The Frankfurt Motor Show opened its doors on Thursday (12 September), with a number of new production and concept cars on display.
The 2019 event takes place against a difficult economic climate with Brexit and a US-China trade war ongoing factors in the minds of many manufacturers.
This has led to many carmakers – including Aston Martin, Ford, Fiat, and Volvo – deciding to skip the show entirely. However, a number of well established manufacturers used the show to debut new models.
The focus in Germany is on ‘the future of driving’, with new models typically focusing on electric engines, autonomous driving, and in some instances a combination of both.
Volkswagen AG chief executive officer Herbert Diess laid it on thick, calling on governments to give up coal-fired power as he unveiled the electric ID.3 car-for-the-masses.
At the Mercedes-Benz stand, where the Daimler AG brand was showing the prototype of an electric S-Class sibling, real beech trees framed massive screens displaying schools of digital fish, Bloomberg reported.
The message to environmentally conscious consumers: we’re with you. But a marketing blitz alone won’t wash away the deep uncertainties facing electric cars – obstacles little changed since carmakers’ initial forays with models like the Nissan Leaf and BMW AG i3.
Customers don’t like paying up for new technology they’re unsure about, and they’re worried they won’t reliably get to where they want to go.
“The next big thing is not going to be about the cars, because they will come,” Carlos Tavares, president of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association and CEO of Groupe PSA, said Wednesday.
“The next big thing is about affordable mobility. The next big thing is about how we make this work for the biggest number of people.”
You can find some of the standout new models below:
This four-door electric vehicle packs serious off-road capabilities and combines them with autonomous driving.
Its 22-inch wheels and 33.5-inch off-road tires give it more than a foot of ground clearance and the ability to ford water more than 18 inches deep. Inside, it has a traditional steering wheel and pedals but can also be activated to drive itself at low speeds.
The 429-horsepower-equivalent lithium-ion battery will go from 248 to 310 miles on one charge – at least, hypothetically.
Audi Rs7 Sportback
From a purely visual standpoint, the second generation of the RS 7 stands out with its body, which is 20 millimeters wider on each side, and a wide singleframe that is devoid of colored accents.
The coupe-like model puts out 600 HP and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds.
BMW Concept 4
An enlarged grille, pushed forward as if by the curved front hood and massive wheels, is the most standout component BMW’s new 4 Series line of cars, including an M3 and M4.
Company executives say the design is inspired by historic models such as the 328 and 3.0 CSi, but have not revealed any performance specs.
Lamborghini has unveiled its first hybrid super sports car – the Sian. The Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 delivers unique new hybrid technologies, including the world-first application of a supercapacitor for hybridisation, new materials technology, and unsurpassed Lamborghini performance.
The Honda e is the manufacturer’s first electric vehicle for Europe.
It is equipped with a high-power electric motor available with two power outputs of 100 kW or 113kW, and impressive torque of 315Nm.
The 35.5kWh battery is one of the most compact in its class yet delivers a range of up to 220km from a single charge, perfect for everyday urban commuting.
Hyundai’s latest concept model showcases the brand’s future design direction for electric vehicles
Named 45, this new design concept pays homage to one of the most iconic vehicles in Hyundai’s history, the Pony Coupe Concept.
The new Opel Corsa is available as an efficient, combustion-engine version, and for the first time as a battery-electric Corsa-e – with a purely electric range of up to 330 kilometres.
Porsche Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S
Two electric motors, one at the front axle and one at the rear axle, allow the Taycan Turbo S to go from zero to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, while the Taycan Turbo can do it in 3 seconds.
The top speed for both is 161 mph (259 km/h).
Volkswagen debuted its new e-Golf at this year’s IAA show, promising a range of up to 230 km and a quick charging time of 0 – 80% in just 45 minutes.
It also boasts a powerful 100 kW/136 PS electric motor which is capable of 0–100 km/h in 9.6 seconds.
Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet
As the first crossover convertible in the compact class, the new T-Roc Cabriolet combines the looks and strengths of classic SUVs with the unique driving experience of a convertible.
Further reporting by Bloomberg.