2015 Frankfurt Motor Show Preview
Autumn is very nearly upon us, and soon the leaves will change, the air will cool, and the days will grow shorter. But who cares about all that when there’s so much hot-off-the-grill four-wheeled goodness to be had? Far more important is the fact that some of biggest auto shows of the year are just around the corner, with the latest luxury rides, performance vehicles, crossovers and concepts served up piping hot for car geeks like you and me. First on the menu is the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The general public will have access Saturday, September 19th, through Sunday, September 27th. Show hours are between 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
In German it’s called the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (or IAA for short), which translates as simply International Motor Show. Seems like a broad title, but there’s a reason for that. The first IAA was held way back in 1897, and since then the event has grown to become the single largest auto show in the world. These days, the IAA alternates in focus – commercial vehicles for even-numbered years, and passenger vehicles for odd-numbered years. As such, 2013 was the last time the IAA presented cars you and I actually care about, bringing in nearly 900,000 visitors, hosting 1,098 exhibitors from 35 different countries, and offering up 159 world debuts. This is home field for brands like BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen, but it’s also a world stage for any make looking to make a splash before we roll into 2016.
Epic? Absolutely. Here are 35 debuts slated to make an appearance for your previewing pleasure, plus some useful information if you plan on attending.
Continue reading to learn more about this major automotive event.
Where Is It And When Is It?
The 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show will be held at the Messe Frankfurt Trade Fair Grounds, located roughly 20 minutes from Frankfurt Airport. Attendees may arrive via car, taxi, public transport, or train. More information can be found here.
Given the sheer size of the event, expect to walk at least 15 minutes to reach the front entrance.
You can find a site overview, including services, special activities, and booth locations here.
Dates And Times
The event is open to trade folks Thursday, September 17th, and Friday, September 18th, while the general public gets access Saturday, September 19th, through Sunday, September 27th. Show hours are between 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
Tickets can be purchased either online or onsite, with the cheaper prices offered online. The “day ticket trade visitor” pass, which grants access September 17th through the 27th without accreditation, can be had for 45 euros ($50.69) online or 47 euros ($52.94) onsite. A 2-day “gift” ticket, which grants access on two consecutive days between September 19th and 27th, can be had for 18 euros ($20.28) and is only available online. Single-day public access for weekend dates is 14 euros ($15.77) online and 16 euros ($18.02) onsite, while single-day public access for weekday dates is 12 euros ($13.52) online and 14 euros ($15.77) onsite. Pupils, students, apprentices, trainees and participants in Federal Voluntary Services receive a discount for single-day access at 7.50 euros ($8.45). Afternoon tickets (public days from 3:00 PM onwards) are 8 euros ($9.01) online and 10 euros ($11.26) onsite, while discounted afternoon tickets are 4.50 euros ($5.07) and are only available onsite. Children under seven and persons with disabilities get in for free.
Tickets can be purchased online here.
All the above information (and much more) can be found in PDF form by clicking here.
You can also download the free official IAA app, which offers an event calendar, an interactive hall plan, an exhibitor list, a search function, a “watch list” of important debuts and local navigation by clicking here.
So let’s get to the goodies you can look forward to, in alphabetical order.
If ever there were a marque fit for service in MI6, it would have to be Aston Martin. Aston is celebrating the upcoming Bond-film "Spectre" with a new special edition of the 2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT. Aston added just a few odds and ends to the exterior, making standard several features originally found on the DB9 GT’s options list. The drivetrain goes unchanged, with the same 6.0-liter V-12 making 539 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration looks like 4.5 seconds from 0-to-60 mph, and the top speed is still 183 mph. Only 150 units will be produced.
Audi’s cornerstone compact A4 enters its fifth generation with an exterior that is relatively unaltered. There are a variety of engines on offer, including four diesels and three gasoline units. More power and greater efficiency is the name of the game here, and at the top is a V-6 oil burner that produces 268 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Both the sedan and the Avant will be offered, although it’s unlikely U.S. customers will get the wagon (too bad).
