German automakers unveiled their freshest thinking Tuesday as the IAA Mobility Show opens to the pubic in Munich that, to no one’s surprise, had a heavy emphasis on electrification.
Here’s what’s hot.
2024 Audi Q8
Audi unveiled its revamped gas-powered 2024 Q8 after already updating the exterior of its 2024 Q8 e-tron.
The update brings HD Matrix LED headlights with a laser high beam and adjustable light profiles, along with a revised grille, front spoiler, front air intakes, rear diffuser, rear taillamps and exhaust outlets.
Inside, there’s minor trim updates and an upgraded infotainment system that’s now compatible with more third-party apps, including Spotify and Amazon music.
Drivelines remain unchanged, which include the 335-horsepower Q8 hybrid and 500-hp SQ8. Both come with all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission.
BMW Vision Neue Klasse concept
Just as the 1962 1500 Neue Klasses launched a new direction for BMW, the company intends for its Vision Neue Klasse concept to herald a new direction as the company electrifies. With a shape and aura that recalls the original Neue Klasse, the Vision concept simplifies its essence to the bare minimum, but still features iconic BMW design characteristics like a reverse slanted grille and Hofmeister kink.
Unlike modern BMW’s the Vision concept’s interior positively barren, with a large center-mounted touchscreen and steering wheel being the only items of note. Due to BMW’s efforts to improve its environmental reputation, leather and chrome are conspicuously absent.
“We are not just writing the next chapter of BMW; we’re writing a whole new book. That’s why the Neue Klasse will certainly impact all model generations,” said Frank Weber, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
Mercedes-Benz Concept CLA Class
Having released a number of pricey EVs, Mercedes-Benz is displaying the less-spendy battery-electric Concept CLA Class boasting a 466-mile-rated WLTP range.
Riding on the company’s new Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) that will also be used for the GLA/GLB crossovers, as well as the CLA Class wagon, the latter most likely will not make it to America.
The concept is an EV, but we wouldn’t be surprised if gas-electric hybrids were also offered. Don’t expect this show car’s one-piece glass roof/rear window and four bucket seats, to make it to production. But do expect its MBUX Superscreen from the Vision EQXX concept.
Look for the CLA-Class sedan to arrive in America in a little more than a year as a 2025 model.
2025 Mini Cooper
Mini is showing a redesigned Cooper three-door hatchback. Its round headlights remain intact, as is its cuteness. But a new octagonal grille and streamlined body contours simplifies its look.
The rear taillamps maintain their Union Jack visual reference, but have a new look. Inside, the instrument panel consists mainly of a center-mounted infotainment OLED with toggle switches below it, in a design that recalls the original 1959 Mini’s dashboard.
The base Mini Cooper E’s 41-kWh battery provides 184 horsepower and a WLTP range of 190 miles of range, while the Cooper SE’s 54-kWh hour generates 218 hp, 250 miles of range and a 0-62 mph time of 6.7 seconds. No gas-powered model was mentioned.
That said, this model’s biggest change will be where it’s manufactured. That would be China, not England.
2025 Mini Countryman
What is now known as the Mini Cooper Countryman will become known simply as the Mini Countryman it the redesigned model hits showrooms for 2025.
The third-generation Countryman is only available in electric form, just like the 2025 Mini Cooper. With a WLTP range of 287 miles, the Countryman E’s 150-kW battery pack produces 204 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The 230-kW battery pack in the Countryman SE ALL4 generates 313 hp, 364 lb-ft of torque, and offers a 269-mile range.
Styling is a little sharper than the Cooper, but retains its family look, despite the rectangular headlights.
Volkswagen ID.GTI Concept
The new Volkswagen ID. GTI Concept debuts 48 years after the first Golf GTI made its international debut at the same show. Usingthe ID. 2all concept’s underpinnings, the new GTI Concept is a little wide and longer than the current GTI, and wears 245/35 R20 Pirellis.
Certainly the styling is an evolution of current GTI styling trends, as is the vehicle packaging, which features 17.3 cubic feet of cargo space, growing to 47 cubic feet with the seats folded.
The GTI Concept’s 10.9-inch digital gauge cluster can be set to resemble the Mark 2 GTI’s gauges. It’s joined by a 12.9-inch infotainment display, head-up display and two wireless smartphone chargers.
It’s still front-wheel drive, but power and range figures have not been finalized. Any GTI variant should arrive after the ID.2, which is scheduled to go on sale in Europe in 2026.
2024 VW ID.4
There doesn’t seem to suggest that anything’s new here. Even the rear-drive 62-kWh battery pack and the all-wheel drive’s 82-kWh battery pack remain unchanged. But the ID.4’s new motors come from the forthcoming ID.7, so the rear-drive ID.4 now comes with 282 horsepower, up from 201 hp, while the all-wheel-drive model jumps to 330 hp from 295 hp, although VW is still finalizing powertrains.
Upper trim levels of the ID.4 will get a new infotainment system slated for use in the upcoming ID.7, with a fixed limate control at the bottom of the screen and shortcut controls at the top, which is customizable.
VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee facility is scheduled to begin production at the end of the year, so it will continue to be qualified for full federal tax credits.