Top five concept cars from Frankfurt Motor Show 2019
One of the many highlights of a motor show is the concept cars being shown off. From the one-offs, the wacky, the production ready, and the nearly available, some of the imaginative concept cars manufacturers have been working away on really capture the imagination.
While Frankfurt Motor Show 2019 proved to be a rather reserved affair, there were a few glimpses at what’s going on behind closed doors.
Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS
The whole MO of the latest electric concept from Mercedes seems to be ‘sustainable luxury’, with the saloon offering comfort, design and technology and an abundance of space.
With 435 miles of range, the EQS is long and low with its "one bow" proportion and fluidity leading the way for a new generation of electric Mercedes-Benz vehicles. With a a 100kWh hour battery onboard and a combined output of over 350 kW, it gives the EQS the performance of a super-sports car.
With the VISION EQS, Mercedes-Benz is making a clear statement for the continued future of high-quality vehicles and self-determined driving. #IAA19 #enjoyelectric #MercedesBenzUK pic.twitter.com/d1ZMtaBJCl
— Mercedes-Benz UK (@MercedesBenzUK) September 10, 2019
That digital front grille houses nearly 200 LEDs, with the digital light headlamps next to it each featuring four holographic lens modules. The headlamps then feed into a lightbelt which glows around the length of the car and feeds into the rear. At the back the rear-lights are made up of 229 three-pointed stars.
The interior design takes its inspiration from the world of luxury yachts, with the overall sculpture consisting of the combined dashboard, centre console and armrests.
This interior also previews the next generation of the MBUX infotainment system which consists of three touchscreens – a central portrait unit with additional displays in the door armrests.
BMW Concept 4
Perhaps the most divisive vehicle at the Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW’s latest concept aims to embody the aesthetic essence of the BMW brand.
It perhaps shows us our biggest hint yet of what a future 4 Series model may offer, with its low slung profile, distinctive kidney grille, air intakes and prominently sculpted surfaces providing an immediate indication of the cars performance and its engaging character.
Ah yes, that grille. Though we’ve seen a variation of it on the new X7 and 7 Series models it seems that opinion on its design isn’t changing any time soon if feedback from Frankfurt is anything to go by, but look closer and the intricate grating is made up of an array of small 4s joined together.
“The BMW Concept 4 presents a confident and classy take on this iconic feature. At the same time, the BMW Concept 4 offers a look ahead to the expressive face of the 4 Series range.” commented Domagoj Dukec, head of BMW design.
Away from that grille, Concept 4 displays BMW’s signature proportions in their most modern form yet. The stretched bonnet, long wheelbase, flowing roofline and short overhangs create a modern, elegant and dynamic coupe outline with the long, sweeping roofline flowing smoothly into the boot lid, giving the rear end a high-class and sporty aesthetic.
Hyundai 45 EV
The aim of Hyundai’s latest EV concept is to define the future through its heritage. As such, this new design concept pays homage to one of the most iconic vehicles in Hyundai’s history, the Pony Coupe Concept, while showcasing the brand’s future design direction for electric vehicles.
The character of 45 is defined by its monocoque-style body, aerodynamic and lightweight design, with the clean lines and minimalist structure letting the vehicle speak for itself.
By exhibiting a modernized fastback profile, 45 epitomizes stability and dynamism, with active LED lights letting drivers know how much longer they can drive on their current charge before they get in the car. These thoughtful elements are designed for a user who is experiencing an EV for the first time.
The exterior also uses hidden a Camera Monitoring System that is equipped for self-driving while also utilizing side cameras instead of traditional wing mirrors.
Step inside and the car delivers a comfortable and communal environment, with lounge chair-style rear seats and front seats that can rotate to face other passengers. Clean lines, ergonomic placement of controls and a ‘high-end electronics’ feel for the interior further enhance the feeling of space while reinforcing the simplistic modernity of 45’s design.
Still relatively new to the market, Cupra is looking to build on the momentum of its Ateca high-performance SUV and upcoming Formentor with this, the Tavascan EV concept.
Based on Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, the Tavascan is powered by two electric motors for a total output of 225kW and is equipped with a 77kWh battery pack for an all-electric range of up to 279 miles.
To this end, airflow is a critical component of the Tavascan concept. The coupe-SUVs exterior mixes performance and efficiency, with the wheel arches housing 22-inch turbine alloy wheels which shift air cleanly and allow the coupe SUV to glide. This minimises resistance while the diffuser at the rear provides functional aerodynamics.
On the inside, the Tavascan mirrors the sculpted exterior to provide a cabin that is the perfect balance between driver orientation and passenger comfort. A 12.3in digital instrument cluster provides all the information the driver needs, in addition to the 13in infotainment display which can be maneuvered towards the passenger when needed.
Audi AI:Trail Quattro
And now for something completely different. While all the other concepts in this article have placed an emphasis on comfort, efficiency and a delicate balance of future-looking retro appeal, Audi have instead been showing off the future of the off-roader. Niche? Yes. Exciting? Oh hell yeah!
Featuring four electric motors and quattro drive, the all-terrain EV concept is a design without compromise. With an exterior length of 4.15 metres and a width of 2.15 metres, the brawny Audi AI:Trail combines the capacity for automated driving with superb off-road capabilities.
The glass surrounding the cabin extends all the way to ground level like the cockpit of a helicopter, providing unrivalled all-round visibility. On top of that almost the entire roof, from the top of the windscreen to the rear spoiler, allows a clear view of the sky and the landscape.
The interior brings a whole new meaning to the word minimal, with pedals, a yoke for a steering wheel, a few buttons, and a smartphone attached to the steering column as a display and control centre being the only elements there are for the interaction between the driver and the vehicle.
Given that the AI:Trail is intended for use in areas without any charging infrastructure, the thing that really draws attention is its range. With a maximum system output of 320kW and 1,000 Nm of torque, the stated target with its lithium-ion battery is 248 to 310 miles on roads or easy off-road terrain. On rough ground, where the almost constantly elevated wheel slip alone means that energy consumption is higher, the limit is still an impressive 155 miles.