Auto show season is nigh upon us, with the annual Frankfurt Motor Show first up. This year’s Frankfurt show is expected to symbolize the sweeping changes currently taking place in the auto industry, such as electrification and automation.
As is usually the case with this particular show, most of the headline reveals have already been, well, revealed. The lineup thus far is laced with numerous electrified vehicles, mostly concepts from the German automakers. Meanwhile, a few convention concepts and some modestly redesigned production vehicles round out the reveals.
(click the vehicle name for more details)
2019 Bentley Continental GT
It’s already been revealed, but Bentley will ceremonially take the wraps off the third-generation Continental GT in Frankfurt. The new Conti is the most dramatic change yet since the car’s introduction in 2003 with a more dramatic exterior design and gorgeous new interior. Under the hood is a familiar 6.0-liter W12 that puts out 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque that’s put to the pavement through a new all-wheel-drive system and eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The new Continental GT will launch next year in the U.S. as a 2019 model.
BMW is bringing back the 8 Series and will preview its throwback with the already-shown Concept 8 Series. The concept is a fresh take on BMW’s iconic design language – inside and out. BMW has sprinkled in a few nostalgic design cues from BMW’s of the early 1990’s as well on what will ultimately be the indirect replacement for the 6 Series Coupe, which has been discontinued.
BMW is reimagining the iconic BMW roadster with the Concept Z4. This show car is supposedly a thinly-veiled look at the upcoming Z4, which BMW is jointly developing alongside the upcoming Toyota Supra. Much like the Concept 8 Series, the Z4 preview is a stunning fresh take on BMW design and should be among the highlights of Frankfurt.
For 2018 BMW has decided to provide the electric i3 a mild refresh. In an effort to give it a more substantial presence, the 2018 model sees a wider track and mild design changes, including a revised front clip. The bigger i3 news is the launch of the first-ever performance version of the i3. Dubbed the i3s, it takes a base i3 and adds 14 horsepower and a handful of torque, throws in some more aggressive suspension and a software-based “sport” mode for those wanting a more fun electric vehicle.
Frankfurt will serve as the first public appearance of the hot new BMW M5. This version features an impressive 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque thanks to a revised version of BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8. Not only is this car packing more raw power, but it offers a new M-tuned all-wheel-drive system that can operate as rear-wheel-drive based on driver selection. Did we mention this M5 is actually lighter than the outgoing model as well? Yeah, that means zero to 62 mph in about 3.4 seconds.
2018 Dacia Duster
Renault-owned Dacia will be offering up the second generation Duster SUV at Frankfurt this year. The Romanian brand is finding what so many automakers are today: people really love small SUVs. The Duster is already at the top of Dacia’s sales chart and they’re hoping to keep it there with the new version.
Honda will be showing off a new Urban EV concept, which is expected to preview one of two slated electric vehicles the company will launch in the coming years. This particular concept will be tailored to the European market, possibly in the form of a hatchback.
As noted from the above teaser, Kia has a rather stunning shooting brake concept it will be showing in Frankfurt. This car is pulling cues from the Cee’d, which is a European-only line of small cars Kia offers. Sadly, this stunner is not likely to ever find its way to the U.S. market, but the design is likely a preview of Kia’s to come.
The iconic G-Wagen is nearing an end – at least this generation. As a formal send-off, Mercedes-AMG is offering up a special edition of the G63 and G65, known as the Exclusive Edition. As expected with such special editions, there’s unique design attributes, wheels and a few other extras to set these limited-volume versions apart from the normal G63/G65.
The above teaser really speaks for itself. Mercedes-AMG has been working on a 1,000 horsepower hypercar based on the company’s own F1 racing cars. While the Frankfurt debut is expected to be a prototype of the real-deal, this one is expected to be close to the actual planned production version.
Mercedes-Benz will once again provide a glimpse of its electrified future with the Concept EQA. This is slated to be a compact electric hatchback that will preview an actual production car. In fact, rumor has it that this concept will actually be very close to the production EQA, which will be the second EQ model Mercedes is expected to roll out in the next couple of years.
We’ve already seen the refreshed 2018 S Class sedan, so next up is the coupe and cabriolet models. Like the sedan, expect a mildly-redesigned front and rear clip that includes new OLED taillights (seen above).
Mini is planning to electrify its lineup, starting with the classic two-door version. Mini will showcase the Mini Electric Concept as both a design and technology preview of the production version, slated to launch in 2019.
Thus far Toyota has been coy with details on the C-HR Hy-Power Concept, but we know a few details. Aside from the obvious fact it will have a more aggressive design, we’re also expecting this concept to preview a new hybrid powertrain tailored for performance models. No word just yet on how realistic it is for production, though.
Rounding out Toyota’s all-SUV reveal is the all-new Land Cruiser. The current Land Cruiser dates back to 2008, so indeed, it is time for a new one. Little is known about the new one thus far, other than it will retain its iconic truck roots.