THE LAST major motor show of 2019 has arrived: the 2019 Frankfurt IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung).
As the home car expo of the German auto makers, the likes of Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have have massive presences once again, bringing many new production cars and concept models to fight for showgoers’ attention under the exhibition centre floodlights.
Not every big reveal comes from a homegrown brand, however: car makers including Hyundai, Honda and Land Rover have also brought exciting never-before-seen models to Frankfurt this year.
Below is our pick of the star cars on display at the Frankfurt motor show this year. Make sure you keep checking back on this page throughout the next couple of days, too, as we’ll be updating this article as soon as the news comes in.
Audi RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback
High performance Audi fans are well catered for at Frankfurt this year: as well as the new RS 6 Avant, there’s also the latest RS 7 Sportback on display. Like the previous versions, the RS 6 and RS 7 use the same underpinnings and engine, meaning both have a mighty 591bhp 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 under the bonnet and, if you tick the right boxes on the options list, a maximum top speed of 190mph.
BMW Concept 4
BMW has recent form when it comes to obscenely large grilles, and the new Concept 4 at Frankfurt this year continues that trend. Don’t be too surprised to see the design study’s “expressive face” find its way onto a production car soon, either: as the name suggests, the Concept 4 is our first taste of what to expect from the new BMW 4 Series coupé.
Cupra Tavascan concept
Cupra’s transition from Seat’s sporty sub-brand to a standalone car maker continues (following the Cupra Ateca) with this: the pure-electric Tavascan SUV coupé concept. Officially, it’s just an indication of where Cupra’s design language could go in the future, though as Volkswagen Group sister brands Volkswagen and Skoda also have electric SUV coupés in the pipeline, we strongly suspect the Tavascan will be available in production form in the future.
Two years after it wowed crowds in concept car form at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Honda e pure-electric city car has landed in production-ready form. While the 136 miles of range isn’t impressive by electric car standards, it should be enough for the urban commuting expected of it, and we imagine buyers will find plenty to like about the cute retro looks, high tech interior and quick charging times.
Hyundai 45 concept
Korean car maker Hyundai has unveiled the 45 concept car as both a tribute to the ItalDesign-penned Hyundai Pony Coupe Concept (which was unveiled 45 years ago at the 1974 Turin Motor Show), and a taste of things to come from Hyundai’s styling department. The car maker says the wedge-tastic hatch “foreshadows the design direction” of upcoming pure-electric Hyundai cars.
Lamborghini Sián FKP 37
The new Lamborghini Sián may take the crown as the most outrageously-styled vehicle at Frankfurt this year but it’s mainly of note for being the supercar maker’s first hybrid model. While it’s the first Lambo capable of limited zero-emissions travel, the Sián is still a speed machine at heart: it’s claimed the 807bhp it produces (774bhp of which comes from a naturally-aspirated, 6.5-litre V12 petrol engine) is good for a 0-62mph time of 2.8 seconds, and a top speed in excess of 217mph.
Land Rover Defender
The legendary Land Rover Defender is back, having undergone a modern makeover to bring the model up to 21st century standards. With features including a suite of off-road driving modes, an array of on-road driver safety assists and over-the-air software update functionality, the new Defender boasts a tech spec the original car could only dream of. The crucial bit will be its performance of the rough stuff, though — we’re looking forward to getting behind the wheel.
Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS concept
We thought the EQV electric people carrier would be the big headline grabber on the Mercedes stand at Frankfurt this year but the car maker caught us off guard with the reveal of its Vision EQS luxury limo concept. It’s strictly a show car for now, though we’re told the EQS “points the way to the future of Mercedes-Benz” – suggesting it will eventually morph into a production-ready, pure-electric S-Class-sized saloon.
Porsche seemingly hasn’t played it safe with its first pure-electric production car. In its most potent guise, the Taycan packs a hypercar-rivalling punch of 750bhp, and the advanced under-the-skin chassis tech helped guide the four-door sports car to a new Nürburgring record for electric cars. Resist the urge to floor it at every given opportunity, and you should be able to drive the Taycan 250+ miles between charges, too.
While we’ve known about the new Vauxhall Corsa for some time now, the supermini is officially making its public debut at Frankfurt this year. Despite being a very familiar face, the new Corsa is still a highlight of the show for us: inside and out, it looks like a big improvement over the current car, and we’re especially looking forward to seeing how the pure-electric “Corsa-e” version pans out.
Perhaps the most important new car at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show is the Volkswagen ID.3, a pure-electric family hatchback described by VW as “the symbol of a new era for the brand”. Beyond the hyperbole, the ID.3 does appear to be a promising piece of kit: the single charge range of up to 342 miles is one of the best you’ll find in any new pure-electric car, and provisional European pricing suggests the ID.3 will start at a reasonable £25,000 in the UK once the government’s £3,500 Plug-in Car Grant is applied.