The 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show opens to the world’s press on Thursday 12th September. It’s one of the biggest events in the motoring calendar, previously attracting as many as 850,000 visitors in previous years and is often the show of choice for some of Europe’s biggest car brands.
Make no mistake, some huge debuts take place here.
The Frankfurt Motor Show is organised by the German Association of the Automotive Industry and, naturally, it’s an important event for domestic manufacturers. Usually, the enormous floors of the Messe Exhibition Centre are packed with concept cars and forthcoming production models from the likes of Porsche, BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
As ever, this year’s event is could be a big one for some of the big German brands. Electric cars are set to star at Frankfurt this September too, with Porsche, Honda and Volkswagen all gearing up to showcase brand new battery electric models. Land Rover looks all set to take the sheets off a reinvented icon, too.
With a few weeks until showtime we’re beginning to get a sense of what cars could be this year’s show stars. It’s a modest round-up for now but we’ll be updating this page over the coming weeks as preparations for the show ramp up and more debuts emerge. As ever, we’ll have a team on the show floor on press day bringing you the breaking news as it happens.
Frankfurt Motor Show 2019
• Audi RS 6 Avant
• Audi RS Q3 Sportback
Audi’s latest high-performance RS 6 estate will likely make an appearance at Frankfurt. It features the German brand’s usual range of aggressive RS styling additions, and will likely be powered by the same Volkswagen Group twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol, as found in the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Bentayga.
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Audi will also unveil a new niche-busting performance SUV, called the RS Q3 Sportback. It’ll feature the same turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine as the Audi RS 3, producing 395bhp and 480Nm of torque. Like the RS 6, it’ll also feature an aggressive cosmetic overhaul, with new bumpers, huge alloys and the brand’s trademark oval exhausts.
• BMW X6
• BMW Vision M Next
BMW’s third-generation X6 coupe-SUV has already been revealed, but it will make its public debut at Frankfurt. Based on the same underpinnings as the new X5, it features a range of petrol and diesel engines, with the most potent 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 producing 524bhp and 750Nm of torque.
BMW will also bring its Vision M Next concept hybrid sports car to Frankfurt, which the German firm claims will preview its forthcoming i8 replacement. It’s driven by a supercharged four-cylinder engine and an electrified front axle, providing a total output of 592bhp, a top speed of 186mph and a 0–62mph time of three seconds.
• Cupra concept
Cupra, SEAT’s spin-off performance brand, recently released a shadowy teaser hinting at a Frankfurt bound concept. Technical details remain sparse, but the concept could feature an all-electric powertrain, potentially borrowing technology from the MEB-based SEAT el-Born concept hatchback.
• Honda e
A production ready version of Honda’s cute, retro-styled all-electric city car will be unveiled at Frankfurt. It features a water-cooled 35.5kWh battery pack, a WLTP-verified range of 125 miles and a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Unlike most compact EVs, the Honda e’s motor is mounted on the rear axle and sends its power to the rear wheels.
• Hyundai i10 facelift
Hyundai will launch an updated version of the i10 city car in September, which promises to be the most technology-laden car of its class. Styling and powertrain revisions will be limited, but the i10’s infotainment system is expected to take a huge leap forward, potentially using the same eight-inch system found in the larger i30 hatchback.
• Land Rover Defender
Land Rover looks set to finally pull the camouflage off its new Defender at Frankfurt. The British brand’s new off-roader has spent the last six months undergoing a gruelling development programme, covering more than 750,000 miles across 11 countries. Spy shots and leaks reveal that while the new model will keep the Defender’s boxy profile it will swell in size considerably, while we expect a much more road-focussed dimension to the new workhorse.
• Porsche Taycan
We’ve already seen a completely undisguised version of Porsche’s new, rakish all-electric saloon on the road, undergoing testing. The spotier Tesla Model S rival will sprint from 0–62mph in under 3.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 155mph, thanks to its pair of electric motors (derived from Porsche’s Le Mans-winning 919 LMP1 racer), producing more than 600bhp.
• Vauxhall Corsa
• Vauxhall Corsa-e
• Vauxhall Astra
• Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid4
Vauxhall will have a packed show stand this year, with plans to unveil its all-new Corsa supermini, a facelifted version of the Astra and its revised Grandland X Hybrid4 plug-in. The new Corsa shares its underpinnings with the latest Peugeot 208, and will be offered with a choice of conventional or electric powertrains, with the latter offering a claimed range of 211 miles.
The updated Astra features only a few cosmetic changes, but a substantial mechanical overhaul with a range of new, more efficient turbocharged three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. There’s also an updated suspension system and a host of fresh technology, including a new digital front camera and an improved traffic sign recognition system.
Vauxhall’s Grandland X Hybrid4 features a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and a pair of electric motors (one for each axle), which results in a combined system output of 296bhp and 450Nm of torque. Also, thanks to its 13.2kWh battery pack, Vauxhall claims it’ll cover 32 miles on electric power alone. It’s on sale now, priced from £35,590.
• Volkswagen ID.3
Volkswagen’s much-anticipated all-electric ID.3 hatch will make its fist full, uncamouflaged appearance, boasting a 201bhp motor and range of up to 260 miles. It’s been a while coming - the original ID concept made its debut at the Paris Motor Show back in 2016. VW has been relentlessly marketing the car already and as such, all we’re likely to learn at Frankfurt is what the car’s interior looks like. The first production variants of the all-electric Golf alternative are available to pre-order in the UK now, with deliveries to commence in summer 2020.