The Mercedes AMG Project ONE may have stolen the limelight, but there was plenty more on offer at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show…
Frankfurt is the world’s largest motor show and one of the key events in the automotive calendar. Despite the absence of a number of manufacturers this year including Volvo, Nissan, Peugeot, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, and Aston Martin, this was certainly a show to remember if not least because of the sharp focus it brought on our motoring future. Motoring maybe isn’t quite the right word – transport is probably more appropriate – as manufacturers introduced us to the electrically-powered and autonomous vehicles we will soon be driving. The halls were humming quietly with electric vehicles, hybrids and concepts, let’s hope someone can figure out how we are going to charge them all in the very near future.
Audi Aicon concept
Like it or not, driving will slowly but surely become a hobby rather than a necessity as “mobility concepts” like the Aicon become a reality. Be honest, wouldn’t you rather sit in traffic on the way to work in this and save the Ferrari for the weekends? Autonomous and with a range of 500 miles this looks like a pretty good way to travel although we’re not sure 350 bhp is entirely necessary without a human-vehicle interface (translation – steering wheel or pedals).
Land Rover Discovery SVX
Compared with many of the cars debuting at Frankfurt, the 525 bhp V8 Discovery SVX was Land Rover sticking up two metaphorical fingers to the establishment. In the past, V8 Discoveries have never been the best of sellers in European markets but expect the crazy SVX to sell like hotcakes. Billed as the ultimate Discovery, it boasts more of everything including off-road ability and presumably CO2 emissions… We love it. Land Rover also announced an exciting new 300 bhp, 4-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine producing just 222 g/km CO2.
BMW Concept X7 iPerformance
BMW’s 6-seater luxury hybrid SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle – a moniker first used by the X5) kind of takes BMW into Range Rover territory but with the ability run with “zero local emissions”. Why not?
New Bentley Continental GT
The Bentley Continental GT was an incredibly important car for the British manufacturer when it launched in 2003. It redefined the modern Grand Tourer, and you only have to drive one to realise what a groundbreaking car it was back then. The third generation of the Conti GT made its public debut at the show, and it’s a knockout.
With design cues taken from the EXP 10 concept car, a stunning new interior featuring a hidden rotating infotainment screen, even more power and torque (626 bhp/ 900 nM from 1,50 -4000 rpm) and a new dual-clutch 8-speed gearbox this will be one of the must-have cars of 2018. Bentley even claims that cylinder shutdown technology can deliver 500 miles on one tank of fuel…..
Audi R8 V10 RWS
It was only a matter of time before Audi gave us a rear-wheel drive only R8. 50 kilos lighter than the standard car, this is the R8 for the purists/ hooligans. Only 999 will be built and Audi are keen to remind us that normally aspirated, RWD supercars won’t be around for very much longer.
Porsche 911 GT3 “Touring”
Is this car to the 911R what the 2.7 RS Touring was to the RS Lightweight? Kind of. Opinion will be divided on whether Porsche have sold out R owners, but those that managed to buy their 911R at list price will know that they are in the car du jour. The new Touring pack is a no-cost option and dispenses with the imposing rear wing of the standard GT3 as well as the option of a PDK gearbox. That’s right, the GT3 Touring is only available as a 6-speed manual and you can’t specify a roll cage or Alcantara seats either but you can spec everything else on the GT3 options list. The car is aimed squarely at those who find the scaffolding on the back of a GT3 a bit too much. The car uses the same deployable spoiler as the rest of the 911 range with a subtle “tear-off edge”.
The Touring Package will not be available for retrofit as extensive aerodynamic and internal changes have been made. Porsche expects 20% of owners to choose the Touring option and the car is not on a limited run (although neither is the GT3….)
Goodbye, California. The Portofino replaces Ferrari’s entry-level drop top with a car that shares very little with its predecessor. Quicker, faster, sharper, better looking and bearing a new colour in its own name – Rosso Portofino.
Next stop – Geneva 2018. Let’s see what is in store for us at the home of the big reveal.
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Images courtesy of Ferrari S.p.A / Audi AG / Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC / Porsche AG/ Bentley Motor Limited / BMW AG.