Why this year's Frankfurt motorshow really does point to the future
The IAA motor show at Frankfurt is one of the
big three in Europe and this year it brings a heady mix of new models shown for
the first time to the press and public. As well as the cars themselves, there
are some notable trends. So straight back from the press days, what did we
learn and which new cars were launched that you’ll be able to buy?
Electric cars are becoming accessible
Electrification of smaller, more affordable
models with usable ranges means they are becoming a sensible option for an
increasing number of customers. Production versions of the new Vauxhall
Corsa-E, Honda e and Volkswagen e-up! are available to see the first time at
Chinese brands are appearing
Red Flag, Wey (a premium marque owned by Great
Wall), Byton and San Juan all make appearances at Frankfurt this year and while
their cars are rather derivative in design, and most not yet geared for the
mass European market, their presence will bring them important exposure.
Driver-less cars are here
They’re not available of course, but we are
seeing concept cars with seating and no driver controls inside. Volkswagen
presents its ID.Vision, Audi has four driverless variants including the IA:CON
and Mercedes is showing its driverless bus.
Some companies aren't coming out to play
As you might expect, there is a strong presence
from German manufacturers Mercedes-Benz, BMW and the Volkswagen Group but there
are some significant absentees. PSA Group (DS, Peugeot and Citroen) didn’t
bring their latest; nor did Volvo, Mazda, Kia, Toyota, Lexus or Mitsubishi. It shows car companies are seeking alternative routes to market their products and could signal the end of large, expensive shows
BMW's latest design language didn't win the hearts of journalists
We love our heritage
Tucked-away in Hall 4 are the heritage vehicles.
The building is absolutely packed with an exciting and evocative range of
classics from every era of motoring. There are too many to list, but highlights
include an exceptional range of Mercedes-Benz models and and a delightful
gathering of early Bugattis.
New cars you'll be able to buy
Many manufacturers are showing production models
for the first time so we’ve selected our top cars with photos fresh from the
Land Rover Defender
The talk of the show has been Land Rover’s
long-awaited Defender with clever design themes linking to its rich heritage.
We love the commercial variant and can’t wait to see how capable it is on (and
especially off) road.
While Hyundai displays its sharp-shaped 45 concept car, it’s the new i10 which draws the crowds. Larger than its predecessor, it blurs the lines between A and B segment in size.
Golf-sized and all-electric, the ID.3 is hugely important for Volkswagen. It is almost identical to the Seat el-Born - with which it shares many parts - also on show at Frankfurt.
In the 60th anniversary year for MINI, it debuts
its all-electric model here at Frankfurt, promising up to 145 miles in range.
Available with either a conventional engine or
electric drivetrain, the Corsa is shown for the first time, and with both
Vauxhall and Opel badging on the stand.
If any car could be described as cute, it must
be the all-electric Honda e. Sensible pricing and innovative design lend it
Porsche presents its elegant, electric four-dour
Taycan with up to 560 kW (equivalent to 751 bhp) for 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds in
the flagship Turbo S model.
Lamborghini Sian FKP 37
When it comes to drama, little comes close to
Lamborghini and its new Sian looks as whacky as any Lamborghini should. The
Sian is the company’s first hybrid too.
Image credits: Andrew Wright @theMotorWriter
About the Author
Andrew is a freelance motoring journalist with a background in IT and the vehicle leasing industry. With a lifetime’s passion for all things automotive, he can be found behind the wheel of everything from vans to supercars. In addition to reviewing the latest vehicles and technology, Andrew also runs a couple of classic British motors. He lives at the edge of the Peak District with his son and cat.
Andrew Wright @theMotorWriter