Preview: IAA Frankfurt 2019
12 September 2019
Europe’s largest motor show has returned, although it is not as big as it once was, suffering as others are from a withdrawal of multiple carmakers.
However, one thing the IAA Frankfurt can rely on is the backing of the continent’s largest automotive market. Germany is home to Volkswagen Group, Daimler and BMW, and those carmakers and their respective brands will again be out in force to show the world that Germany does it best.
The IAA is also aiming to project an image of sustainability, following the threat of protests by climate change activists. This is on top of the industry’s move towards zero-emission technology, alongside falling car sales as ownership patterns change.
Yet still, the Frankfurt event is playing host to 800 exhibitors from around the world, with those carmakers attending using the event to show new models and ideas that they hope will boost their presence in the new automotive market.
Europe’s leading automotive group will present its ID. 3 for the first time at the IAA. This first model from the ID. series features carbon-neutrality, the impressive driving dynamics that are characteristic of electric cars, and full connectivity. Like all future ID. models, the ID.3 is based on the new modular electric drive platform (MEB), which has been designed for an electric drive system without compromise.
‘The ID.3 is an all-rounder that is suitable for everyday use. It is compact, as such offering the manoeuvrability of a small car with the interior space of a mid-range vehicle. It combines exciting design with innovative technology and significant range,’ outlined Silke Bagschik, Head of Sales and Marketing for the ID. family, on the evening before the show opened.
The carmaker has also debuted a new, 2D based logo which it believes is more suited for the digital age.
The BMW stand at the 2019 IAA focuses on the theme of future driving pleasure, the company states. Alongside the latest new additions across a broad range of segments revealed by BMW as part of its ongoing product offensive, the carmaker is also exhibiting fascinating vehicle studies and trailblazing technologies expected to have a major impact on individual mobility in tomorrow’s world.
The brand’s multifaceted presentation programme includes the world premieres of the BMW Concept 4 and BMW i Hydrogen NEXT, additions to the BMW X family and special editions from BMW i. Plus.
Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand is expected to debut a full-electric luxury saloon concept at the Frankfurt show. The company has teased the car with images on social media.
‘The EQ story continues. We're pioneering the future of sustainable modern luxury. See the interior design vision of an all-electric four-seater luxury sedan,’ the carmaker wrote on Twitter, describing it elsewhere as ‘a glimpse into the not-so-distant future.’
Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans will also present a new brand experience in the Frankfurt Festhalle. Key themes will include connectivity, sustainability and quality of life. At the heart of the concept are four ‘experience spaces’, which take the visitor on a trip through the brand world and the mobility of tomorrow.
Audi is bringing two world debuts and an array of show firsts to Frankfurt. The brand is using the International Motor Show to showcase a collection of new products, both in the e-mobility area and from its range of conventionally powered models.
The carmaker will unveil the Audi AI:TRAIL concept car, the vision of a future electric-powered off-roader. Another model making its first appearance will be the new Audi RS 7 Sportback, with which Audi Sport is expanding its portfolio of high-performance automobiles.
The Spanish marque arrives in Frankfurt with its electric offensive in top gear. Following the announcement of the SEAT Mii electric and the el-Born, the brand's first two fully electric models, CUPRA is presenting its new Tavascan concept car at the international event. It will be joined by the new SEAT Tarraco FR PHEV, the brand's first plug-in hybrid electric SUV, which will be making its world debut at the show and is the fourth electric model of the six that the company announced it would launch by 2021.
SEAT is also using the framework of the motor show to announce that pre-sales of the new Mii electric will begin from mid-September, thus contributing to more affordable electric mobility with a vehicle that is agile and decidedly urban.
Japanese carmaker Honda will bring its Honda E model to Frankfurt with some new information as the electric car prepares to go on sale.
The final production version has a 35.5kWh battery that is good for a range of ‘up to’ 220km Honda said, quoting internal data rather than official EU testing data.
The entry-level car has a power output of 134hp, or customers can pay more for a 152hp model. Honda said the most powerful model will accelerate to 62mph in eight seconds.
A returnee to the show, Ford is using the event to premiere its Puma model to consumers, having announced that its participation in the IAA is due to the fact ‘it has something to say’.
The company has also revealed its most comprehensive line-up of electrified vehicles, which will help drive sales that are anticipated to surpass conventional petrol and diesel models by the end of 2022 in Europe. Its stand at the show will feature only electrified vehicles, including a plug-in hybrid version of the new Kuga.