Frankfurt Motor Show: All The Coolest Things Announced So Far
The Frankfurt Motor Show, also known as the International Motor Show Germany, is currently happening. As is the case every year, many new vehicles, concept cars, and technologies are being unveiled. As the world’s biggest automotive show, Frankfurt is a prestige showcase for car manufacturers from every part of the globe.
With more than one million visitors and 1,000 members of the international media in attendance during the show’s ten-day run, it’s not surprising that automakers use Frankfurt to make a splash by ntroducing their most exciting vehicles. Here is some of the coolest stuff being unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.
2020 Land Rover Defender
Land Rover has made an impression at Frankfurt with the revival of its iconic new “Defender,” which first debuted back in 1948. This is a rugged all-terrain vehicle that pays homage to Land Rovers of the past, while moving firmly into the future. Call it a marriage of modernity and old-school. Automotive journalists have called the 2020 Defender the “…most eagerly awaited Land Rover product since the first BMW-engineered Range Rover in 2001.” The first look in Frankfurt did not disappoint. The new Defender comes in two- and four-door trims and is huge, measuring 101.9 inches from axle-to-axle.
Land Rover says the Defender has been built for serious off-road action and can scamper up a 45-degree hill and traverse sideways across the same slope without tipping over. Maximum wading depth in water is a deep 2.95 feet. Under the hood, owners get a 3.0-litre six-cylinder version of the company’s Ingenium engine that can produce 296-horsepower. The technology inside is super advanced and features a new 1920×720 touchscreen that runs on QNX-based software. Be warned though, the Defender is not cheap. Starting price is $65,300, with a special “Launch” edition ringing in at $83,400. The highest-level trim package will set you back at least $93,600.
Volkswagen ID3 Concept Car
In terms of concept cars, the one that has arguably made the most noise in the opening days of the Frankfurt Motor Show is the Volkswagen ID3. It’s the German automaker’s first fully electric car that has been designed for the masses.
Billed as an “affordable long-range electric car,” the ID3 comes in three trim levels. It has a 45kWh battery and offers 205 miles of driving range in the base model. The highest-level trim package gets owners 340 miles of driving range on a single battery charge. In terms of appearance, the ID3 looks a lot like VW’s popular Golf hatchback. As for pricing, VW has promised that the ID3 will be affordable, though the company hasn’t disclosed the exact costs yet. Speculation is that the ID3 base model will be priced at about $35,000, putting it on par with the Tesla Model 3.
Inside, the ID3 promises a spacious interior that is roomier than the Golf and other VW cars. This concept car is also considerably more high-tech than other VWs, featuring a new 10-inch touchscreen that sits in the middle of the dashboard. The ID3 also relies on touch-sensitive buttons throughout the cabin. The only items controlled through physical buttons are the windows and hazard lights.
The ID3 is also equipped with keyless entry, and the car’s LED matrix headlights flutter like a set of eyelids when the owner approaches, a feature that VW’s engineers say gives the car a “friendly touch.”
BMW Concept 4
BMW has generated quite a bit of chatter with is Concept 4, a sleek coupe with classic sports car proportions and a massive (and we mean massive) double kidney grille on its front end. Featured in standard and convertible renderings, the Concept 4 is a preview of the upcoming BMW 4 Series – the M3 and M4. BMW has said that the grille on the Concept 4 take its inspiration from iconic models of the past such as the 328 and 3.0 CSi.
Regardless, many journalists covering Frankfurt have taken issue with the grille’s size and dominance over the vehicle. Some have gone so far as to call it “ugly.” While we won’t go that far, there can be no denying that the grille overwhelms this concept car’s appearance.
No technology or pricing details on the Concept 4 have been released yet. At least the laser headlights on this car are pretty damn cool. Just below the headlights, BMW has incorporated massive air openings that provide fresh air to the engine compartment and the brakes. Be sure and checkout the convertible version as it takes the concept up a notch, in our opinion.
Mercedes-Benz EQ Concept
This car looks like something straight out of Star Trek. From the rectangular steering wheel to the giant touchscreens and sleek seats, the EQ Concept looks like it was designed by a group of sci-fi fans. Pitched to media in Frankfurt as an electric version of the next-generation S-Class model, the Mercedes EQ Concept is a radically designed four-door coupe that has a minimalist interior with no conventional controls.
The floating center console, which is completely touchscreen, bisects the entire cabin. It effectively cuts the intertior in half. Rear passengers have legroom to spare and a decent amount of headroom despite the sedan’s sloping roofline. A dual-pane sunroof provides ample natural light and there are unconfirmed rumors that the EQ could come equipped with suicide doors. Wow!
Adding to the futuristic vibe are door armrests equipped with built-in touchscreens for both the driver and passenger to control various functions. There’s also an advanced autonomous driving system (though not fully autonomous) and the elimination of all mirrors – side and rear view. Cameras will show the driver what is happening around them. In terms of the engine, the EQ is believed to employ a Modular Electric Architecture (MEA) with an electric motor up front and another one at the back, giving it all-wheel drive capability.
Audi RS7 Sportback
One car that is garnering a lot of attention in Germany is the Audi RS7 Sportback, which has made its world debut in Frankfurt. Producing a massive 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, the RS7 is the most-powerful Audi Sportback ever made. All that power is generated from a twin-turbocharged, hybridized 4.0-liter V8 engine. The 48-volt electrical system on the new RS7 Sportback is the same one you’ll find on the previous Sportback model, the RS6 Avant. The RS7 impresses with its ability to hit 62 mph in 3.6 seconds, and boasts a top speed of 155 mph. With the Dynamic Plus package, that top speed can actually top out at 189.5 miles per hour.
In addition to its street performance, the RS7 also has amazing styling inside and out. The massive blacked-out grille that has been featured on other RS models carries over with the RS7. Plus a set of 10-spoke, 21-inch wheels come standard, though buyers can option larger 22-inch RS wheels and add RS carbon-ceramic brakes that drop 75 pounds of weight.
Inside, the RS7 adopts Audi’s MMI dual touchscreen interface and virtual cockpit. High-quality Nappa leather seats keep both driver and passenger comfortable. The Audi RS7 comes in 13 different exterior colors, including two specific RS shades: Nardo gray and Sebring black. No word from Audi on pricing for the various trim levels. Don’t expect it to be cheap, though!
Hyundai 45 Concept
If you’re into boxy looking cars like Volvos, then you may be impressed with the new Hyundai 45 Concept. Described by the automotive press as a “head-scratcher,” the 45 Concept draws on the infamous “Hyundai Pony” for its inspiration. The “45” moniker comes from the fact that it is four-and-a-half decades since the Korean automaker produced its very first vehicle – the 1975 Pony. However, the 45 Concept is much more advanced and promises to be both an electric vehicle and an autonomous one.
With a monocoque-style body and lightweight design elements, this concept hints at the direction Hyundai is moving in for the foreseeable future. The promised long-distance battery capability (no exact word on size or range) promises to entice people who have never tried an electric vehicle before. However, we would caution against getting too excited about this otherworldly looking concept car. It won’t be available before 2025, according to Hyundai. Right now, this concept seems long on design images and short on engineering details.