MANY FELT that the coronavirus pandemic would put paid to what was already an ailing concept — the motor show. Judging by the IAA Mobility 2021 event in Munich, however, it seems that the idea hasn’t been written off just yet as many of the big manufacturers turned out to reveal either forthcoming models.
However, there was a deliberate shift towards “mobility” in general, with visions for all ways in which we will get around in the future on display, with the preponderance of electric bikes, scooters and motorcycles joining the cars.
Here’s the rundown of the most interesting debutantes.
BMW i Vision Circular
BMW unveiled its i Vision Circular in Munich, a compact electric concept car, intended to provide a look at how it sees its production processes evolving towards 2040.
The car’s main themes are reduce, reuse and recycle, as BMW seeks to examine how it will move towards more sustainable production methods in the coming years. All of the i Vision Circular’s production materials are either recycled or made from “secondary” waste material from elsewhere in the automotive production process.
Designers even did away with paint, the car’s golden hue coming from the fact that the body’s aluminium was gold-anodised. Everything, down to replacing all glue and bonding with quick-release fasteners, has been done with the goal of end-of-life recycling in mind.
BMW also unveiled a concept electric bicycle alongside the Circular, called the iVision Amby, with a top speed of over 40mph.
Dacia’s new seven-seat Jogger model made its first public appearance in Munich.
Identical to Dacia’s Sandero model from the B-pillar forwards, the Jogger gets a 1-litre, three-cylinder, 108bhp engine. Coming further down the line are a 99bhp bi-fuel unit that will run on LPG and, in 2023, a 1.6-litre hybrid.
Mercedes’ EQE saloon is an electric equivalent to the E-Class and is around the same size as the company’s CLS model.
The EQE is built from 100% recycled steel indicating that it’s more than just BMW looking to the circular economy when it comes to manufacturing cars.
The interior features Mercedes’ new wall-to-wall Hyperscreen infotainment set-up that debuted on the larger EQS model.
Mercedes confirmed a mid-2022 launch date for the EQE, initially powered by a 288bhp electric motor turning the rear wheels. The range between charges is expected to be around 400 miles.
Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4Matic+
Mercedes-AMG revealed its first ever electric car in Munich, in the shape of the EQS 53 4Matic+.
In addition to suspension and braking tweaks, the main upgrade that AMG has made to the EQS is the addition of more power, which is up to a maximum of 741bhp — compared with the standard EQS 580’s 379bhp.
Top speed has increased to 155mph too, with 0-62mph now dispensed in 3.4 seconds.
Mercedes Concept EQG
If the Concept EQG is anything to go by, the G-Class looks to be going electric, or at least may shortly be getting an electric addition to its line-up.
Although the EQG concept features a number of high-tech additions to the rugged old G’s famously angular exterior, that doesn’t mean the electric version has lost any of the 4×4’s off-road ability. Any electric G-Class will retain a ladder chassis and, with power being sent by individual motors to all four wheels, it should still retain its rugged credentials.
The production version of the EQG is due in 2025.
Mercedes-Maybach Concept EQS
Mercedes’ ultra-luxury brand unveiled the Maybach EQS in Munich, an electric SUV concept based on the same architecture as Merc’s EQS saloon. It’s set to be a zero emission competitor to the likes of the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
The interior of the show car features utterly unbridled luxury with individual reclining seats in the rear and options including a built-in refrigerator and champagne goblets.
The powertrain will be similar to that of the EQS saloon, so expect a range of around 400 miles and 380bhp going to all four wheels.
Maybach says that the concept isn’t far off the production model.
Mini had its Paul Smith-designed minimalist Strip concept car on display in Munich. Though not intended for production, the Strip is still an impressive exercise in paring back a car to its bare essentials, with the concept being painted with just a layer of lacquer to prevent the body rusting.
The interior too is devoid of frills, much of it finished in recycled cork, with just a slot for the user’s smartphone taking the place of an infotainment system or any other instruments.
Porsche Mission R
Porsche unveiled its new “vision of an all-electric customer sports racing car” in Munich, called the Mission R.
Qualifying mode, designed for qualifying laps and short sprints, sends a full 1,084bhp to the wheels, allowing the Mission R to make the 0-62mph dash in 2.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 186mph. For longer sessions, the motors put out up to 671bhp.
Judging by previous Porsche concept-to-production pipelines, it’s possible that the Mission R may either see limited production or even provide a glimpse of an upcoming electric Cayman.
Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric
Renault’s new crossover-style electric model, called the Mégane E-Tech Electric, is set to go on sale in the third quarter of 2022.
It will eventually replace the petrol and diesel Mégane completely, and is based on the same platform that will underpin the next Nissan Leaf, though has a higher stance.
Expect a range of 292 miles, two battery capacities, a power output of up to 215bhp and a price tag of around £30,000.
The concept features familiar ID-range design cues and will, according to Volkswagen, take a motor sending 231bhp to the front wheels.
The ID.Life provides a glimpse at VW’s upcoming ID.2 model that is expected to go on sale by 2025 for less than £20,000. A hot hatch “GTX” version is, reportedly, also in the works.