This may look like an everyday A8, but it’s actually a rolling tank, boasting one of the highest “BulletProof Levels” available for civilian vehicles (VR9). Armor is built into the body panels, with stuff like aramid fabric and hot-formed steel in place to ward off incoming fire. Either the 435-horsepower twin-turbo V-8 or the 500-horsepower W-12 is available for a quick getaway. Meanwhile, the interior is every bit as plush as the normal A8.
Standard features for the S8 Plus interior include several options from the base-model S8, like the Alcantara upholstery package, contrast stitching and piping in Arras Red and carbon-fiber dash inserts.But more interesting is what the Plus does with the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 engine – plus 85 horsepower and 35 pound-feet, for a total of 605 horsepower and 516 pound-feet. Mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox and standard quattro AWD, this behemoth sedan can hit 60 mph in as little as 3.8 seconds.
This newest performance variant of the Q5 adds a little in every category: inside, outside and under the hood. Audi eked a bit more output from the turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine. This AWD behemoth now lays down 340 horsepower and an impressive 516 pound-feet of torque, a gain of 27 horses and 37 pound-feet over the SQ5 TDI. There’s a new sport differential in the rear to help handle all the muscle.
This E-Tron is an all-electric crossover that’s expected to make it to production. Dimensionally, the E-Tron Quattro will slot between the Q5 and Q7. The handling is described as excellent for a tall, heavy electric vehicle, with the batteries strategically placed to keep the weight low to the ground. The EV can reportedly cover 310 miles on a single charge, thanks to three electric motors (one in front and two in the back) and active exterior aerodynamics.
Bentley’s Bentayga is more than just a crossover – this thing promises to be the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive SUV in the world. Power comes from a top-spec W-12 TSI that generates 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to an eight-speed transmission, AWD and lots of aluminum to cut weight, the 0-to-60 time is four seconds flat, while top speed is 187 mph. If dirt is more your thing, the adjustable air suspension offers settings for off-roading as well.
Alongside the hybrid 3 Series, BMW is also bringing along a new plug-in hybrid iteration of the less-expensive 2 Series. The drivetrain will incorporate a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder ICE to drive the front wheels, and an electric motor to power the rear axle. The ICE will provide 136 horsepower in the front and the 68-kWh electric motor will deliver 88 horsepower to the rear, creating a total combined output of 224 horsepower.
On the outside, the 330e looks nearly identical to all the other refreshed 2016 3 Series models. For motivation, BMW used tech pulled from the 2015 BMW i8 and 2015 BMW i3. Assisting the electric motor is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder ICE. Total output is rated at 248 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels.
The BMW 7 Series has undergone a total redesign. Under the skin is a Carbon Core passenger cell, which cuts a significant amount of weight. Inside is the latest edition of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. Drivetrain options include both RWD and AWD, with the standard inline-six complemented by a more powerful V-8 and an eco-friendly plug-in hybrid.
Designed for competition in GT endurance and sprint racing, the M6 GT3 replaces the outgoing 2011 BMW Z4 GT3. Starting with the same bones as the road-going M6, BMW added an ultra-wide body kit. The interior is stripped, designed to meet race homologation specifications. Under the hood is the same twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 you’d find in the road car. In street-legal form, this unit produces 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque, but BMW actually had to detune it to meet FIA standards.
Bugatti has added to the Gran Turismo Vision project with it’s own race-spec insane-o-mobile. But unlike most of the other GT Vision contributors, Bugatti is actually putting the concept into metal, offering Frankfurt attendees a chance for some real-life ogling.
So far, there are no details on the drivetrain, but we expect hybrid power to complement internal combustion, perhaps with output reaching upwards of 1,500 horsepower and 1,100 pound-feet of torque. Routed through an AWD system, that would make 60 mph appear in around two seconds.
The C4 has been transformed once again, this time as a drop-top concept suited for surf’s-up beach duties. The revised Cactus gets rugged durability, with scratch- and dent-resistant body panels, an interior you can wash out with a hose, and a roof that doubles as a tent. It has two doors and space up top for two surfboards. It’s a remarkably eccentric little concept, with a lot of little details that show Citroen’s imagination.
