THE 67th Frankfurt Motor Show has opened in style, with high-end hypercars and a groundswell towards e-mobility dominating proceedings.
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The highlight of this year’s show has to be the Mercedes-Benz Project One, a Formula One-engined road car that pushes the boundaries of design, construction, and performance. Other warmed-over debuts include the Porsche Macan Turbo, an all-new Volkswagen Polo GTI, and the most hardcore Renaultsport-fettled Renault Megane yet.
Audi, meanwhile, has shown the Audi RS4 Avant featuring a return to a twin-turbo V6 powerplant. BMW, on the other hand, has stumped up our first look in the metal of the all-new M5, and Bentley has shown an all-new Continental GT that borrows heavily from previous concept cars.
But it is visions of the future that also dominate. Audi’s Aicon concept previews a self-driving, luxury-laden taxi, while BMW rolled out the BMW i Vision Dynamics. It is a Vision NEXT 100-inspired concept that provides a glimpse of a four-door gran coupe that will one day slot in between the i3 and the i8. BMW also announced it would have 25 electrified models in its showroom by 2025 – with 12 of them being fully electric. Over at Mercedes-Benz, the wraps came off the SUV-styled EQA concept, giving a hint of the first all-electric vehicle it will roll out under its EQ brand. Jaguar, meanwhile, stumped up the I-Pace electric SUV.
Mainstream brands also had a visible presence, with Kia tearing up the rule books to turn out its Proceed concept, a sharp-looking liftback-styled cross between a hatchback and a wagon. The Kia Stonic also had its first European outing. The Honda Jazz has received a facelift, and the Suzuki Swift Sport has gained a turbocharged engine from the Vitara SUV.
Honda, meanwhile, has unveiled a sharp-looking electric vehicle called the Urban EV that it wants to have on the market by 2019 – no news yet on an Australian arrival though. And not to be outdone, Skoda revealed the dumpy looking Vision E, an electric SUV that taps parent Volkswagen’s new MQB platform.