Frankfurt Motor Show
The automotive world is focused on the Frankfurt Motor Show. BMW kicked things off unveiling of the BMW Concept 4. Their futuristic view of the 4 series is a sporty coupe that hugs the road. Classic BMW styling has been enhanced with a modern take, including the vertical kidney grille. The long hood and wheelbase, flowing roofline and short overhangs create an athletic appearance that we expect will translate onto the road. The concept for the new 4 series will also be the basis for the future BMW i4, which will be available starting in 2021.
We’re used to seeing a lot from BMW at auto shows, and Frankfurt is no different. The third generation BMW X6 made its world premiere. It comes 12 years after the original X6 graced the stage in Frankfurt. This latest version of their Sports Activity Coupe combines dynamic driving characteristics with the latest technology, including the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. Four engine choices will be offered when the BMW X6 is launched in November.
The BMW Vision M NEXT is giving us a glimpse into the future. It combines plug-in hybrid technology with sports car driving dynamics. The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT was also introduced to the world. The BMW Group is developing hydrogen fuel cell technology alongside battery-electric and plug-in-hybrids. BMW has been working on hydrogen fuel cell drive systems with Toyota for a few years. This next generation of fuel cell vehicles will be based on the new BMW X5 with a planned launch in 2022.
For an even faster Bavarian experience, the all new BMW ALPINA B3 Touring took a bow. The most powerful version of this model has a 3.0 liter bi-turbo straight-six under the hood good for 462 hp channeled through an 8-speed Sport-Automatic transmission.
The electricity is also flowing at British brand MINI. New battery cell technology extends electric range of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 plug-in hybrid by 30 per cent… up to 35 miles.
One of the most anticipated reveals was from Land Rover. The New Defender made a dramatic entrance descending a 42-degree incline. The vehicle had plenty of practice, including driving in the Charyn Canyon, Kazakhstan. They say this is their most capable and durable Land Rover vehicle, with seating options of five, six or 5+2.
Mercedes-Benz made a big presence on their home turf with several world premieres. They’re expanding their plug-in hybrid family with three compact cars and two SUV’s. The A 250 e, A 250 e sedan and B 250 e will feature a 218 hp 1.33 liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. Electric range is expected to be more than 43-miles. Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLC 300 e 4MATIC will also be added to the plug-in hybrid offerings.
The three-pointed star brand also showed the new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and the more potent 435 hp Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupe. The AMG treatment is also coming to their newest SUV in the form of the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4MATIC.
Porsche continued the electric charge with the all-new Taycan. What was revealed as the Mission E concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show has become their first electric sport sedan. The flagship Taycan Turbo S can generate up to 750 horsepower in combination with Launch Control and over boost. Zero to 60 mph takes a mere 2.6 seconds. Porsche also showed all-wheel-drive models of the 911 Carrera 4 Coupe and 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. As for their SUV’s, three new hybrid models are being added to the Cayenne series, and the Macan Turbo made its motor show debut.
Audi now has 4 electric concepts in the works. The Audi AI:TRAIL quattro can take EV driving off-road, while on-road will feature up to level 4 autonomous technology. The brand with the four rings also showed the new Audi RS 7 Sportback. The high-performance sedan benefits from the
Know-how at Audi Sport GmbH, with a 591-hp 4.0 liter V8 TFSI matched with a mild hybrid system and 48-volt electrical system.
Volkswagen unveiled their first vehicle on the MEB architecture: the fully electric ID.3. It will be offered with three different battery options… so EV range will be between 205 and 342 miles. So far there are no plans to bring it to the U.S., but when it goes on sale in Europe the price will start around $33,000.
Lamborghini kept the juice flowing with their first hybrid super sports car… Sián FKP 37. It’s named in honor of the late auto executive Ferdinand Karl Piëch who was born in 1937. The gas and electric wizardry will produce 819 hp, with the lowest-ever weight-to-power ratio of any V12 Lamborghini. The 63 people who will get the chance to own one of these can expect 0-60 in less than 2.8 seconds, and then watch the speedometer top out at more than 215 miles an hour.
Hyundai’s view of the future also includes plugging in with the EV Concept 45. Of course, eco-mobility can be fast, so Hyundai also showed their first electric racing car… the Veloster N ETCR with a mid-mounted motor and rear-wheel-drive. For much tamer driving, the new i10 gets upgraded connectivity. Drivers who want a little more, can choose the Hyundai i10 N Line.
Honda’s plan to sell EVs in Europe is taking shape with the production version of the Honda e. It’s the result of the cute and tiny Urban EV Concept that debuted in Frankfurt just two years ago. The electric motor and compact 35.5 kWh battery can generate 136-miles of electric range.