Industry news 13.9.2017 12:32 pm

Highlights: Frankfurt Motor Show

Hundreds of thousands of car enthusiasts are set to flock to Frankfurt's IAA motor show, which opens to public from September 16-24.

Hundreds of thousands of car enthusiasts are set to flock to Frankfurt's IAA motor show, which opens to public from September 16-24.

We bring you updates from the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany …

While we’re feasting our eyes on some really cool cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany, some manufacturers have revealed cars that are truly jaw-dropping.

Check them out here …

BMW Concept Z4

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The BMW Concept Z4 offers a look ahead to a series-production version of the car set to be unveiled over the course of next year.

A shorter bonnet and crisp overhangs ensure the driver sits closer to the middle of the car than in previous BMW roadsters. The appearance of the front end sparks associations with classic roadster models from BMW.

The styling of the BMW kidney grille is reminiscent of the BMW 328 Mille Miglia. Its broad outline and low-set positioning instill a sense of flamboyance very much in the mould of the BMW Z8.

In a first for BMW, the Concept Z4 provides a vertical interpretation of the four-eyed headlight look, with two light sources placed one on top of the other.

Much of the interior adopts the colour of the car body, with just the driver’s cockpit standing out in an all-black finish that reinforces the focus on driving.

BMW i3 and newBMW i3s

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The world’s best-selling electric car in the premium compact segment now comes with refreshing styling accents, cutting-edge equipment features and new digital services to make locally emission-free driving even more enjoyable.

The BMW i3 has now been joined by a second model variant. With a higher output, model-specific chassis technology, noticeably more dynamic driving qualities and design features all of its own, the new BMW i3s brings out the sporty side of electric mobility more vividly than ever.

SA-bound Mercedes-Benz X Class bakkie 

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Set to tackle the much-contested bakkie segment where the likes of Volkswagen Amarok, Nissan Navara, Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux play, the Mercedes-Benz X Class comes in three design and equipment variants for different working and life styles.

  • The X-Class PURE basic variant is ideal for rugged, functional use. It fulfils all the demands on a “workhorse”. At the same time its comfort and design make it perfect for visiting customers or suppliers, and for private activities.
  • The X-Class PROGRESSIVE is aimed at people seeking a rugged pickup with extra styling and comfort functions – as a “calling card” for their own business, while also being a comfortable yet prestigious vehicle for private use.
  • The X-Class POWER is the high-end line. It is aimed at customers for whom styling, performance and comfort are paramount. As a lifestyle vehicle beyond the mainstream, it is suitable for urban environments as well as for sports and leisure activities off the beaten track. Its design and high level of equipment reflect an independent and individualistic lifestyle.

As from its market launch, there are two powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines to deliver spirited performance.

The high-torque common-rail diesel drive system with a displacement of 2.3 litres is available with a choice of two power outputs. In the X 220 d with single turbocharger it generates 120 kW and in the biturbo X 250 d no less than 140 kW.

Both diesel models are available as left- or right-hand drive vehicles with purely rear wheel drive or with engageable all-wheel drive.

All engines are characterised by quiet, low-vibration running and excellent power delivery coupled with low consumption figures. Power is transferred via a six-speed manual transmission.

A seven-speed automatic transmission is available on request for the 140 kW X 250 d and X 250 d 4MATIC models.

A high-torque V6 diesel engine will be released mid-2018, ensuring even greater agility on- and off-road. It will generate 190 kW/258 hp and a maximum torque of 550 Nm.

This gives the X 350 d 4MATIC the leading position in the segment.

The top X-Class model will come as standard with permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC PLUS with steering-wheel shift paddles and ECO start/stop function.

The DYNAMIC SELECT system is available in addition. To date, the inclusion of a drive program switch has been rare in the pickup segment.

This technology enables the driving experience to be tailored to individual preferences – from relaxed comfort to engaged sportiness.

There are five drive programs to choose from: Comfort, ECO, Sport, Manual and Offroad.

The new Mercedes-Benz X-Class will be available in SA early next year. Pricing will be announced prior to local launch.

New Ferrari Portofino

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The  Ferrari Portofino is the new V8 GT  set to dominate  its segment thanks to a perfect combination of outright performance and versatility in addition to a level of driving pleasure and on-board comfort unparalleled on the market.

Capable of unleashing a massive 600 cv and sprinting from 0 to 200 km/h in just 10.8 seconds, the Ferrari Portofino is the most powerful convertible to combine the advantages of a retractable hard top, a roomy boot and generous cockpit space complete with two rear seats suitable for short trips.

The new car, which takes its name, Portofino, from one of the most charming villages on the Italian Riviera, an eponym for stylish elegance, is the most versatile model in the range.

Smart fortwo and smart forfour

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The smart fortwo, smart fortwo cabrio and smart forfour will start the new model year this autumn with numerous upgrades. The cars on display at the International Motor Show feature this extensive update.

The perfect equipment line is a new line with a sporty and elegant look in the colours black and brown.

Highlights include seats in leather look and fabric in black/brown with brown topstitching and air vents in grey. The new 15‑inch alloy wheels painted in black and with a high-sheen finish make a dynamic statement.

The perfect equipment line replaces the proxy equipment line.

Introduced with the smart electric drive, Active Brake Assist will be available as an option in numerous countries from model year 2017, also in conjunction with 52 and 66 kW combustion engines.

