With automotive sales and profits soaring, the industry mood is jubilant heading into the biennial Frankfurt Motor Show – and that should translate into good news for car buyers not only in Europe but also the rest of the world.
The first big show of the 2016 model-year is expected to see dozens of new models make their world debut during the two-day media preview. Not surprisingly, some of the biggest news will come from German makers like Audi, which has erected a three-story building of its own at the sprawling Frankfurt Messe, and BMW, which has set up a quarter-mile test track inside its own hall.
Among the German makers, “The coffers are full and confidence levels are high — as, it seems, is the desire to one-up neighbors and closest competitors on home turf,” said Tim Urquhart, an analyst with IHS Automotive.
(Hyundai offers glimpse of new Elantra in Frankfurt. For more, Click Here.)
But while some of the biggest and most lavish news conferences will be staged by the German marques, manufacturers from around the world will be doing their best to grab their share of attention. From ragtop microcars to the world’s most expensive SUV, here are some of the hottest products expected to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week:
- Audi will be rolling out an all-new version of its popular compact A4 line, but the maker also is set to reveal a concept version of an extended-range battery-electric SUV that could pose trouble for the upcoming Tesla Model X;
British maker Bentley will formally reveal the new Bentayga, its first sport-utility vehicle. The lavish, go-anywhere model is the first in what is expected to be a wave of ultra-luxury SUVs to follow from competitors ranging from Aston Martin to Maserati to Rolls-Royce;
- BMW will offer the public a first look at the super-high-tech 7-Series line, as well as updates of the 3-Series sedan line and compact X1 crossover-utility vehicle;
- Ford will reveal an updated version of the Ranger pickup it sells just about everywhere except the U.S. But insiders hint that with the surge in sales of midsize pickups, an American version is finally in the works;
- Hyundai is heading to Europe to reveal the all-new version of its compact Elantra. The outgoing model helped transform the image of the once-stodgy brand, and the new sedan is expected to boast an equally edgy design;
- Infiniti will finally reveal the production version of the new compact Q30, with a more rugged, QX30 to follow later. The smallest of the Japanese maker’s models will share its platform with the subcompact Mercedes-Benz CLA – but feature a very different design;
Jaguar is another luxury brand making what has been a controversial move into the SUV segment. The F-Pace shares its “aluminum-intensive” platform with several other new Jaguar models, including the compact XE sedan;
- Mercedes will have plenty for Frankfurt showgoers to ogle over, including the new S-Class Cabriolet, its first big convertible in decades. Also on tap: coupe versions of the C-Class and C63 AMG models, as well as a concept said to hint at the marque’s future design direction;
- Mini has been growing less mini with recent products, and the trend continued with the larger next-gen version of its Clubman model;
- Nissan has generated plenty of buzz about the Gripz concept it’s debuting, but don’t expect this to be a crossover replacement for the 370Z sports car some have speculated. It will be the complete makeover of the popular Juke line;
Opel has been struggling to rebuild ever since parent General Motors threatened to sell the brand off in 2009. Recent new products have generated some traction, and the new Opel Astra Sport Tourer could build even more momentum;
- Porsche is setting all-time sales records and doesn’t plan to ease up on the throttle. Nor will its loyal buyers once they get a chance to buy the latest-generation 911 Carrera;
Renault is another brand that doesn’t play in the U.S. market, but the stylish new Megane model may make American motorists wish it did;
- Rolls-Royce lifted the covers on the new Dawn a week ahead of the Frankfurt show. More accurately, it dropped the top on this all-new convertible version of its stately Ghost model;
- Smart continues to search for hip, young urban buyers with its second-generation ForTwo two-seater, and could increase the microcar’s appeal with the launch of a
- Volkswagen could end the year as the world’s best-selling automaker, and the flagship VW brand will bring several key models to Frankfurt, including the next-generation Tiguan compact SUV and the Clubsport, the fastest version of the GTI ever.
(To see more about the world’s most expensive SUV, Click Here.)
Expect to see additional debuts from brands including Ferrari, Honda, Mazda, Toyota and others making headlines out of the Frankfurt Motor Show before the end of the week.