, has a V10 engine and will be a limited edition, priced at 191,100 euros ($253,303) pre-tax.
Porsche premiered its 918 Spyder super sports car at the Frankfurt motor show to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911.
The car was designed to be a hybrid drive, offering the 887 horsepower of a super-sports car with the near-silent emission-free ride of an electric vehicle, the automaker said.
It can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds and offers an average standard fuel consumption of between 94 mpg (miles per gallon) and 85 mpg. The 918 Spyder will have a starting price of $845,000 when it hits showrooms in the U.S.