Frankfurt Motor Show: the preview
The theme of this year's Frankfurt Motor Show is 'The world's most automobile show', which reflects the vast array of truly interesting cars on display. There'll be everything from the latest electric city runabouts to the most expensive supercars ever made. Carzone.ie will be there on the media preview days to soak up the atmosphere and get up close and personal with the most exciting new cars in the world. Here's what we expect to see.
Even before the doors open in Frankfurt it's clear that one of the big themes of this year's event is hybrid power, as we're losing track of the number of new plug-in hybrids that'll debut in Germany in production-ready format. At the silly money end of things there are new Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz S-Class hybrids, while BMW is previewing a new X5 hybrid in concept format. Every car on Toyota's stand will feature hybrid power, including a Yaris-based concept with more than 400hp to burn. Not sure we'd class that as very green...
Peugeot has to be commended for its efforts though, exhibiting a range of low-emission technologies, plus the swish 208 Hybrid FE tech demonstrator, which emits just 49g/km yet is supposedly great to drive.
Three electric cars make their world debuts in Frankfurt too, the BMW i3 and the e-up! and e-Golf from Volkswagen. The latter will be of particular interest to Irish buyers.
It'll be the show of the facelifts too, with a bit of nip and tuck applied to the likes of the Peugeot 3008 and 5008, the Skoda Yeti, Kia Optima and Sportage, plus the Opel Insignia. The latter coincides with the introduction of a raft of new engines, plus the launch of an Insignia Country Tourer 'soft-roader'. There seem to be plenty of new estates on hand actually, including Honda's new Civic Tourer and the sharply styled SEAT Leon ST.
Hyundai is launching an all-new i10 small car in Frankfurt, while Peugeot's 308 is targeted at the Volkswagen Golf. Of a similar size is Skoda's interesting new Rapid Spaceback.
BMW's new X5 gets its first public outing in Frankfurt, though we reckon more people will flock to the Mercedes-Benz stand to see the compact GLA crossover. We wonder if it'll take sales from the Range Rover Evoque, which itself gains a mild update for the show, including the introduction of a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
Facelifts abound in the luxury car sector, with modest updates for the Audi A8 and Jaguar XJ saloons. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class receives a nine-speed automatic and the S-Class arrives in various formats from AMG to Hybrid and everything in between. Meanwhile Lexus will launch a new GS 300h model, presumably powered by the IS 300h's hybrid powertrain.
The Germans do love their sporty cars and there's no shortage of them at the Frankfurt Show. In alphabetical order, expect to see a stunning new Quattro concept from Audi; BMW's 4 Series Coupé line-up topped by the 'Concept' M4; Ferrari's spectacular 458 Speciale; something rather more modest from Kia in terms of a concept; yet another version of the Lamborghini Gallardo; a concept from Lexus; another from Mercedes-Benz; Opel's sleek Monza concept; a 270hp hot hatch from Peugeot; 50th anniversary celebrations for the Porsche 911; the 400hp Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R; Volkswagen's all-new Golf R; and last, but not least, a sporty new concept from Volvo.