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Highlights from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

Highlights from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

By Philly Murtha, September 17, 2017

Hybrid electrics, self-driving concepts, “extreme” utilities, and an eye-catching “hypercar” from major international automotive brands made news at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Held biennially, the world’s largest auto show opened to the public on Sept. 14 and concludes Sept. 24, 2017. More than 200 global premieres turned heads. Here are 20 significant or fun pre-production and concept models on display at the show.

2019 Audi A8
Audi’s new flagship 2019 A8 large premium car, with engine choices including a hybrid electric powertrain, is perhaps the first production model to be able to drive itself—up to 37 mph (60 km) in traffic jams with the automaker’s new AI system that starts, steers, accelerates, and brakes.

Audi Aicon and Elaine Autopilot Concepts
Audi premiered vehicles of the future in Frankfurt. As part of a three-part debut, the Audi Elaine, an electric-powered SUV coupe, can be given instructions to autonomously perform tasks such as driving onto a parking ramp or into a car wash. The second Audi Aicon is a 2+2 concept that is without steering wheel or pedals.

2019 Bentley Continental GT
Bentley showed off its third-generation Continental GT large premium sporty car that relies on lighter aluminum architecture and includes more technology and performance upgrades. The original Continental GT grand tourer was introduced in 2003. A plug-in hybrid model will be available in the future.

BMW Concept X7 iPerformance
Bling from BMW? The automaker previews an ultra-lux large SUV that seats 6 in 3 rows and captures attention with its over-sized chrome-framed kidney-shaped grille and muscular exterior and rich two-tone interior. The Concept X7 is energized by a plug-in hybrid powertrain that foreshadows BMW’s future product strategy.

BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept Car
BMW unveiled its vison of electric mobility and “sporting elegance” in a 4-door i Vision Dynamics Gran Coupe that is one of a possible 25 electrified vehicles that will launch by 2025, the automaker says. A production model could be ready for sale by 2021 to compete with the Tesla Model 3.

Honda Urban EV Concept
Honda previews electric prowess with a compact concept that relives the heritage of the Civic primed with modern technology, including suicide doors, and winsome exterior lighting displays. This concept is tiny—4 inches shorter than the Fit subcompact. It will be produced in Europe as early as 2019, but may not come to North America.

Hyundai i30 N Compact Hatchback
Hyundai’s i30 N compact hatchback is a high-performance sporty car with pep from a modified turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that also powers the Sonata midsize sedan. The i30 N will take on the VW Golf GTI in Europe. In the United States, it becomes the Elantra GT, but could arrive here under the “N” performance sub-brand.

2018 Jaguar E-Pace
Jaguar will add a smaller, equally sporty crossover utility to its lineup that has been boosted by the surprise F-Pace compact premium SUV. The small E-Pace SUV, to be built on the same platform as the Land Rover Evoque, will arrive in early 2018 in two versions with lots of advanced technology and a potent powertrain.

Kia Proceed Concept
Kia’s audacious 4-door wagon concept will not be seen on U.S. roads. The Proceed Concept is geared to Kia’s Cee’d small car lineup for Europe. The wagon with performance cues has sloping character lines with a rakish low-slung roofline and oversized wheels. Exterior paint is nearly custom in layers of color.

2019 Land Rover Discovery SVX
Land Rover gives the 2019 Discovery SVX “extreme” all-terrain cred with treatment from its Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) performance division. The SUV has supercharged V-8 power, plus body and suspension lifts for more ground clearance and specially-tuned off-road systems and components.

2018 Maserati Ghibli
Maserati previewed the refreshed 2018 Ghibli large premium sporty sedan that now comes in two trims. The Italian super premium brand’s best-selling model in the United States and globally now features L-shaped adaptive full-LED lighting and its 3.0-liter V-6 engine has been upgraded for better performance and handling.

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA
Mercedes’ smooth and slick Concept EQA compact all-electric hatchback gleams with technology featuring novel laser fiber lighting embellishments to its two electric motors and Lithium-ion battery pack that extends range to a possible 252 miles one charge.

Mercedes-AMG Project One
Formula 1 gorgeous, the Mercedes-AMG Project One low-slung hypercar is designed with Formula 1 expertise. A turbocharged, 1.6-liter V-6 engine teamed with 4 electric motors generates 1,100 horsepower. The car reaches 217 mph and accelerates from 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds, the automaker claims. All 275 supercars headed to the United States in 2019 are presold, say media reports.

2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet
Mercedes’ flagship S-Class family of large premium cars welcomes refreshed 2018 S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet variants. The new 2-doors are more powerful and fuel-efficient and feature advanced driving-assistance systems, a revised widescreen cockpit, plus new 3-spoke steering wheel. Restyling touches include new bumpers, sideskirts, and chrome twin tailpipes.

Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell
Mercedes has taken the next step to combine fuel cell and battery technology in a plug-in hybrid compact premium SUV that seats 5 and will arrive in the U.S. market by late 2019, the automaker says. The GLC F-Cell has a combined range of 271 miles. Performance and operating modes can be selected and advanced safety systems are included.

Mini Electric Concept
Mini returns to electric powertrains with an Electric Concept car in 2019. Silver and yellow accents embellish Mini’s compact “go-kart” design that includes a new closed grille that boosts aerodynamics. No need for vents with an electric motor. Already planned is a Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid with a 3-cylinder engine and electric motor.

Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
Mini’s outlandish concept with motorsports DNA and racing history is ready for performance at the track with a large wing, fender flares, air intakes, splitter, and an open-mouth grille, plus orange accents riding on 19-in. alloy wheels. Inside is a roll cage, low bucket seats, and a fire extinguisher, just like at the track.

2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Porsche claims the new top model in the Cayenne premium midsize SUV lineup is quicker, faster, more powerful, and even more aerodynamic than the prior-generation Cayenne Turbo S. With the Sport Chrono package, it braces for a top track speed of 177 mph, Porsche says.

Smart Vision EQ Fortwo
Smart’s first self-driving urban car says the future is now. The Smart Vision EQ Fortwo concept electric car is based on the current Fortwo with the addition of autonomous driving technology that communicates with humans through smartphones and the car’s panels and glass doors.

Volkswagen ID Crozz
Volkswagen’s future portfolio will be electric—as many as 80 new EV variants by 2025. The ID Crozz crossover SUV concept is updated to near production, but won’t come to the United States, while the more fun-loving ID Buzz electric multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) that pays homage to VW’s microbus is set to arrive here in 2022.

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