Some big name carmakers might be absent from this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, but that doesn’t mean it’s short on big-name reveals. Join us as we take you through the best cars of IAA 2017.
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Mercedes-AMG Project One
Its looks are dividing opinion, but almost everyone in Frankfurt has been bowled over by the Mercedes-AMG Project One. Sure, we knew AMG would be unveiling a ‘F1 car for the road’, but nothing can prepare you for the tech, the performance figures and the prospect of getting behind the wheel of “the first Formula 1 car with MOT approval.” A total of 275 units will be built, but the 1,000hp Project One’s bigger role is to showcase an electrified future for AMG’s next generation vehicles. The star of the show? We think so.
Video: the best cars at Frankfurt 2017
Bentley Continental GT
Brexit negotiations might be in full swing, but the Bentley Continental GT ensures there’s a huge slab of Great Britain nestled in the heart of Germany’s financial district. Evolution is the name of the game, with the new Conti GT a subtle development of the outgoing model, although not everyone is a fan of the rear styling. The 6.0-litre W12 turbocharged engine – now with dual-clutch eight-speed transmission – is perfect for a European breakaway. Top speed is 207mph.
Suzuki Swift Sport
Please don’t be rubbish. Please don’t be rubbish. Please don’t be rubbish. We’re huge fans of the Suzuki Swift Sport, loving its old-school junior hot hatch feel and giant-killing antics. There’s a worry that turbocharging will rid the Swift Sport of some of its charm, but we’re hopeful that Suzuki’s engineers will ensure the third generation model is fit to wear the badge. Its 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine might offer a mere 138hp, but the Swift Sport weighs a featherlight 970kg. Coming to a B-road near you, soon.
Renault Sport Megane
Remember when Renault Sport was responsible for building the greatest hot hatches? The current Clio RS is OK, but it fails to capture the magic of the previous models, which means there’s a lot resting on the shoulders of the hot Megane. A meagre 280hp from its turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine might not seem like a great deal in an age of the 400hp hot hatch, but if the chassis is perfect, who cares? Two transmissions are available, with four-wheel steering fitted as standard.
Audi R8 V10 RWS
It’s enough to make your head hurt: first the BMW M5 goes all-wheel drive and then Audi unveils a rear-wheel-drive R8. The limited-edition R8 V10 RWS is Audi’s first production rear-wheel-drive car and is available to order from this Friday. A total of 999 Coupe and Spyder variants will be built, priced from £110,000. Sadly, the 610hp Plus remains a strictly all-wheel drive affair, so you’re limited to the ‘standard’ 540hp V10.
MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept
This is a pretty neat way to celebrate the Mini’s success at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1967. While Mini purists will point to the fact that the BMW MINI can take zero credit for the car’s giant-killing exploits, it’s impossible not to be excited about the prospect of an extreme Works GP Concept. The car wears the number 0059: a reference to the Mini’s date of birth. Just something else to upset the purists.
Don’t let the E-Pace name fool you, because this isn’t the new electric Jag. That would be the larger i-Pace. Confused? Don’t be, because the E-Pace is destined to become a familiar sight on Britain’s roads. The compact SUV was unveiled in the summer and is available to order now. Prices start from £28,500.
What might not be obvious from our photo is the sheer scale of the Aicon concept. At 5,444mm long, 2,100mm wide and 1,506mm tall, is significantly larger than Audi’s flagship, the A8. And yet, this vision of an autonomous future is a 2+2, designed to showcase what can be done when there’s no need for an engine, steering wheel or pedals. In case you were wondering, those wheels are 26-inch.
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Package
A hardcore Porsche 911 for introverts: that’ll be the new GT3 Touring Package unveiled in Frankfurt. Gone is the rear wing, replaced by an automatic extending rear spoiler with an airflow ‘tear-off edge’. Meanwhile, the 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated engine produces 500hp, enabling the 911 to sprint from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds to reach a top speed of 196mph. Porsche purists rejoice, because the GT3 Touring Package is available exclusively with a manual six-speed gearbox. Order a 911 GT3 for £111,802 and the Touring Package is a no cost option.
Land Rover Discovery SVX
How do you solve a problem like a cosmetically challenged SUV? You fit a 525hp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, of course. This is the first Land Rover Discovery to wear the SVX badge, and while it can’t disguise the styling issues, it brings a lump hammer to the SUV sector. Highlights include Hydraulic Active Roll Control, for increased wheel articulation and improved body control, along four-corner air suspension, active centre and electronic rear locking diffs, and a pistol shifter in place of the rotary shift found in less well-endowed Discos. Cool thing, this.
BMW Concept Z4
It may have been unveiled at Pebble Beach, but for most people this is the first chance to see the new BMW Z4 Roadster, scheduled to hit the streets in 2018. It’s the result of a partnership between Toyota and BMW, with the platform also used as the basis for the new Supra, which will make its debut later this year. While the production version will be toned down a little, this looks almost showroom-ready to us.