Bugattis and Bentleys, Mazdas and Mercedes – the world’s biggest showroom comes to Frankfurt every September with play things for everyone, from speed freaks to school run Mums. Becky Wells rounds up the best of the show, with some serious car-porn to contend with…
The IAA International Frankfurt Motorshow is over for another year, having showcased the newest developments from all the best automotive manufacturers. Companies from all over the world gathered with their latest models and stunning concepts, covering everything from daily family hatchbacks to million, if not billion, pound supercars. The two week event attracts over a million visitors each year, and is the first glimpse at a lot of the future’s car market.
One of the big showcases of the event was Porsche, who, together with the new 911 Carrera, presented the ‘Mission E’ concept car. The previews promise all the classic designs of a Porsche with an electric drive underneath and a range of modern additions to accompany. In the Mission E, an entirely new spread is experienced between performance and efficiency – supplemented by a futuristic display and control concept. The first all-electrically powered four-seat Porsche of the 21st century represents the future of a concept that made the 911 the most successful sports car ever for over 50 years.
THE NEXT VEYRON
Bugatti also took the spotlight with the greatly anticipated unveiling of the Vision Gran Turismo concept, originally designed for the victorious PlayStation brand. The European car brand already took the spotlight over the last 10 years for the game-changing Veyron, which recently built its 450th and final model, and now promises to offer even more in the way of futuristic driving. The design pays tribute to Bugatti’s racing history, decorated in livery to reflect the 1937 Le Mans winning drive. Expect this to be the poster child of the car world for the foreseeable future.
The show also held debut to the Ferrari 488 Spider, the latest chapter in Maranello’s ongoing history of open-top V8 sports cars. This is the most high performance Spider ever built by the Prancing Horse and is powered by the 488 coupe’s 3902cc turbo-charged V8 which punches out a maximum of 670 CV with the Variable Torque Management system guaranteeing smooth, progressive torque delivery in the higher gears up to a maximum of 760 Nm at 3,000 rpm.
This is an astonishingly sporty car with blistering acceleration (0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in 8.7) and, even more significantly, a razor-sharp throttle response time of just 0.8 seconds which essentially eliminates the turbo lag typical of this kind of engine.
Britain was not forgotten in the international showcase, and even prepared a unique send-off before the influential motor shows. In an extraordinary gathering in Greenwich, London, senior executives from across the industry were joined by Business Secretary Sajid Javid, alongside 10 of their most exciting new cars, which flew the British flag at the show. Vehicles from the broad spectrum of Britain’s thriving automotive industry were on display, from volume-produced family hatchbacks to high-end luxury and sports models. The global appetite for high-quality British-built cars has never been stronger with exports to more than 100 countries worldwide. Demand across Europe grew more than 10% last year, and overall car exports were worth £24.6 billion in 2014 – the most ever.
MINI aren’t feeling so small any more – they continue to expand their model range with the world premiere of the new MINI Clubman. It marks the brand’s first entry into the premium compact segment. Combining increased interior space and versatility with the latest generation of technical advances and a high level of standard equipment, the MINI Clubman is set to make a big impact on what is a highly competitive segment. With its four doors, the characteristic split doors at the rear, five seats and a large and versatile interior, it combines all the best parts of the expanding MINI range.
At the beginning of next year, the icon of the sporty compact class – the Golf GTI – is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Volkswagen will mark this historic event with a progressive special edition: the new Golf GTI Clubsport. Now Volkswagen is presenting the production version of the new Golf GTI Clubsport and offers a first look ahead at the driving performance of the most powerful production GTI ever.
Honda Project 2&4 ‘powered by RC213V’, the winning entry from Honda’s ‘Global Design Project’, was also on display, showing off the latest in their rustic creations. Embodying the concept of ‘creative craftsmanship’, Honda Project 2&4 celebrates Honda’s position as the world’s leading engine manufacturer, providing engines to 28 million people per year across two- and four-wheel automotive, power equipment, marine and aerospace applications. Featuring the RC213V competition motorcycle engine, Honda Project 2&4 provides the freedom of a motorcycle and the manoeuvrability of a car.
Other showcases from the event included the new Bentley Bentayga SUV, which features a twin-turbocharged 6litre W12 powertrain. In traditional Bentley styling, this new model boasts the world’s finest automotive cabin. The detailing in metal, wood and leather – including meticulous tolerances between elements of trim – sets a new standard in automotive design.
Audi also talked about their new ranges, with the return of performance-focused A4 range flagships with new V6 TFSI engine. The new performance flagships combine the intelligent lightweight design, completely re-engineered platform and unparalleled technological sophistication of the latest A4 with a completely new turbocharged V6 TFSI engine which replaces their predecessors’ supercharged unit.
They will be available to order in the UK in the spring of 2016 ahead of first deliveries next summer.