Weekly round-up: Faves, fails and features of Frankfurt
Guten tag liebe Leser und willkommen in der wöchentlichen News-Roundup!
Ja, things have taken a decidedly German flavour at ContractHireAndLeasing HQ this week as the news has come thick and fast from the Frankfurt Motor Show. So strap on your leiderhosen, grab yourself a bratwurst and a glass of Warsteiner and enjoy our collection of all the news, views and reveals from this week. Prost!
Thanks to constant teaser images, spy shots and social media previews, car shows aren’t the hotbed of surprising reveals they used to be, but what was revealed was the major European manufacturer’s statement of intent.
To the surprise of no one, electric vehicles have been the name of the game at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with almost every manufacturer showing off their concept of what they think the future of motoring will look like.
Perhaps the most daring concept revealed was Volkswagen’s I.D. Crozz.
A crossover of an SUV and a four-door coupe, the I.D. Crozz is a sporty, zero-emission all-rounder that is designed to be interactive, and whose electric 4MOTION all-wheel drive system is expected to be as impressive on unpaved trails as it is in adverse weather conditions.
The driving range of the SUEV is up to 300 miles (NEDC) on one battery charge which outputs 225 kW and boasts a top speed of 111mph . The high-performance battery can be charged to 80% of its energy capacity in 30 minutes using a fast-charging system.
— Volkswagen UK (@UKVolkswagen) 12 September 2017
Needless to say, VW don’t envision our love affair with SUVs ending anytime soon so this SUEV could be everyone’s go-to EV when it is launched in 2020.
On the flipside, BMW are banking on the i Vision Dynamics – a four-door Gran Coupe with a range of 373 miles, a top speed of over 120 mph and acceleration of 0-62 in four seconds – being the future of emobility.
“With the BMW i Vision Dynamics we are showcasing how we envisage future electric mobility between the i3 and i8: a dynamic and progressive, four-door Gran Coupe. We are therefore electrifying the heart of the BMW brand and, at the same time, elevating BMW i into a totally new dimension.” commented Harald Krüger, chairman of the board of management at BMW AG.
What did fail to capture the imagination from BMW however was the X7, which was as large as a small country and frighteningly ugly. The car was actually removed from the stand before the end of the first day, presumably as it had caused so much distress.
As one Facebook commentator so succinctly put it: “Plug ugly. Looks like a Chinese copy of an X5 :-$“
And what of Mercedes-Benz? Out of all the Mercedes models present at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the EQA concept is quite possibly the most significant. That’s because this car gives us further hints at what Mercedes’ all-electric sub-brand of the future will look like.
Dr Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: "With the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA, our electric initiative is gathering pace: by 2022 Mercedes-Benz Cars will have more than ten all-electric vehicles on the market."
The 200kW electric drivetrain will offer a range of up to 248 miles, although there’ll likely be a range of battery capacities available when it actually makes it into production.
A few of our other favourites from the show? Honda’s Urban EV concept certainly turned a few heads with its futuretro looks. Audi’s Aicon concept certainly put more emphasis on future rather than retro thanks to its lack of steering wheel and pedals, a stated range of 434 miles and a wheel base longer than the new Audi A8.
It was also nice to get a closer look at the upcoming Mercedes-Benz X-Class, which still has a lot of motorists tongues wagging, while the Bugatti Chiron’s claims to being the fastest production car on the planet set our hearts aflutter.
That’s all in the future though. What about the here and now?
Well there’s going to be a new Ford Mustang for Europe – delivering sleek new styling, sophisticated engine and suspension upgrades, as well as advanced driver assistance technologies and more customisation options, for the iconic sports car.
Ford’s famed 5.0-litre V8 engine has been further developed to deliver more power and a higher rev-limit than ever before. If that’s too much car for you, the new Mustang also offers a 2.3-litre EcoBoost delivering 286 bhp.
“Europe’s passion for Mustang has proven even greater than we imagined – almost 30,000 Mustangs are already bringing one of the most iconic sights in motoring to the continent’s streets,” said Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company.
Elsewhere, Audi is relaunching one of its most famous RS cars in the form of the fire-breathing RS4 Avant. On show this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it’s the first RS4 estate since its predecessor ended production in 2015.
It’s rather fitting that Audi has opted for highly tuned bi-turbo V6 rather than a V8 in the new car, considering the original RS4 of 1999 utilised a six-cylinder turbo unit too.
But the new S5-sourced 2.9-litre unit produces 444bhp and a massive 600Nm of torque – that’s more power than the V8 ever produced, and enough to get the Avant from rest to 62mph in 4.1 seconds.
Will it regain its crown as the ultimate performance estate? We’ll have to wait and see.
If these cars aren’t scratching your SUV-itch, but you still want something to offer absurd performance figures then the Porsche Cayenne Turbo could be the one for you.
Thanks to a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. Producing 542bhp and 770Nm of torque, it’ll hustle the huge SUV to 62mph in just 4.1 seconds – that’s almost as quick as some track-orientated 911 variants like the GT3 RS.
The car sits on Volkswagen Group’s latest MLB platform which we’ve already seen with the likes of the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga. As such it will no doubt be one of the most dynamic and engaging SUVs on the market, and is over 10kg lighter than the outgoing model.
Want a first-hand account of all the other major goings-on at Frankfurt Motor Show? Check out roving reporter Phil Huff’s thoughts, pictures and videos of the event.
As for me, the weekend is here and I’ve got some engine tinkering to get on with. Auf wiedersehen, pet…
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— Good doggos (@DoggoDating) September 10, 2017