Frankfurt Motor Show: The glitzy new car models that have taken the show by storm
Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham reports from the extravaganza they call the Frankfurt Motor Show on the cars coming down the line.
Everywhere you look there’s shiny metal, extraordinary shapes, mind-boggling technology and... smiling faces.
There are some eye-popping new designs at Frankfurt today. And some reassuringly familiar. But one thing is palpable: an upbeat mood despite lingering gloomy economic backdrops over stretches of Europe.
The size and the scale of this show is staggering. It is a motor city within a city. You can take shuttle buses from one manufacturer’s stand to another. This is big. And they are thinking big. Way beyond next year or the year after.
And here’s a sample of what is on the agenda today.
Alfa Romeo: new Giulia is regarded as one of the most important developments in the marque’s history. In Ireland? Towards the end of next year.
Audi: The new A4 saloon and Avant as well as the S4. Some powerful engines but big emphasis on 21pc cut in fuel consumption in some models.
The e-tron quattro concept is attracting a lot of attention. It’s the marque’s first electric SUV and previews the upcoming Q6.
Bentley: The Bentayga SUV: Top speed 301kmh. Real eye-catcher.
Bugatti: Concept Vision Gran Turismo They is strongest indication of what the next Veyron will look like.
BMW: Big show of cars: 7-series goes on sale from October 24. Second-generation X1, front and 4WD, at the same time. Lots of plug-ins - the 225xe, 330e and 740e. And the 2-series Active Tourer PHEV (March).
Citroen: Cactus M concept is their highlight.
DS: Revised 5dr hatch and a new Crossback version.
Ford: European production model of the large Edge SUV, due in Ireland mid-2016. Also the new Ranger pickup (early next year).
Ferrari: The stunning 488 GTS - 660bhp from its twin-turbocharged V8 engine.
FIAT: Updated 500.
Honda: Civic Tourer Active Life Concept and the bizarre ‘2&4’ concept that combines the thrill of riding a motorbike and the fun of driving a car.
Hyundai: New Tucson will be in showrooms from October 19. Also here on show is the minor-facelift Santa Fe. And they’ve beefed up the i20 with the Active version (Ireland in July). A hybrid hatchback concept also on show.
Jaguar: It’s all about their first SUV the F-PACE. Due in Ireland next May or so. Lovely cabin.
KIA: Plenty of important new stuff. The Optima will arrive in Ireland by December, the Sportage early January arrival. Cee'd facelift also on show.
Lamborghini: Open-top version of the Huracán.
Lexus: RX large SUV makes its European debut. Due in December.
Maserati: Showing their first SUV model, the Levante. Right-hand-drive versions by early 2016.
Mazda: Koeru mid-size crossover concept is their highlight. Rivals for Land Rover Discovery Sport and Kia Sorento.
Mercedes: The four-seater S-Class Cabriolet is stunning. Have yoy €180,000-plus ready? The 3dr C-Class Coupé due here by year’s end is going to tempt a lot of people. Also spotted the new-generation A-Class and the IAA concept whose interior previews the next E-Class..
MINI: The Clubman is the big news here and goes on sale from October 31 in Ireland.
Nissan: Baby SUV concept Gripz previews their next step forward.
Opel: The new Astra (in Ireland by late October) dominates. It looks really well in the flesh (I’ve come from the world launch and boy is there a mega crowd still there. And the new smart-looking Sports Tourer is due by March.
The hatchback, meantime, is shorter, lower and lighter. Based on new architecture, the 4.37m Astra’s wheelbase is 2cm shorter (the car itself is 50mm shorter 5mm narrower) but there is 35mm more rear legroom and 22mm more front headroom.
Among a big range of engines is the new 1-litre, 3cyl turbo petrol (105bhp, 96g/km, road tax €180).
And there is a new 1.4-litre turbo petrol (4cyl, 150hp, 114g/km, €200 road tax).
There will also be two versions of the sub-100g/km 1.6 CDTI diesel (110hp, 136hp). The 110hp version can manage 100km on 3.4 litres (90gkm, €180 road tax).
The Tourer is the same size as the old one (4,702mm long, 1,871mm wide and 1,499mm tall) but there is a more space out front and behind (28mm more legroom).
Opel are also close to making their Surf Concept Vivaro into a production vehicle that would carry six people in its crew cab as well as large loads and equipment.
They will continue with the existing saloon Astra for the time being. Interesting idea.
Peugeot: Showing their Fractal electric urban coupé concept gives. And the 308 R Hybrid (493bhp) is edging closer to production.
Porsche: Adding turbocharged engines to its 911 range to meet tougher fuel consumption and emission rules. Also gets a minor facelift, styling changes and cabin upgrades.
Renault: Their new Megane is causing a stir. Goes on sale here next June. Expect a range-topping GT version from the start.
Alaskan concept on show here too. It will be Renault’s planned global production pickup by 2017.
Rolls Royce: Rolls out its new Dawn.
SEAT: Leon Cross Sport Show 3dr is getting attention. Blend of hot hatch and moderately rugged looks and high-riding position.
The Leon Cupra 290 gets more power (290PS) and goes on sale in the autumn.
SKODA: They claim their Greenline Superb 1.6-litre TDI (120bhp) can cover 1,780 km on one tank of diesel. It’s capable of 3.7 litres/100km (76.34mpg) they say and road tax is just €180.
SsangYong: They are showcasing the new 7-seater Tivoli as well as two concept models based on its platform and 1.6-litre diesel engine – the XLV-AIR and XAV-ADVENTURE.
Suzuki: Big news from them is the new Baleno (due in Ireland next spring).
Toyota: The fourth-generation Prius takes centre stage too. Based on the company’s new modular architecture, it will be in Irish dealerships in January. And the latest RAV4, which now has a hybrid version, goes on sale from December. And the stunning C-HR is the next Qashqai rival, we think.
Volkswagen: What a smart looking mid-size Tiguan SUV. Looks great. They celebrate the 40th anniversary (early next year) of the Golf GTi and are showing the GTi Clubsport to mark the occasion.