The 2017 edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show had all the glitz and glamour that you would expect of an international motor show, with some vehicles new to the Euro market.
Looking at the entries to the show, of particular note were the following:
- Bentley Continental GT – the sportiest Continental yet shows sharp new look around the grille and front air scoops.
- BMW M5 – The latest chapter in the BMW M story boasts 600 bhp and four-wheel-drive.
- Hyundai i30 N – Euro debut of Hyundai’s new Volkswagen Golf GTI rival.
- Jaguar E-Pace – Jaguar follows up the F-Pace with a smaller crossover.
- Mercedes-AMG Project ONE – Mercedes’ unbelievable 986 bhp hypercar promises over 350 kph. Why? Like climbing Everest, we do it because it is there, I suppose.
- Kia Stonic – All-new Kia small SUV.
- Porsche Cayenne – an all-new version of Porsche’s take the world by storm SUV.
- Renault Megane RS – the new, four-wheel steer Renaultsport Megane takes on the Honda Civic Type R.
- Volkswagen Polo – VW’s latest supermini boasts a new platform and fresh tech and hold the diesel, chaps.
For some show-goers, the most properly exciting car launched at Frankfurt will be the Hyundai i30N. This is the first real attempt at a hot hatch from the good-value Korean brand, and with 271 bhp and rather fetching exterior design, it looks the part.
With the German autobahns being the enthusiast’s dream, the 400 km autobahn journey from Munich to Frankfurt is a rather short one in the new 600 bhp BMW M5. This really is an overpowered, all-wheel-drive sports sedan from Beemer’s in-house tuning division.
At the opposite end of the Mercedes spectrum from the AMG Project ONE were some all-electric concept cars under the ‘EQ’ sub-brand. In terms of tech, there’ll be some wireless charging. The ‘new’ G-Class boxy cult classic holds no surprises.
The Chinese motor industry took the opportunity to present their vehicles at the German show too. Wey is Chinese manufacturer Great Wall’s luxury marque which at present sells exclusively in its home market, although the size of its Frankfurt stand indicated it doesn’t plan on maintaining that situation for long.
The snappily titled VV5S is a mid-sized Jaguar E-Pace/BMW X3 competitor and while it looks depressingly similar to everyone else’s mid-sized SUV, it’s a design that won’t scare the horses.
The VV5S comes with a pure petrol or a mild-hybrid driveline, the latter with a 197 bhp/262 lb ft, 2.0 liter four-cylinder petrol engine plus a small 1.16 kWh lithium-ion battery and little assistance motors in the front and rear axles. It does 0-62 mph in 8.7 sec and delivers an average fuel consumption of 42.2 mpg. Fill up every third month!
Chery is attempting to leave its ‘cheap and nasty’ reputation with the Chery ExeedTX. This new Chery is confirmed to go on sale in Europe in 2018
Chery is one of China’s biggest car makers and it has ambitious plans for the M3X platform which underpins the ExeedTX. With a range of 1.5 and 1.6-liter petrol engines, the vehicle is capable of being produced in front- and all-wheel drive, and in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric forms.
There’s probably a debate to be had about vehicle design disappearing down a depressingly similar SUV style where they all resemble each other, but the preponderance of Chinese carmakers sniffing at a European market in which electrification and the future banning of petrol and diesel engines is reducing the barriers to entry for the Chinese, and must represent a nightmare for established European manufacturers. The proposed European legislation has a side effect that the rule-makers did not foresee.