All automotive eyes will be on Frankfurt on September 12th when the biggest motor show of the year opens its doors. With a fair few car companies deciding to give it a miss this year it will be a German home event like never before – but that’s not going to stop Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen Audi, plus their associated brands, pulling out all the stops. The wow factor at Frankfurt IAA 2017 promises to be as high as ever.
AUG 31st 2017
Frankfurt 2017: Our top 10 not to miss
Here are the 10 cars on our must-see list…
Mercedes-AMG Project 1
The performance star of the show? It’s difficult to see what could eclipse it. It’s not just that this all-wheel drive street-legal hypercar has 1,000bhp, more that it really will have a Mercedes Formula 1 car’s hybrid drivetrain in there, complete with 10,000rpm-plus rev limit. AMG says: “It marks the pinnacle of what is currently technologically feasible.” What a way to celebrate AMG’s 50th.
Also look out for: electric EQ A-Class concept (Merc’s answer to BMW i3), a smart concept, facelifted S-Class coupe and cabriolet and a hydrogen-powered GLC F-Cell.
BMW is having a luxury moment right now and among its luxury offerings – such as the latest 7-Series and new 8-Series which we have already seen in concept form – will be a new top-of-the-range SUV. This world debut will be shown as a concept, ahead of sales thought to begin next year. It is likely to have seven seats and parallel the 7-Series for luxury trimmings. Mercedes GLS and Range Rover watch out.
Also look out for: new all-wheel drive M5, the fast and electric new 181bhp i3S, the world premiere of 6-Series GT, the handsome Z4 Concept, facelifted X3 and a teaser for the forthcoming 8-Series in the shape of the M8 GTE race car due to hit the tracks early in 2018. There’s also the latest BMW Motorrad electric bike concept.
It should be time for Audi to whip the covers off the production version of its flagship SUV, the Q8. This will stay very close to the concept from Detroit earlier this year with its emphasis on sporty, coupe-like styling, cutting edge technology including 48-volt electrics and a minimalist interior sky high on quality and connectivity. It’s sure to be incredibly spacious inside with a VIP back seat; the Q7 will remain the seven-seater of the family.
Also look out for: Audi RS4 Avant? And all those odd new numbers on the back of the latest models in Audi’s new naming strategy.
There will be no shortage of smaller, more affordable new SUVs at Frankfurt this year and one we will be keen to see is the T-Roc. VW’s fourth and smallest SUV, it fits below the Tiguan and will major on snappy style, a big boot and lots of driver assistance systems. Front- or all-wheel drive, it is being shown in production form – complete with optional two-tone paint job. On sale from November, with prices in Germany starting at €20,000. Expect lots more SUVs from VW still to come.
Also look out for: lots more ID electric car concepts.
Hatchback surprise of the show may well come from Kia. We have only a teaser image to go on so far, along with Kia’s assertion that it represents a new body type for the brand and will form the basis of a sporty but versatile new member of the next cee’d family. Looking very slender and racy, at least it didn’t have to come far: Kia’s European design centre where it was created is 500m from the Frankfurt Messe.
The world debut of the all-new Continental GT is a huge moment for the VW-owned British brand. After 14 years it was time for a refresh and the new 12-cylinder, alloy-bodied Conti gets it with knobs on: it’s all-new everywhere as well as lighter, faster (207mph), more hi-tech and with the promise of a revolution in driving dynamics. It’s on a Bentley version of the Porsche Panamera platform, so a Continental that handles like a Porsche? We shall see…
Mini Electric Concept
Another one to wave the flag over: the first all-electric Mini. This is a concept but a production version is promised for 2019. There are no tech details so far; the concept is more about previewing the design. And it certainly gets your attention, with a clean-cut new look and vibrant colour coding flagging up the fact that this is one Mini you plug in rather than fill up.
How does the California T replacement look in the flesh? That’s the question for the Ferrari stand this year. We suspect it will look mighty fine. There’s certainly nothing not to like in the spec of the latest Ferrari retractable hard-top GT: 592bhp, 199mph and 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds. New engine, new chassis, new looks… and the promise of “completely revised” dynamics. Va bene!
Cayenne owners will be keen to see how Porsche has moved its big SUV beast on as it enters its third-generation. It is very much in the same mould as before despite significant structural and engineering changes underneath. Apart from more tech, connectivity and efficiency, with the 911’s rear-steering it should drive more like the sportscar than ever. Question is, will the Cayenne Turbo and Hybrid versions put in an appearance?
Renault Sport Megane RS
It’s good to see that among all the SUVs, hybrids and electric cars there’s still space for a good old hot hatch and none better than one from Renault Sport. Due in production form, this is the long-awaited RS version of the new Megane, as a rival for Focus RS and Civic Type R. Expect a look that veers to the subtle rather than the lairy, over 300bhp, a paddle shift dual-clutch auto for the first time (along with manual option) and new rear-wheel steering. Nurburgring record anyone?
Not only but also:
- Jaguar E-Pace, smallest Jag SUV in the flesh. The production version of the electric i-Pace will be a star – if it makes it.
- Borgward sports car concept.
- Vauxhall (Opel) Grandland X, big new SUV.
- Honda Urban EV Concept, Honda’s first electric car for Europe, plus new hybrid version of the CR-V.
- Maserati has facelifted its Ghibli model with distinct new GranLusso and GranSport versions, both get LED lights, new driver assistance systems and more powerful versions of the twin-turbo V6 engines.
- Chery from China will show an all-new electric SUV aimed at European markets.
- Budget leader Dacia – one million sold since 2010 and counting – is unveiling an all-new Duster SUV with lots of improvements including orange paint.
- All-new Subaru Impreza, complete with all-wheel drive.
- Fastest Suzuki Swift yet – with turbocharger.
The Frankfurt Motor Show ( IAA) is at the Frankfurt Messe and is open to the public between 16-24 September. Do not, however, go expecting to see anything from McLaren, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Volvo, Infiniti, Fiat or Jeep.
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