With the list of confirmed concepts and production cars growing all the time, the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show looks set to be big. From hypercars to SUVs, these are just 25 of the key highlights set to garner attention next week.
Mercedes-AMG Project One
Set to be one of the biggest attractions at the Frankfurt show, this F1-inspired hypercar should pull in the crowds. With more than 1,000hp from a hybrid powertrain already confirmed, along with a top speed in excess of 218mph, the Project One could be the closest incarnation yet of a road-going F1 machine. The only thing more impressive than the performance should be the price tag – don’t expect change from £2 million.
Mercedes-AMG G65 AMG
All good things have to come to an end, and that even means calling time on the venerable G-Class. However, Mercedes-AMG isn’t going to let it slip quietly away, with two special limited-production models set to be unveiled in Frankfurt. The aptly-named Exclusive Edition versions of the G63 and G65 AMG get a unique grey paint finish, special 21-inch alloy wheels, dark aluminium trim, and multiple interior colour combinations. Performance remains ludicrous, with the G65 using a 621hp twin-turbocharged V12 engine.
Mercedes-Benz EQ A Concept
Offsetting some of the emissions from the G-Class will be the entry-level offering in the EQ electric brand from Mercedes-Benz. Details are currently closely guarded at present, but the EQ A will rival the BMW i3 and Volkswagen I.D. hatchback as the most affordable model in the Mercedes EQ range.
Smart Vision EQ ForTwo Concept
Joining the EQ A will be a futuristic concept of how the Smart brand might be used in the next decade, by playing a key role in the Car2go car-sharing scheme. Using swarm connectivity to find passengers needing to head to the same location, Smart claims that the autonomous EQ ForTwo would let people spend more time getting to know each other. The ForTwo would also have the ability to take itself off to a charging station when needed, avoiding the need for car-sharing users to need to return it to a depot.
Bentley Continental GT
All-new for a third generation, the Continental GT has received a comprehensive overhaul from Bentley. The styling is noticeably sleeker, but the new Conti GT is also bigger to offer up more space for passengers and luggage. The 6.0-litre W12 turbocharged engine might have 635hp, but Bentley promises this unit is more environmentally friendly than ever. A 48-volt electrical system controls the air suspension system, whilst the interior features a trick hidden 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen. To understand the luxury on offer, consider that the standard sound system is a 1,500-watt Bang & Olufsen, with a 2,200-watt Naim system available as an upgrade.
Named after one of the most beautiful Italian towns, according to Ferrari, the Portofino replaces the somewhat controversial California T. Fans never quite warmed to the styling of the California, but styling influenced by the GTC4Lusso helps make the Portofino appear far more coherent. The 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 remains, but now features 600 hp – an increase of 40hp compared to the outgoing Cali T. Frankfurt will be the first chance to see if the new looks work in the metal.
BMW 8 Series
The Concept 8 Series shown at the Concorso d’Eleganza event in May this year looked rather close to being production ready. So close that BMW will display the finished article in Frankfurt, only four months after first teasing the idea. The flagship coupe picks up where the previous 8 Series left off back in 1997, but with considerably more technology and the the promise of a true M8 performance version.
Munich may have announced the new M5 last month, but the official public unveiling will happen at the Frankfurt show. A standard xDrive 4WD system is the biggest shock, and it’s needed to keep the 600hp 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine under control. UK prices will start at £89,640, with the first deliveries in February 2018. If you can’t quite stretch to almost £90,000 fear not, as you’ll be able to experience the new M5 in the forthcoming Need for Speed Payback video game.
BMW 6 Series GT
The 5 Series GT is dead, long live the 6 Series GT. As BMW continues the realignment of all models to its naming system, the largest Progressive Activity Saloon gets a new badge. It’s not just about the name though; the 6 Series GT is bigger inside, and also features more luggage space beneath the liftback tailgate. Engine choices will include turbocharged 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre petrol units, with a 2.0-litre diesel also available from the outset. Expect a hot version to follow later next year.
After the Concept X2 was displayed at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, BMW has been working hard to get this small X1-derived crossover to the market. BMW has even released official photos of the X2 testing, with cars wearing this funky orange and grey camouflage. Sadly we doubt it’ll be a colour option when the finished car is revealed in Frankfurt. A wealth of petrol and diesel engines from the X1 will be offered, whilst there are also rumours of a performance range-topping model waiting in the wings.
Whilst the electric i3 might resemble the future of motoring, BMW is still treating it like any other car in the range. Which means a mild mid-life facelift, and the addition of a sporty ‘S’ model. Power is increased to 184hp, whilst the 0-62mph time drops to a junior hot hatch-rivalling 6.9 seconds. More impressive is the promise of a stability control system tuned to give ‘mild and safely controllable drifts’ and the option to engage Sport mode at will. UK prices for the i3S will start at £36,975 before the £4,500 government Plug-In Car Grant.
MINI Electric Concept
It might only be a concept at present but make no mistake, a genuine electric MINI is coming in 2019. Importantly, it’ll be built here in Britain alongside conventionally-powered versions. That should help keep costs low, and make this a genuine EV option for the masses. MINI has used 3D printing technology to design special parts for the Electric Concept, which in the future could offer the potential for bespoke customisation options. Aerodynamics are key to the Electric Concept, with even the alloy wheels created to help channel airflow efficiently.
MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept
Said to be inspired by the triumphs of the original Mini at the Monte Carlo Rally some 50 years ago, this Works GP Concept could be the most extreme version of the hatchback built yet. With a wealth of carbon fibre for the aero kit, including a gigantic roof spoiler, the Works GP Concept also includes LED taillights that from a Union Jack flag. As with the previous two Works GP versions, this concept features a stripped-out interior and, like the Electric Concept, makes use of 3D printing for special parts. Don’t expect a production version before 2019.
Kia Concept Car
Intended to preview how the next-generation Cee’d might look, Kia will be showing off this rakish shooting brake design in Frankfurt. The current Cee’d hatchback and estate range is due for replacement soon, and Kia hints that a shooting brake may be a possible addition to the range. Styling elements seem to be influenced by the Stinger GT, but we’ll know much more when the show opens.
Renault isn’t giving much away about this concept, except for the notion that it will preview a ‘vision of the future’ for autonomous driving. Intended to explain how Renault believes connected mobility will work in the year 2030, the name is derived from the Greek word for ‘living together’ with an additional ‘z’ to refer to Renault’s Z.E. electric range. You’ll have to wait until next week to see how your digital lifestyles will be transformed in synergy with the urban environment.
Seat Leon Cupra R
The Cupra R is back for the latest generation Leon but, disappointingly, in limited edition form only. Just 799 examples of the most powerful Seat road car will be built, powered by a 310hp version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. There’ll be no bright colours on offer, but the wing mirrors, wheels, and badging feature a bright copper finish. A sports exhaust system, Brembo brakes, and Alcantara interior trim will be the other trinkets bestowed upon the several hundred buyers.
Renault Megane Renault Sport
Finally, after months of teasers, camouflaged test cars, and even multiple leaked images, we’ll finally get to see the finished hot Megane at the Frankfurt show. We already know it will have four-wheel steering for enhanced agility, whilst power of over 300hp will allow it to compete with that limited edition Cupra R at least. Notably the new Megane Renault Sport will be, like the rest of the range, five-door only and with styling expected to be less dramatic than other hot hatch rivals.
Suzuki Swift Sport
Everyone’s favourite junior hot hatch returns for a brand-new third-generation offering. Sadly we’ll have to say goodbye to a high-revving naturally aspirated engine, as forced induction has finally caught up with the Swift Sport. Thankfully, it’ll still be lightweight, which should make the expected 140hp powerplant more than capable of entertaining drivers.
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport GSi
The GSi badge is back, but it won’t be stuck to the back of an Astra terrorising people at the local retail park. No, instead it’ll be attached to the rather more sensible Insignia Grand Sport. This isn’t just a badging exercise though, as the Insignia GSi will feature a 260hp 2.0-litre turbo engine, four-wheel drive system, and a chassis honed on the Nürburgring. Externally the new Insignia GSi will look quite respectable, with just 18-inch alloy wheels and subtle rear spoiler giving the game away. Perfect for reformed boy racers in need of practical family motoring.
Citroen C3 Aircross
Despite being announced all the way back in June, Frankfurt will be the first official public outing for Citroen’s new compact SUV. Billed as a rival to the ageing Nissan Juke, the C3 Aircross will undercut the Sunderland-built machine by at least £900, with prices starting at £13,995. Replacing the now uncool C3 Picasso MPV, the Aircross claims to have best-in-class interior space, and the ability to personalise both interior and exterior with 90 different colour combinations.
It’s new, honest. Announced just last week, the third-generation Cayenne will face the crowds at the IAA, many of whom will struggle to tell if it’s the latest version. Even Porsche admits the styling is evolutionary, noting that the looks are ‘familiar’ compared to the previous model, although the new car is longer and lower. LED lighting abounds outside, whilst inside the boot has grown to a substantial 770 litres of space. The biggest news is the adoption of the 12.3-inch touchscreen, along with smartphone-like buttons for other controls – much like the latest Panamera. Turbocharged petrol V6 engines will be the only choices at launch, with Porsche curiously silent on the subject of diesel…
As part of the Skoda brand moving further upmarket, fun and frivolity with the Yeti is making way for sensible with the new Karoq SUV. Smaller than the all-conquering Kodiaq, the Karoq will still feature over 520 litres of boot space and the promise of ample legroom for rear passengers. Two petrol engines and three diesels will be on offer, with a wealth of optional technology like Park Assist and Blind Spot Detection available. It all sounds very mature.
After several years of lying low, Volkswagen is now firmly upping things in the crossover stakes with a direct competitor to the Nissan Qashqai. Set to be keenly priced to rival the Japanese machine, the T-Roc has gone from concept machine to production whilst retaining most of the same styling cues. Petrol engine choices range from a 115hp 1.0-litre, through to a 2.0-litre with 190hp. Diesels will also be on offer, whilst higher-powered T-Rocs will gain the option of 4Motion 4WD.
Thought subtle styling makeovers were reserved for expensive SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne? Think again, as even the budget Dacia Duster has benefitted from mild tweaks for the second-generation car. The front grille and headlights are noticeably bigger, whilst the taillights are fancier in design. The same engine choices as before continue, which should help keep prices low. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are expected to feature in a revised interior, but don’t expect to see a previously rumoured seven-seater version.
Chery SUV Concept
Chinese company Chery may be big at home, but is planning a major assault on the European market with a new compact SUV. Although exact details are yet to be confirmed, the new model to be unveiled in Frankfurt is said to appeal to young, urban, forward-thinking customers. Chery plans to sell only vehicles with some degree of electrification in Europe, meaning the brand could become a cut-price alternative to Chinese-owned Volvo offerings.