The bi-annual Frankfurt motor show is one of the biggest motoring events around – and that’s because it will give us a first look at some of the exciting new cars you’ll be able to buy soon.
Like its sister shows in Paris and Geneva, the Frankfurt motor show puts an emphasis on European car makers, meaning many of the cars on display there will (eventually) find their way into showrooms.
Among the new cars on display in Frankfurt are the BMW i3S, Ferrari Portofino and Porsche Cayenne. With so much new metal to look at, though, we’ve created this handy guide to the star cars of the Frankfurt motor show. Read on for our top picks.
*** Note : £1 = $1.30
Audi is showing two new electric car concepts in Frankfurt, and both show the manufacturer’s vision for the car of the future. The Aicon saloon doesn’t feature a traditional interior, with its steering wheel and pedals all gone. Instead, it features a lounge-like interior offering multiple digital surfaces and connectivity options. As you might expect, it’s also capable of fully autonomous driving.
The second of Audi’s electric cars concepts takes the form of an SUV, and is powered by three electric motors which together offer four-wheel drive capability. The concept is primarily designed to show how self-driving technology could influence the design of future Audi models, and the car is capable of parking itself and seeking out charging stations to replenish its battery.
Audi RS4 Avant
This go-faster version of the regular Audi A4 Avant will reach UK showrooms in the second half of next year, and is powered by a 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine shared with Porsche. The new engine produces 444bhp, allowing the RS4 Avant to reach 62mph from a standing start in 4.1sec. Audi says buyers should expect to see about 32mpg, with CO2 emissions of 199g/km. Thanks to its big boot, the RS4 Avant should be practical as well as fast. UK prices have yet to be announced.
Bentley Continental GT
The Continental GT is a true grand tourer, capable of transporting you and your luggage across entire continents in luxury. This new model will go on sale in March, initially in W12 petrol form, with a cheaper V8 version and even a hybrid to follow later.
BMW i3 and i3S
The BMW i3 is already one of our favourite electric cars, but as part of a mid-life update BMW has also introduced a sporty version, called the i3S. It’s powered by a 184bhp electric motor, is capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 6.9sec and has a top speed of 99mph.
BMW has previewed its upcoming i5 with this i Vision Dynamics concept car. Taking the form of a four-door grand coupé, the car has an electric driving range of 373 miles – far eclipsing the Tesla Model 3 – and a top speed of more than 120mph. It’s claimed to reach 62mph from a standing start in 4.0sec. The i5 is likely to go on sale in 2021, and will be one of 12 fully electric vehicles which BMW will have on sale by that time.
As the basis for a new sports saloon, the BMW 5 Series is an excellent place to start. It is, after all, our Car of the Year for 2017. That means that hopes are high for this new M5 version, which packs a 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine producing 592bhp. It’s up against some strong competition, though – mainly from the Mercedes-AMG E63 and Audi RS7.
The BMW X7 (or Concept X7 iPerformance to give the car its full title) previews a new range-topping luxury SUV which go up against rivals including the Audi Q7, Range Rover and Mercedes GLS. It’s being shown in plug-in hybrid form, which allows for up to 62 miles of electric-only driving, although conventional petrol and diesel engines will be offered too. The six-seat SUV will go on sale during the second half of next year, with an expected price tag of more than £70,000.
We’ve only seen exterior pictures of the Duster so far, but it’s clear that Dacia has taken an evolutionary approach to the new version of Britain’s cheapest new SUV. Engine options are expected to remain unchanged over the current car, as is its sub-£10,000 entry-level price tag.
With just a two-star rating on our road test, it’s safe to say that the current Ford Ecosport has not been well received. This updated version, though, is promised to be more suited to European roads than its predecessor. It gets a new 1.5-litre diesel engine, a new ST-Line trim level and an updated chassis to improve its handling. The Ecosport’s current price tag of £15,645 is not expected to change.
Ford has upgraded its Mustang sports car with tweaks to both its 2.3-litre Ecoboost petrol engine and the 5.0-litre V8 petrol options, with the latter receiving more power (now up to 444bhp) but the former being downgraded to 268bhp. Ford says the Ecoboost engine’s lower power comes from a need to meet stricter emissions limits. Other changes include a new 12.0in digital instrument cluster on the options list, plus new dampers designed to improve the car’s ride. The first UK cars will arrive towards the middle of next year.
The Portofino is the most affordable Ferrari model yet. Still, ‘affordable’ in this instance still equates to around £160,000, so it still packs a V8 petrol engine with 592bhp, giving a 0-62mph sprint time of 3.5sec and top speed that knocks on the door of 200mph.
