All the debuts that were a cut above the rest

Auto show season is very much upon us, kicking off in Germany with the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. This bi-annual event (passenger cars are presented during odd-numbered years and commercial vehicles during even-numbered years) traditionally brings out the good stuff, and this year was no different, with a variety of exciting, innovative, and highly desirable new rides making headlines across numerous segments.

Of course, it goes without saying that we here at TopSpeed.com are, like any other gear head, naturally inclined to seek out those things that are fast and sexy, and as such, there were a few obvious picks going on this list. If you’ve been paying attention to the news coming out of Frankfurt, you know that should include the latest hybrid hypercar from Mercedes, Bimmer’s new Le Mans race machine, and a particular Prancing Horse as well. To these obvious picks, we added a concept and even a slick SUV, plus a few other standouts. Read on for our picks of the best from Frankfurt, and feel free to post your additions and/or edits in the comments section below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Best In Show debuts from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Mercedes-AMG Project One

2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One AutoShow High Resolution Exterior
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This one should have been obvious, as Kirby Garlitos points out:

“I wanted to be cute here and pick something unexpected for ‘Best In Show,’ but the more I looked at all the contenders, the more it became clear that the Frankfurt Motor Show really was about one car. Believe me, I tried making cases for the next-gen Porsche Panamera, the new Bentley Continental GT, and the BMW Concept Z4. Even the Chery Tiggo Concept caught my attention! All these cars were in consideration, but ultimately, it has to be the Mercedes-AMG Project One. Has to be. Criticize the front end all you want (I’m not in love with it, but I don’t hate it either), but the fact remains that this car is arguably the most important car Mercedes has built in a long time. It not only establishes the German automaker as a bona-fide creator of hypercars, but the way it was able to integrate so many F1-sourced technologies into the car opens up a world of possibilities on what the company is capable of moving forward. This wasn’t just a normal world debut; this was a revolutionary statement from Mercedes-AMG.”

Read our full review on the Mercedes-AMG Project One.

Kia Proceed Concept

2017 Kia Proceed Concept High Resolution Exterior
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I’m not sure if you’re aware, but Kia has been doing some masterful work as of late. The Stinger GT comes readily to mind. Now we should add this lovely looking concept to the list as well. As a preview of forthcoming updates to the automaker’s C’eed lineup, the Proceed is a sleek, sporty wagon with simply jaw-dropping aesthetics. Kia calls it an “extended hot hatch,” but we’re calling it gorgeous. Just look at that profile! The interior ain’t half bad either, with a clean, modern design that got us to stand up and take notice. Of course, we’re not sure how much of the Proceed concept will see the green light for production, but for now, Kia is definitely on the right path.

Read our full review on the Kia Proceed Concept.

BMW M8 GTE

BMW's M8 GTE Le Mans Competitor Previews Production M8 Model High Resolution Exterior
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Offered in conjunction with the announcement that BMW was returning to Le Mans after 7 years on the sidelines, the M8 GTE is a look to the Bavarian’s immediate competition future. What’s more, it’s also a preview of things to come for the road-going M8, including the attractive exterior styling (minus the competition-spec aero, of course) and the powertrain. Under the hood of the GTE is a turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 making 500 horsepower, but the road-going variant is expected to see a boost in both displacement and power (4.4 liters and 615 horsepower, respectively), plus the addition of AWD. Either way, this just gets us even more pumped for the official debut of the road-legal M8.

Read more on the BMW M8 GTE.

Ferrari Portofino

2018 Ferrari Portofino Exterior High Resolution
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Ferrari was in full force in Frankfurt, making the scene with this thick slab of speed called the Portofino. Offered as a replacement for the outgoing Ferrari California, the Portofino arrives draped in traditional grand tourer garb that’s very much in tune with modern models like the 812 Superfast and GTC4Lusso. The lines are long and the cuts are exaggerated, all with a modern flair that certainly gets our attention. Throw in the option for putting the top up or down, as the mood may strike you. Inside is the usual Prancing Horse cabin arrangement, with rounded vents, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and a large center tach. Making the go is a twin-turbo 3.9-liter V-8, making upwards of 590 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque, besting the outgoing California by 40 horsepower and 4 pound-feet.

Read our full review on the Ferrari Portofino.

Land Rover Discovery SVX

Jaguar Land Rover's SVO Unit Comes Through On Its Word With The Discovery SVX
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Luckily, we’ve got our resident truck and SUV expert Mark McNabb to keep us honest when it comes to the world of off-roaders, so it makes sense that his pick for Best In Show at Frankfurt goes to the Land Rover Discovery SVX. Created by JLR’s go-to go-fast division, SVO, the SVX is designed as something “between Paris Dakar and Camel Trophy,” which, in case you’re drawing a blank, basically means one badass SUV ready for the rough stuff. Upgrades include Hydraulic Active Roll Control, a raised suspension with air components, and 20-inch wheels sporting knobby Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain rubber. Not only that, but the Discovery SVX also comes equipped with as much as 525 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque thanks to a thumping supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine.

Read our full review on the Land Rover Discovery SVX.

Bentley Continental GT

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Large, luxurious, and ludicrously powerful – we think those are fitting descriptions of the Bentley Continental GT, a top-shelf two-door for well-heeled individuals keen on the ultimate in driving pleasure. Bentley just dropped the updated third-gen model at Frankfurt this year, and we’re quite happy with it. Outside, we find styling reminiscent of the lovely EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car, while inside there are all the usual luxury details we’ve come to expect. On the dash, you’ll find something called the Bentley Rotating Display, a three-sided panel offering a touchscreen display, three analog gauges, or a sleek wood panel, depending on what’s rotated to the top. Under the hood, there’s even more to like from the twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12 engine. Output is rated at 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, besting the outgoing model by a substantial 44 horses and impressive 133 pound-feet.

Read our full review on the Bentley Continental GT.

TVR Griffith

2018 TVR Griffith High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Fans of the British sports car, rejoice – TVR is back, and it’s got a brand new coupe to ogle. It’s called the Griffith, and it’s got all the relevant specs you could want. Power is derived from a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 tuned by Cosworth to produce over 550 horsepower at the rear wheels. Top speed is in excess of 200 mph, while the 0-to-60 mph sprint is completed in less than 4 seconds. Not only that, but this thing looks the part of a sleek speed machine to a tee thanks to its fine carbon fiber body panels, and with an optimized 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution, it should handle like one too.

Read our full review on the TVR Griffith.

References

Mercedes-AMG Project One

2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the Mercedes-AMG Project One.

Kia Proceed Concept

2017 Kia Proceed Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Kia Proceed Concept.

Ferrari Portofino

2018 Ferrari Portofino Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the Ferrari Portofino.

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