Automotive

Frankfurt Motor Show 2017: Top picks

motor show

The wait is officially over for the biggest motor show. The Frankfurt motor show has returned, and the hype surrounding what you should expect is already in full swing. The show will be available to the public starting September 16 and ending September 24, with tickets starting from EUR 12.

If you’re here in the UAE, though, ticket prices won’t matter. What will matter is that the show has been open to journalists for a week, and they’ve been privy to car makers’ latest, greatest and jazziest models – concepts and production vehicles.

A theme has taken over this year’s show and it seems to be veering towards electric cars – in all shapes and sizes. The major German automakers, which already have a long list of show cars, appear to mark a shift in focus to both electric and electrified vehicles.

So, without further ado here are just some of the big hitters from this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

motor show

BMW X7 iPerformance

BMW’s big reveal will be bigger than ever. This enormous SUV is larger inside than any BMW in the company’s history. When it comes to the actual detail of the drive, not much information on the powertrain has been released as of yet, although non-hybrid models seem to be a sure thing.

At the front, you’ll find design cues such as the classic kidney grille, front air vents, air breather units and 23-inch rims. At 5,020mm in length, 2,020mm in width and 1,800mm in height, it’s significantly bigger than the existing X5, BMW’s current large-ish SUV.

But it’s the inside of the car that is already grabbing people’s attention. The X7 showcases an updated iDrive infotainment system. The rear seats get their own entertainment screens, allowing passengers to queue up their music to the car’s stereo, interact with the navigation system and send content to other screens – adding new meaning to the phrase ‘back seat driver’.

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motor show

Dacia Duster

Branded as an ‘affordable SUV’, the Dacia Duster has been a big seller in the UAE (though here it’s branded as a Renault). Dacia Chairman Jean-Christophe Kugler claims that the all-new Duster simply brings customers more for a price that is still unbelievably affordable.

The Duster has had a fresh lick of paint and an upgrade inside and outside. The exterior now has a smoother and more rounded design while the interior has been totally redesigned to provide a status-enhancing, ergonomic cabin. The car now has multi-view cameras, blind spot warning and automatic head lights. The seats have also been redesigned to provide a softer and comfier drive. If prices stay low, we can see this new Duster being even more of a hit than the first one.

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Mini Electric

For the first time, BMW is launching a production-ready, all-electric Mini in 2019. The car still has the classic three-door Mini style but this time with a hexagonal grille and circular headlights. Because this car is designed as an electric car, the new grille reflects the emission-free drive technology under the bonnet. As the electric drive unit requires little cooling air, the radiator grille is closed and instead is designed with the idea of superior aerodynamics in mind.

Mini claims the car will be ‘quick off the mark with a precision-tuned suspension’ and will have the dynamic character of a standard Mini on the road. All we really know, though is that it’s powered by a lithium-ion battery; everything else is still be disclosed.

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Volkswagen T-Roc

VW is entering the baby SUV market. Think of a Tiguan crossed with an Audi Q2 and you get a T-Roc. According to Volkswagen this car ‘combines the dominance of an SUV with the agility of a compact hatchback model and the dynamism of the compact class’. The model is equipped with 4Motion four-wheel drive with two on-road modes, street and snow, as well as two off-road modes, off-road and off-road individual.

The five-seater crossover looks smart and urban in its appearance, with the wide front grille, signature LED DRLs while the rear gets a wraparound LED taillight and the very sporty looks twin-exhausts.

Under the hood, you have the option of three petrol and two diesel engines offering up to 190 bhp. Active safety systems will be part of the car, which include lane-keeping and autonomous emergency braking.

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Discovery SVX

This car claims to be the first ‘extreme off-road’ vehicle from the Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO division, and it hasn’t seemed to disappoint the crowd. The SVX is designed to sit alongside the high-performance SVR and luxury-orientated SVAutobiography editions, but instead of extra speed or luxury, the SVX adds off-road ability.

The car now has a hydraulic active roll control system, which simultaneously increases wheel articulation and reduces body roll. The SVX also features improved departure and break-over angles, thanks to the raised ride height, long-travel dampers and new suspension knuckles. Under the hood sits a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine that produces 518 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque.

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Ford Mustang

Ford is back at Frankfurt with the new Mustang production car that was announced last year. The European spec is expected to be faster and more frugal and Ford offers motors with its new 10-speed auto, and despite the drop in power the firms says that the 2.3-litre Mustang is now more responsive under acceleration.

Ford doesn’t seem to have changed the classic Mustang look drastically, but a few tweaks have been made. The front of the car sports a new angular bumper with a new chin spoiler and a slimmer lower air intake, flanked by two new triangular air intakes. The bonnet sits a little lower, creating a sleeker front. The classier look is paired with a classier interior as well. A 12-inch LCD replaces the dials and the car’s SYNC3 infotainment works with both Apple and Andriod.

The engines remain relatively the same as well, with a 5.0-litre V8 in the GT and the 2.3-litre four-cylinder Ecoboost in the entry level model. But this time around the V8 has a ‘Good Neighbour’ mode, which limits the amount of noise made on start up.

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Honda Urban EV

The Urban EV concept looks like it’s paying homage to Honda’s first small cars, and if you like the look now then you can expect to see something similar when the all-electric car comes into production in 2019, with Honda saying the nostalgic looks provide a hint as to what a production version will look like.

Little detail has been revealed about its modifications, but the Honda Automated Network Assistant concierge service is part of this concept. The system learns from the driver by detecting emotions behind their judgements and bases future recommendations off that. The interior is simple and futuristic, the concept shows little to no buttons on the dashboard, instead it’s replaced by something that looks like it belongs in a car belonging to James Bond.

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Nissan Leaf

The first Leaf seemed like a trailblazer for electric vehicles when it was released seven years ago. But since then there have been plenty of EV models that have surpassed Nissan’s original model – like the frontrunners in electric cars, Tesla.

According to Nissan, the 2018 Leaf has a mission to be different from other EVs by being strikingly normal, and that’s a fine line it might be able to navigate. This time round, it appears the old Leaf’s dumpy styling has been sharpened, bringing it into the modern day.

We went into more detail about the Nissan Leaf here.

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Mercedes-Benz

The automaker is using Frankfurt to announce its first all-electric car, and it wants people to know about it. The new concept takes on the Tesla Model 3, providing a range of around 250 miles, surpassing the Tesla 3’s 220 miles. This EQA concept, a compact electric hatchback, will be one of several concepts as the company intensifies its efforts to launch more electric cars.

Details on the Mercedes EQA haven’t been released yet, so there is little to be said, but watch this space.

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