Honda CR-V Hybrid
The CR-V is Honda’s rival for the Ford Kuga and Toyota RAV4, and to broaden its appeal Honda is launching a hybrid version towards the middle of next year. The new CR-V hybrid matches a 2.0-litre petrol engine with two electric motors, although no power figures have been revealed. Honda says that because the system uses power so efficiently, drivers won’t have to choose between pure EV driving, hybrid driving or only using the petrol engine for power.
Honda Civic diesel
Currently, Honda Civic buyers have just two engines to choose from, and they’re both petrols. Drivers who cover higher mileages, then, will be pleased to learn that Honda is now adding a diesel engine to the Civic range. The 1.6-litre engine will be introduced next March, and offers 118bhp. It’s claimed to return 76.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 99g/km.
This facelifted version of the Jazz supermini brings a sporty new look and a more powerful 1.5-litre petrol engine to the range, all designed to make the Jazz more competitive against its key rivals, the Ford Fiesta and Skoda Fabia. We’re expecting a small price increase, too.
Honda Urban EV
The Urban EV is Honda’s vision of an all-electric hatchback which is scheduled to go on sale in 2019. In fact, this will be Honda’s first electric car to be sold in Europe, and will face competition from the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe. The concept is even shorter than the Jazz hatchback, and offers seating for four in its futuristic interior. No performance figures have been revealed yet.
Hyundai wants to take on the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and to do that it’s launching a sporty version of its new i30 family hatchback. Costing from around £27,000, the new i30N gets a lowered ride height, more aggressive bodywork, an interior with unique N badging and LED gearshift lights, and a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with up to 271bhp.
Kia Proceed shooting brake
Kia’s latest concept car previews how the next-generation Ceed hatchback might look. Kia describes the car as an extended hatchback, but we know there’ll be an estate version of the Ceed to go alongside the traditional five-door hatchback. Kia has also hinted that it could introduce a third bodystyle for the Ceed, which could take the form of a shooting brake. Rumours suggest that the three-door Procee’d will be discontinued, with the shooting brake concept taking its name for production.
The Stonic is Kia’s answer to the Nissan Juke, and will be the Korean manufacturer’s smallest SUV. It’s based on the Rio hatchback, and will share its engines with that car. Personalisation plays a big role, here, as buyers can choose from 20 two-tone paint combinations as well as five roof colours.
Land Rover Discovery SVX
The Land Rover Discovery is already a very capable off-roader, but this SVX version – created by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations team – features agressive new front and rear bumpers, chunky all-terrain tyres, LED lights on its roof and a snorkel exhaust. Power comes from a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine producing 518bhp. The Discovery SVX is due to go into production next year, though prices have yet to be announced.
The Lexus CT isn’t among our favourite family hatchbacks, but this facelifted version comes with more colour options, new alloy wheel designs and more safety kit. Prices are expected to increase slightly compared with today’s car, which starts from £22,585.
In a similar vein to the CT hatchback above, Lexus has also updated the NX small SUV with more safety kit – including adaptive cruise control – interior upgrades and tweaks to its interior styling. There’s also now a powered tailgate, and buyers can choose from a wider range of colour options.
Mercedes-AMG Project One
Described as a race car for the road, just 275 examples of Mercedes-AMG’s new supercar will be made. It costs about £2 million, and is powered by a combination of a 1.6-litre V6 petrol engine and an electric motor – the same setup used in Mercedes’ F1 race car. The Project One comes with some truly impressive statistics, too. Its 992bhp powertrain can get the car past 124mph from a standing start in 6.0sec, and on to a top speed of 218mph. It can also drive for up to 16 miles on electric power alone and – perhaps most astonishingly of all – is road legal.
This Mercedes concept car previews the second model from its EQ electric vehicle sub-brand. Taking the form of a family hatchback, the EQA will be the most affordable option in the EQ range, and will go on sale in 2020. It’s claimed to have a driving range of 249 miles, and will be pitched as a direct rival to the recently refreshed BMW i3. Among the EQA’s features is a virtual grille which changes its appearance according to which driving mode is selected.
Mercedes GLC F-Cell
There’s not currently an electrified version of the GLC SUV, but that will change later next year when Mercedes introduces this fuel cell version of the car in selected markets. It’s capable of travelling for up to 272 miles on electric power, with 30 miles of that coming from its on-board battery alone. Its dual power system allows the F-Cell to run either from a hydrogen fuel cell, or from a separate battery which can be plugged in to be recharged. Inside, there’s a new 12.3in digital instrument cluster and a new touchpad for the COMAND infotainment system.
