Frankfurt Motor Show Preview: Part 1
Next week the Motors team will travel to Frankfurt for the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show. But as so often is the case these days, we know a lot of what you can expect to see in advance. So here is the first part of our preview of what you will see at the show. We will bring you coverage next week of the show live from Frankfurt.
Yes it is a new Porsche 911 and as usual it is hard to tell. We never really expected Porsche to break the mould with another new 911 and predictably enough it looks very similar to the cars from the last ten years. It does have a 100mm longer wheelbase and the front and rear overhangs are shorter than before. There is a wider front track too. There are uprated engines too, with the Carrera powered by a new 3.4-litre engine developing 350hp, with the Carrera S moving up to 400hp from the 3.8-litre. The new car is lighter than before too, weight is reduced by up to 45kg in some cases, yet despite this the rigidity is improved. Just two Porsche were registered in 2011 so far, so there won’t be too much demand for the 911, but if you do want one they will be available from December for our market.
Chevrolet is well and truly off the radar in Ireland these days, despite still offering a few models for sale. There might be better news on the horizon with the Chevrolet Malibu, which is a car that has been on sale in the US for some time. The Malibu will be available with a choice of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, although here in Ireland if we do get the Malibu then it will probably be only available with the 2.0-litre diesel. We can expect the Malibu to be pretty unremarkable and soggy to drive, but loaded with equipment and good value.
We’ve already driven the Up, but it makes its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show where we should get more details regarding performance figures and emissions. We do know that the Up comes to Ireland in December as a three-door with a five-door following on later in 2012. An electric version will go on sale in 2013, but for now the Up is powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine putting out either 60- or 75hp and this will mean emissions of less than 100g/km. The Up will cost €10,800 when it goes on sale.
Kia to take on the BMW M5
It is hardly a surprise that Kia’s chief designer Peter Schreyer would want to delve into more adventurous territory with Kia design but the news that they are set to reveal a four-door coupé has raised a few eyebrows, as has the news that it could have performance to rival a BMW M5. We will wait and see, but it is a real signal of intent by the Korean brand that they might move into the executive market. We know that we will see some of the first performance Kia cars in 2012 when the Cee’d and Rio get turbocharged petrol engines.
Audi Urban Concept
Audi will have a busy Frankfurt Motor Show and one of their more interesting concept cars will be the radical Urban Concept, which is a two-seater electric car. There will be two versions of this concept, one a hardtop and the other a roadster. Built around a carbonfibre monocoque, this car will seat two and power is expected to come from a pair of electric motors and a battery pack. The Audi will compete with the BMW i3 as a small, ‘affordable’ electric car if it gets the green light for production.
The C-X16, which is expected to become the Jaguar XE, the spiritual replacement to the E-Type will be a rival to the Porsche Boxster and this is expected to be one of the stars of the Frankfurt Motor Show. The XE is not likely to go on sale until late 2012 and while it is likely that there will be a V6 engine under the bonnet there is also speculation of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and stop-start technology. A V8 engine is likely to feature in the R model.
The new Opel Zafira makes its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show and the car has grown in size and now sits on a longer wheelbase (+57mm) and has a significantly wider front and rear track. With 65-litres more Bootspace than the model it replaces in 5-seat format, this 710-litres can expand out to a massive 1,860-litres with all of the seats folded flat. The new car features all-new styling, very much in line with the most modern of the range. There are distinctive twin boomerang graphics at the front and the now familiar Opel centre crease and trapezoidal grille. Opel’s Flex7 seating system, which has always been a clever system, is now upgraded to provide even more functionality.
The 3rd row can be folded flat and the 2nd row has been redesigned. Instead of a bench seat in the 2nd row, there are three individual seats that can be folded flat and individually moved. There is now an optional Lounge Seating system, which Opel say will offer “limousine-like space and comfort” and with this option the back of the middle seat folds down and turns into an armrest. The outer seats can also slide towards the centre of the car. There will be a range of new storage solutions including the FlexConsole, which is a modular and moveable storage box.
The choice of engines in the new model is going to consist of three outputs of the 2.0-litre CDTI with 110hp, 130hp or 165hp or two outputs of the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol version with 120hp or 140hp. There will now be Stop/Start technology to keep fuel economy and emissions low, although we haven’t seen figures on this yet.
We are well used to getting impressive new product from Hyundai these days and while we won’t yet see a new Santa Fe as first expected, we will get a heavily revised new i30, which will be a proper rival to the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. Adopting much of the styling of the recently arrived i40, the new i30 gets a large hexagonal front grille, angular headlamps and distinctive LED daytime running lights. There is a sportier stance on the new car than before and the aim has been to give the car a stronger personality. The boot space will increase slightly in the new car, adding to versatility. There will be six engines revealed in the line up – three petrol and three diesels and power is expected to vary from 89 to 133hp. We can expect sub-100g/km emissions from the i30 Blue. The new range goes on sale in the first quarter of 2012.
Many of you will remember, some of you perhaps even owned an Audi A2, the all-aluminium car that was way ahead of its time. Well Audi is set to reintroduce the A2 and the four-seater is set to make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The A2 will probably share some links with the A1, but we can expect LED headlights and perhaps even an electric powertrain on the show car, which will be 26mm shorter, 17mm wider and 63mm lower than the original A2.
The ever popular Toyota Avensis will get its mid-life refresh at the Frankfurt Motor Show as it tries to beat back competition from the likes of Hyundai with its recently-released i40 and Kia’s forthcoming Optima. This new Avensis will feature new exterior styling, as well as some changes to the interior to improve the look and feel.
Skoda MissionL Concept
As if Skoda weren’t making enough of a nuisance of themselves, now they are set to really worry the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus with a new close-to-production concept called the MissionL. The new compact five-door will be launched in Europe, Russia and China and is likely to be called the ‘Lauretta’ and it is expected to fill the gap between the Fabia and Octavia in Skoda’s range. The car will have similar dimensions to the Golf and Focus and given Skodas current form we would expect it to be rather good.