German Auto Industry Gets Ready to Show Off at the 2017 Frankfurt Show
A preview of what Audi, BMW, M-B, and VW are preparing for their home turf
Though more and more new model reveals are taking place at events like the Pebble Beach Concours and the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the biennial Frankfurt Show remains center stage for the German auto industry to highlight its might and muscle. And despite the management shake-ups and political intrigue swirling around Ingolstadt, Audi leads this year's product offensive at Frankfurt with the new A8 sedan, the mild revision of the e-tron shooting brake concept unveiled at Shanghai, the RS4 Avant, the rear-wheel drive R8 V10 GT, and a mid-size concept car which fuses next-generation batteries with advanced autonomous drive. The 272-hp SQ2 may also make a surprise appearance
A couple of halls over, Porsche will highlight the new Cayenne, which debuts in 550-hp turbocharged form. The awesome 911 Speedster (watch out for the vintage version!) has been pushed back to LA, but Frankfurt will see the premiere of the GT3 Touring Pack. This stealth model combines the inconspicuous aerodynamics of the 911R with the engine and chassis of the 500-hp GT3. You can't have PDK, but keep an eye out for the tasteful color and trim choices.
The big news on the VW stand will be the Golf-based T-Roc, which is aimed squarely at compact crossovers like Mini Countryman and Honda CR-V. On the EV front, there'll be yet another rework of the BUDD-e microbus concept and an evolution of the five-seat CUV-e crossover revealed in Shanghai. Completing VW's Frankfurt debuts will be the Up! GTi, the new Polo GTi, and the Golf R Performance.
BMW's line-up for Frankfurt includes the i3S, the new M5 sedan, the 6 Series GT, the X3 replacement, and the new Z4 roadster. On top of all that, expect three concept cars: The full-size X7 SUV, powered by BMW's latest fuel cell system, the 8 Series coupé, and an EV based on the mildly restyled 4-Series Gran Coupé.
The Mercedes-Benz debuts range from the all-electric EQ-A, which is derived from the new A-class platform codenamed MFA2, to the wild Project 1 AMG hypercar that blends an actual Mercedes F1 hybrid powertrain with additional e-motors to deliver a combined output of more than 1000hp. Also on the agenda are a smart concept, a fuel-cell-equipped GLC, and an early facelift for both two-door S-class models.