The new F12 will come with a revised exterior that looks even sharper than before. The 6.3-liter V-12 under that extended nose should also see revision, with more output than the current 730 horsepower and 509 pound-feet of torque (we’re thinking something in the neighborhood of 800 horsepower and 560 pound-feet). Combined with even more carbon fiber and a lower curb weight, the go-faster F12 should dip below the 3-second barrier in the sprint to 60 mph.
A roadster version of the 2015 Ferrari 488 GTB is now following the coupe. Ferrari didn’t feel it necessary to change much in the transition to toplessness. Opening up the headroom is the same electric two-part roof as can be found on the 458 Spider. The Spider has the same turbo 3.9-liter V-8 making 660 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. Standstill to 60 mph is once again achieved in three seconds flat. The chassis is also just as stiff thanks to materials like magnesium.
Honda is bringing a concept suited to bicycle adventures. The exterior is relatively unchanged over the traditional Civic wagon, simply bringing new paint, wheels and a slim storage box fixed to the roof. The same fuel-sipping drivetrain package is also present. The interior, however is radically changed. Honda installed a center-mounted fuel tank to free up space in the back for a bike rack, a tool box, a built-in air compressor and a work bench.
Following in the tradition of the Ariel Atom and KTM X-Bow track-day cars, the Project 2&4 concept offers an open-wheel design and places the driver on the left-hand flank in a very exposed position. The car is small and low, weighing only 893 pounds. Power comes from a 999 cc V-4 with 212 horsepower, 87 pound-feet of torque, and a 14,000-rpm redline.
Infiniti is expanding its lineup with a brand new model called the Q30. We first got a taste of the 2013 Infiniti Q30 Concept at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, and now the production version is slated to reveal itself at this year’s event. This is the first time Infiniti has dabbled in the hatchback body style.
Jaguar’s F-Pace is what Jag calls its new “family sports car.” The new Jag takes after the 2014 Jaguar C-X17 concept. The drivetrain is a mystery, but it’s likely the XE will provide the parts, starting with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel producing 163 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. If Jag ends up stuffing each of the XE’s engines into the F-Pace, expect a top-of-the-line supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 with 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque on tap. A V-8-powered R model could be in the works as well.
Kia’s bestselling Sportage gets a variety of updates and new features to keep it fresh in a segment jam-packed with competition. The styling is new, supposedly drawing inspiration from fighter jets. Behind the tiger-nose grille, you’ll get a variety of gasoline and diesel powerplant options, including the addition of the turbocharged 1.6-liter T-GDI “Gamma” engine, which makes 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. For oil burners, there’s the “R” range of diesels, with a top-spec tune producing 181 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
This SUV may appear like any normal Range Rover, but it’s tougher than the standard model. That’s because it’s outfitted with bulletproof glass, armor plating and special run flat tires. Meanwhile, the interior is every bit as opulent as less battle-worthy iterations. The price includes a driver-training program on how to handle this juggernaut in a crisis.
The C63 Coupe’s twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 can be had in two levels of tune: 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque in the base model, or 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque from the S model. The suspension is adjustable, with compliance settings for the long haul and stiffness settings for the apexes.
Alongside the S63 4Matic Cabriolet, Mercedes will also introduce the next-gen S-Class convertibles. Like the S63 drop-top, the regular S-Class convertible shares its looks and lines with its coupe cousin. The convertible also has coupe’s engine – a twin-turbo 4.7-liter V-8 that generates 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. This mill is mated to a 9G-Tronic nine-speed transmission with 4Matic AWD, producing a 0-to-60 time of around 4.5 seconds.
It’s been over 40 years since Mercedes made a convertible version of its top-spec ground-pounding two-door. This ragtop has the same styling as the 2015 S63 AMG Coupe. Under the hood is a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 identical to the powerplant used in the Coupe.
This AMG package covers exterior, interior and suspension upgrades.
Unfortunately, the engine is left unaltered. The V-Class engine options don’t break the 200-horsepower mark, with the top-of-line V 250 BlueTEC offering just 190 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. Pity. But AMG does add firmer suspension pieces, a lower ride height and bigger brakes.
