The Frankfurt International Motor Show is a yearly indulgence of automotive royalty, where the world’s biggest brands showcase their most significant upcoming products and their grandiose visions of the future. This year, the show was beset by environmentalists and climate activists calling for an end to this (largely) petrol fuelled automotive orgy. The manufacturers were hell-bent on proving them wrong, though—this year saw in incredible number of EVs, hybrids and green concepts that plan on saving the planet once and for all.
The (Hybrid) Supercars
With Ferrari taking orders for the hybrid F8 supercar, Lamborghini felt left behind. The hybrid Sian has a combined power output of 819 HP from its Aventador derived V12 and 34 HP rated electric motor, taking the literally green Lambo to 60 MPH in just 2.8 seconds. That power output is the highest ever in any Lamborghini, so take that hybrid haters.
BMW Vision M-Next Concept
The BMW Vision M-NEXT is designed to be the replacement for the current generation i8 hybrid, and takes significant design cues from the BMW M1 and the Hommage concept, including the rear window louvres, flying buttresses on the C-pillars and a distinctive swoopy profile that brings back the 80s wedge in glorious retro fashion.
The Executive Performance
The RS7 has been dormant for a while, as Audi fettled the first generation for nearly eight years before revealing the latest Sportback. The new RS7 is a nuclear power plant cased in a swoopy-yet-muscular body—the 4.0 litre TFSI V8 produces 600 HP and 590 lb-ft torque, and top speed (if unlocked through the Dynamic Plus pack) is 190 MPH. 60 MPH takes only 3.6 seconds, with stability getting a boost via the mild hybrid system on board.
BMW 4 Concept
The 4-series has been on the market a while, and BMW took a familiar approach with updating it via the 4 Concept. The moustache has grown massive, taking the kidney grille to beyond 7-series/X7 sizes, while the rest of the bodywork gets an 8-series inspired muscle makeover. There’s no hints at possible drivetrains, but it looks fantastic (although the grille will divide opinions faster than you can take an M4 GTS around a corner).
The Four Door EV Challengers
Porsche has launched the ultimate challenge to Tesla’s claim to fame with the Taycan. Teased for years through the Mission-E Concept, the Taycan production version takes a sledgehammer to the EV concept with 750 HP from its motors, which can be charged for a range of 100 km within a scarcely believable 5 minutes, with total range coming in at 412 km. In addition to using an 800 volt system, the Taycan is the first EV to use a multi-gear AWD transmission system, with two speeds on offer.
Mercedes-Benz EQS Concept
The EQS Concept is supposed to drive home Benz’s commitment to an electric future, showcasing what a luxurious four door EV of the future might look like. For a brand that prides itself on owning the credit of popularising the internal combustion engine, Benz sure does produce a bunch of EV concepts…without putting them into production. They might have to rush a few into production though, with the planet running out of time.
Land Rover Defender
Land Rover has revived the Defender nameplate after only two years since they cancelled the much-loved original. As with reviving any nostalgic nameplate (Supra, anyone?), the fans have been divided on its looks, abilities and more. Some have decried the “luxury” interior and complicated electronics showcased during the launch, saying they remove the rugged charm of hammering the old ones back into shape. Whatever the case, this new Defender, in 90 and 110 form as before, has the potential to be a huge hit…40 years from now.
Audi AI-TRAIL Quattro Concept
This moon buggy/distant planet exploration rover looking thing is Audi’s autonomous off-roading concept, which combines artificial intelligence powered autonomous capabilities with the Quattro cult by-laws to create a vehicle that can (theoretically) navigate the harshest terrain with ease, all by itself. It even comes with four drones that latch on to the roof and scramble on command, providing lighting illumination to a 3D camera stream to the cockpit. Just think of the hillbillies who’ll take this thing mudding in the American South.