One of the biggest events on the motoring calendar kicks off next week – the Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s often home to some of the biggest new car reveals and concepts, giving us a better idea of where the motoring world is going and the vehicles we can start getting excited for.
Here are some of the key releases that we know are due to take place — though there is always space for surprises when it comes to Frankfurt…
Alpina B3 Touring
Alpina knows a thing or two about making fast estate cars — and the B3 Touring has historically been one of its most popular offerings. Now, there’s a new one, based on the latest BMW 3 Series, promising more power and performance than ever before.
Also, because it’s an Alpina, expect subtle yet purposeful looks and (more likely than not) intricate alloy wheels.
Audi RS6 Avant
It’s the performance car we’ve been waiting for — the all-new RS6 Avant. The previous-generation RS6 proved to be a turning point for Audi, with brutal performance and rock-solid handling combining to create a car which was both practical and savagely quick.
This latest version ups the ante. There’s more power, more tech and a more aggressive look too. It’s definitely one to look out for.
BMW’s X6 has long been a chalk-and-cheese option in the firm’s line-up. It’s now been updated, and the big coupe-styled SUV gets new tech and a refreshed design. A special edition ‘Vantablack’ model has been created too, using ‘the darkest colour’ possible.
It’s still likely that the X6 will divide opinion, but BMW obviously believes it has its worth.
Cupra Tavascan Concept
The Tavascan Concept is the latest model to come from Cupra — the performance brand which is now very much its own thing, rather than a part of Seat. This latest car is all-electric, with motors at each axles, showing the electrification which Cupra is trying to integrate into its line-up.
There’s no indication that the Tavascan will enter production, but it definitely shows the direction that Cupra is trying to head in.
Honda’s cutesy all-electric supermini is making yet another public appearance. This is quite a highly anticipated model, meaning it’ll be nice to see where everything’s at.
We’ll likely be given an indication as to what technology the eventual road-going car will sport though.
Land Rover Defender
The new Land Rover Defender project has been leakier than an old Defender after a particularly audacious river crossing. So far we know there will be three body styles – a short- and long-wheelbase, and a slightly longer-bodied version – with five- to eight-seat versions, and six engines including a plug-in hybrid.
So unless these facts and figures miss the mark there’s not much to learn about the Defender at Frankfurt, though we’ll get our first proper look at the car Jaguar Land Rover hope will appeal to well-to-do families as much as farmers in need of a new workhorse.
AMG’s mission to increase the number of semi-fast performance cars Mercedes-Benz offers continues with this, the GLB 35. It’s easy to write this off as a mindless niche-filling exercise, but just look at it – it’s a genuinely good-looking thing.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes about 300bhp, which should make for brisk if not ballistic performance in a vehicle this size, and will likely make the kind of subtly fruity exhaust note we’ve come to expect from these AMG-lite models.
The mainstream electric vehicle onslaught is getting into full swing, and the Mini Electric might be the car to watch. It’ll be going toe-to-toe with the Honda e, but while the Japanese firm will have to win over buyers not convinced by spending circa-£30k on a supermini, the German-British brand should have no trouble.
In fact, in August, Mini confirmed to the PA news agency that over 45,000 people had expressed an interest in buying one, with about half those coming from the UK.
It seems like an age since Porsche first revealed plans for an all-electric sports car, but Frankfurt will see give the manufacturer a proper chance to show-off the production car at last.
The Taycan could be the first genuine ‘Tesla killer’. Time will tell if it can take the new electric crown…
The return of the Corsa marks a big moment for Vauxhall. It’s underpinned by the same platform that you’ll find under the latest Peugeot 208, as a result of the firm’s PSA ownership. It already looks to be one well-proportioned car.
There’s also going to be an all-electric version – though it’s unclear if we’ll see this at Frankfurt or not.
Volkswagen ID. 3
Said to be the third most important car in Volkswagen’s history, after the Beetle and Golf, the ID.3 could be a revolution for the new car market.
It’s not the firm’s first fully-electric vehicle, but its first real attempt at making the technology rival internal combustion-powered options. Expect to see it at the Frankfurt show, and then everywhere on UK roads soon after.
Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet
When Volkswagen first showed off the T-Roc crossover, it was in ‘Breeze’ concept form — a drop-top look at what would become a hard-top car.
Nobody was ever quite sure if a convertible version would happen — and yet, the T-Roc Cabriolet was born. It’ll be making its public debut at Frankfurt.