Nissan gave us a bit of a teaser just ahead of Frankfurt, previewing a fascia and lots of shadows for an upcoming concept car. What exactly is in store has yet to be revealed, but the automaker did mention members of its crossover lineup. Possibilities include the second-generation Nissan Juke, but more likely, it’s the iconic Z car’s transition into the realm of high-stance performance crossovers.
Opel is developing a new racer destined for the touring-car grid, bringing customers a competitive platform at a sensible price. Currently, there are no actual pictures of the car, but a rendering from Opel shows a new body kit. Specs for the drivetrain are also under wraps, but the new Astra TCR will most likely get the same turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder and Drexler six-speed sequential racing transmission as the previous model. Per race guidelines, output will be 330 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque.
Peugeot is presenting its bizarre Fractal electric convertible in Frankfurt, and clearly, it brings some pretty innovative ideas to the table. Powering the Fractal is two electric motors, one per axle, for a total combined output of 204 horsepower. If you think the outside is wild, wait till you get a peak at the interior. Peugeot says 80 percent of the car was created with a 3D printer to suit the intricate shapes, and that’s most obvious in the cabin. The stereo, however, is the craziest feature on offer, creating music not through the air, but via vibrations sent through the listener’s body to the inner ear.
There are only small updates to the new 911’s exterior, but once you peak under the rear deck, you realize just how much was changed. Replacing the old naturally aspirated engine packages is something smaller with forced induction.
The new mill is a turbocharged 3.0-liter boxer six-cylinder with more power and more torque than the outgoing unit. The base-spec Carrera now produces 370 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque, while the Carrera S gets 420 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. Both also return better gas mileage.
As a replacement for the 2011 Renault Laguna, the new Renault Talisman Estate is designed to compete with the popular Volkswagen Passat Estate. The Talisman has been restyled with a more restrained look, and it’s bigger, offering more space for people and cargo. Options include five trim levels and five engines, including two gasoline units and three diesels. The Talisman will feature active suspension with different drive mode settings and four-wheel steering.
The Dawn is a drop-top version of the two-door Wraith, and adds a second convertible to the Rolls-Royce stable. The name is plucked from a limited run of convertibles built in the ‘50s, and it promises to be the “sexiest” Rolls ever created. Instead of the Wraith’s usual 6.6-liter V-12, the Dawn uses the less powerful Ghost-spec powerplant, rated at 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. Despite the downgrade, the Dawn is still quick. Using the ZF eight-speed transmission, 60 mph is achieved in less than five seconds.
Originally introduced in Geneva as the 2015 Suzuki iK-2 concept, the Baleno is a new production supermini slated for European dealers. The exterior draws a good deal of its design cues from the concept, but with more production-friendly features. The engine is a newly developed turbo 1.0-liter expected to create around 100 horsepower. The Baleno will launch in Britain next summer.
Volkswagen is celebrating 40 years of the GTI with a new special edition. It’s called the Clubsport, and as you can imagine, it’s a GTI with a go-faster attitude. On the outside, you’ll find aesthetic upgrades that are subtle, but effective. Most importantly, that turbo 2.0-liter under the hood gets a massive power increase, rising from 210 horsepower to 261 horsepower. There’s even an overboost function that tops out at 286 horsepower for 10-second increments.
Volkswagen will debuting the “new” drop-top version of the Golf, but it’s based on the sixth-generation Golf, despite the seventh-generation being released in 2013. VW did at least throw in a new steering wheel, seats and the latest infortainment gear. There are six different powerplants to choose from, including four gasoline units and two diesels. Outputs for each goes unchanged, although emissions and mileage see slight improvements. The “new” Golf Cabriolet won’t be coming to the U.S.
Aesthetically, the Passat Alltrak looks like a Passat, but with a strong dose of off-roadiness. The inside draws heavily from the Passat Estate in terms of layout and appointment. Volkswagen has four different engines on offer – one gas unit and three diesels, each equipped with turbochargers. At the top is an oil burner with 237 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Every Alltrak comes with AWD. Unfortunately, the Alltrak won’t be coming to the U.S., but European customers get it in October.