Active Brake Assist works with radar and from a speed of 30 km/h it emits a warning sound to alert the driver’s attention to the risk of a collision detected with a vehicle driving ahead. Should the driver neither brake nor take evasive action despite the warning signal, the car autonomously initiates slight braking.

If the driver reacts by braking, additional braking assistance is provided in this dangerous situation.

Active Brake Assist can therefore help to prevent accidents with vehicles ahead or to reduce the severity of any accident.

The smart Audio-System (in combination with the lines) and the smart Media-System now includes voice-operated smartphone control with Siri (operating system iOS 6 and higher and Google Now (operating system Android 4.1 and higher).

The new voice-operated smartphone control can be activated by pressing and holding the push-to-talk button on the multifunction steering wheel.

A further new feature is the improved USB charging socket for the smart Media-System in the centre console. This enables a smartphone to be charged even more quickly.

In addition, the Android Auto App can be used with compatible smartphones with a USB connection. Android Auto enables smartphone content to be mirrored on the screen and operated via the touchscreen. The display elements of the navigation function have been modified.

In conjunction with the Cool & media package the smart electric drive models additionally get the Charge Spot Finder. This new function enables electricity charging stations nearby or in a certain city to be found with the navigation system.

Exterior paintwork is now available in the new colour “autumn brown”. Furthermore, an automatically dipping rear mirror is available as a new optional extra.

Smart BRABUS “15th anniversary edition”

The edition model created by smart BRABUS to celebrate 15 years of collaboration is elegant, sporty and exclusive. The smart BRABUS “15th anniversary edition” is available as a fortwo coupé and cabrio and with a choice of two turbocharged engines (66 kW and 80 kW) as well as in an electric drive variant (60 kW).

The hallmarks of the edition model are its comprehensive package of appointments as well as its individual paint finish in anniversary silver and its tailor made leather package for the interior in espresso brown.

The special model will be produced in a limited edition of 150 units.

It is available to order with immediate effect, with the first vehicles due to arrive with dealers towards the end of the year.

Honda Urban EV Concept 

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Honda has revealed an all-new electric vehicle, the Urban EV Concept, at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The concept car is built on a completely new platform, and sets the direction for the technology and design that will appear on a future battery electric Honda production model.

The concept was officially introduced by Honda Motor Co. President and CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, during his press conference speech.

“This is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this car will be here in Europe in 2019,” he added, confirming that the concept is set to be launched within two years.

 

Honda’s ‘Electric Vision’ strategy, launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, includes the development of a dedicated electric vehicle platform, featuring fully-electric powertrain technology.

Key parts of the powertrain development will include a high-density, lightweight battery pack, integrated heat management and the evolution of energy transfer functions – both to and from the vehicle.

Mercedes-AMG Project ONE

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Dubbed the closest street-legal car to a Formula 1 race car, the Project ONE has been developed by the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team.

It is powered by a hybrid powertrain that combines the benefits of a turbocharged internal combustion engine and four electric motors.

Power is said to be 740kW with a top speed of 350km/h and a claimed 0-200km/h in less than six seconds.

Tail-happy Audi R8 V10 RWS

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Audi has also revealed its exclusive R8 V10 RWS at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

This one is the first AUDI R8 V10 RWS (Rear Wheel Series) which will be joined by the Spyder variant…soon.

Audi says this model will only be limited to 999 units worldwide and it still remains a mystery if it is destined for our market.

Power still comes from the naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10, with power outputs rated at 397kW and 540Nm.

That is enough power to send the coupe to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds and 3.8 seconds for the Dropbox.

Top speeds come in at 319 km/h and 317 km/h, respectively.

Porsche 911 GT3 with Touring Package

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Porsche has unveiled the 911 GT3 with Touring Package. This model does not come with the fixed rear wing of the ordinary GT3.

Available strictly with a six-speed manual transmision, it does not come cheap. Porsche charges R2 750 500 for this model at our current exchange rate.

Porsche says this new variant is aimed at “enthusiasts of high-quality sports cars who value an understated appearance and pure driving dynamics”.

Power comes from the familiar 4.0-litre naturally aspirated engine that powers the 911 GT3, good for 368kW and 460Nm sent to the rear wheels.

Porsche says the 911 GT3 with Touring Package can dash from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds, before hitting a limiter at 316 km/h.

Mercedes-Benz EQ concept 

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 The Concept EQA is Mercedes-Benz’s first  all-electric EQ concept vehicle in the compact segment.

 When it comes to the lights, Mercedes-Benz has opted for laser fibres. The spiral-shaped light signet underlines the electric concept, its design evoking the copper windings of an electric motor and the animation visualising electrical impulses.

Two electric motors, with a system output that can be increased to over 200 kW thanks to scalable battery components, and permanent all-wheel drive deliver impressive dynamic performance. The two drive programs offer a choice of individual drive characteristics.

Hyundai debuts three new models

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Hyundai has debuted its three models, namely, i30 N, i30 Fastback and new KONA SUV KONA.

i30 N – Hyundai Motor’s first high-performance car under the N line-up inspired by motorsport.

i30 Fastback – According to Hyundai, this is a premium, classy, five-door coupé characterised by its strong stance and sporty, elongated lines.

Kona – The SUV boasts a bold and progressive design, premium features, accessible connectivity and latest safety technologies.

Watch the Hyundai Motor Press Conference at 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show below: 

 

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