Mercedes S-Class Coupé and Cabriolet
We’ve already been impressed by the recently updated S-Class saloon, and now it’s the turn of the Coupé and Cabriolet variants to receive the same upgrades. New trim levels and options feature, as does a new 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine in the S560 models. Prices for the S-Class Coupé will start from just over £100,000, while the open-top Cabriolet will carry a price tag of around £111,000.
The X-Class is Mercedes’ take on the pick-up truck truck, which until now has been dominated by rough-and-ready machines such as the Toyota Hilux and Nissan Navara. The X-Class, which is actually based on the Navara, aims to mix the practicalities of a pick-up with the comfort and luxury of the rest of Mercedes’ range.
The trial of the Mini E back in 2008 showed there was an appetite for an all-electric Mini hatchback and, almost 10 years later, Mini is finally ready to deliver. This Mini Electric concept car shows how the existing three-door hatch could be adapted for zero-emissions driving. It’s expected to deliver a real-world range of around 180 miles, putting it into competition with the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf.
The Cayenne is Porsche’s take on the large SUV market, and this new version will cost from around £56,000 when it goes on sale next April. It will come with two V6 petrol engines initially, offering up to 434bhp, with diesel, hybrid and Turbo versions coming later.
Renault Megane RS
Renault’s new hot hatchback will go on sale early next year, and is aimed directly at Ford’s Focus RS, the Honda Civic Type R and the Volkswagen Golf R. To help it compete against such strong rivals, this Megane RS features a 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine which develops 276bhp – enough to get the car to 62mph from a standing start in 6.0sec. Renault says it’s proritising agility and driving fun over straight-line performance.
The new Impreza is aimed squarely at family hatchbacks including the Ford Focusand Volkswagen Golf, but it has the benefit of four-wheel drive. It’s lower, wider and has more space between its front and rear axles than the old car, meaning more space inside for people and luggage. In fact, you can fit more in to the boot of the new Impreza than you can in a Vauxhall Astra. Just two engines are being offered – both are 1.6-litre petrols with either 112bhp or 154bhp, connected to a CVT automatic gearbox. The new Impreza will go on sale later this year, at a pice expected to be around £19,500.
Toyota Land Cruiser
The current Land Cruiser earns only a two-star rating on our road test, but this new version of Toyota’s large SUV gets tweaked exterior styling, a new 8.0in touchscreen for Toyota’s Touch 2 with Go infotainment system, and a 4.2in driver’s information screen. Buyers in the UK will only have one engine to choose from, a 2.8-litre diesel carried over from the old car. Prices have yet to be revealed, but the current Land Cruiser range starts from £37,230.
Toyota C-HR HY-Power
We’ve suspected that Toyota might bring a more powerful version of its C-HR small SUV to market for some time, and now confirmation has come in the form of this HY-Power concept car. It features a more performance-focused hybrid powertrain, as well as a sporty exterior design. While performance details on the new hybrid system havent been revealed yet, Toyota has hinted that its hybrid range is likely to expand next year.
Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
Like the Volvo V90 Cross Country and Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, the Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer is a high-riding estate car for those who want to venture off-road, but who don’t want an SUV. Much of the Country Tourer is unchanged from the Sports Tourer estate, but it does gain black body cladding and a raised ride height. Three engines are available, with a new 207bhp 2.0-litre diesel likely to be among the best-sellers in this country. The Insignia Country Tourer is expected to cost from around £26,000.
Vauxhall Insignia GSi
Currently, the most powerful petrol version of the new Insignia Grand Sport is a 163bhp 1.6-litre engine, but buyers seeking a more sporty experience will soon be able to choose from a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol with 252bhp, coupled to a new eight-speed automatic gearbox. A hot diesel version is in the works too, although that’s not due to launch for some time.
Volkswagen ID Crozz
At the Shanghai motor show in April, Volkswagen showed its vision for an electric SUV with the ID Crozz concept car. Now, that model has taken a step closer to production with this second concept car, which shows how the car might feasably look when it goes on sale in 2020. The ID Crozz will take on other electric SUVs including the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X, and features two electric motors producing a combined 302bhp, equating to an electric driving range of 310 miles.
Volkswagen T-Roc R-Line
The T-Roc is Volkswagen’s smallest SUV model, and will go on sale in December, priced from around £19,000. While we’ve seen the car already, Volkswagen is showcasing the range-topping R-Line model in Frankfurt, which features a more aggressive exterior design and a luxurious interior. When it goes on sale, the T-Roc will face competition from rivals including the Audi Q2, Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke – although its high price tag puts it more in line with the Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca.