The press have gone home and from today (Thursday 14th) the Frankfurt Motor Show opens to the public, running until Sunday 24th September.
Over the past couple of days The Car Expert has posted details of many of the new models on show. If you are one of the thousands of visitors heading for the show over the next fortnight, you will also want to check out some of the other new metal that we highlight here.
Here’s a car we are looking forward to the arrival of. The BMW Z4 concept, displayed at a motor show for the first time after its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours, previews a production model reviving the roadster line and due on sale in 2018. Yes this is a concept but we are told at least 80 per cent of it will be replicated in the showroom car.
SEAT Arona – and others
SEAT has its second new SUV, the compact Arona, on display in the Frankfurt halls but has also revealed that its competition to find a name for the forthcoming largest seven-seat model is down to just four names. Drawn from 10,130 entries the finalists are Alboran, Aranda, Avila and Tarraco. The one rule of the competition was that the name had to relate to Spanish geography, so ‘Seaty Mc Seat Face’ was eliminated at the first hurdle…
Mercedes-Benz is entering the pickup market but does not expect to be getting down and dirty on building sites. The long-trialled X-Class unveiled at the show is pitched very clearly as a lifestyle vehicle. On sale later this month from £34,500, it includes many upmarket car features, but Mercedes adds that it is also fully capable with a choice of permanent or part-time all-wheel-drive matched to a four-strong engine-line-up.
Leading the Maserati Frankfurt stand is the significantly revamped Ghibli. The sports saloon, the best-selling model in Maserati’s history, gains a major styling refresh and a great deal more technology, including for the first time electric power steering – Maserati following the example of related brand Ferrari in dumping hydraulics for electrics. The Ghibli now comes in two new trim levels, GranLusso and GranSport, and the top all-wheel-drive Shibli S Q4 variant hits 62mph in a mere 4.7 seconds.
As well as the Aicon electric saloon, Audi is displaying a second concept at the show, the Elaine SUV. The clue is in the names, which both include the letters AI; these two are all about artificial intelligence, or ‘Audi Intelligence’ – see what they did there? While not quite as far-seeing as the Aicon, the Elaine does include a great deal of autonomous technology, such as the ability to park itself while the driver watches from the pavement…
Smart Vision EQ
Smart believes that it has the key to future city cars with this electric concept. While the parentage is obvious, the Vision EQ is a self-driving machine that will be a focal part of future car-sharing technology – the cars will travel through city streets, automatically finding customers who need to use them.
This design study from Renault fast forwards all the way to 2030. The Renault Symbioz is a concept with two electric motors that totally integrates itself into the owner’s life. Not only does it plan ahead, for example only charging itself when the driver’s diary suggests it is going to be used, but when parked at home it functions as a part of the house, with wi-fi, putting energy into the home and such like…
The Chinese are very much coming. Chery, China’s largest brand, has made no secret of its plans to enter the European market, and this SUV will lead the way. Focused firmly on Western buyers, the Chery Exceed will be sold in hybrid, plug-in and full electric form, and Chery will open a European research and design centre to spearhead its expansion. When, and where, we don’t yet know…
This is the XEV, a plug-in hybrid SUV displayed by Chinese brand Wey, which is effectively the upmarket sub-brand of the rather better known Great Wall. No Wey is this coming to Europe or the UK, as Wey is only marketed in its home market and there have been no indications that is about to change. Except if that’s the case, why pay to display your wares at Frankfurt?
A classic name rides again on this striking concept from revived German brand Borgward. The Borgward Isabella is an all-electric coupe that might reach production one day as a range-topping model for the brand. Before that we are likely to see the BX7 SUV – Borgward’s new European plant in Bremen (story here) is close to completion.
And finally… Thunder Power may sound like a character in a Superhero B movie, but in fact the name belongs to a Taiwanese auto brand with big ideas. The SUV pictured here is the latest model a pre-production version of an electric saloon, on sale in 2019 and set to be followed b y a coupe and SUV variants. The range-topping variant is said to have a sub four-second 0-62mph time and a plus-400 mile range. Look out Tesla…