The 67th International Motor Show (IAA) 2017 in Frankfurt is nearing its end, having attracted car enthusiasts from around the world. More than 50 brands of passenger cars have been on display, including the largest car makers from Europe, the US and Asia.
A few big names were absent this year, such as Fiat and Chrysler – perhaps they opted to invest in research and development of environmentally friendly cars instead. The consumer’s demand for more sustainable driving options has been heard, and the auto industry has answered with an increased selection of low-emission and electric vehicles. Here is a closer look at some of the premieres.
Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ Concept
In presenting the updated I.D. CROZZ, a four-door electric concept car, the Volkswagen brand is offering a look at the SUV of the future. This crossover of SUV and coupé has been systematically further developed with an eye towards a production car.
In its interior, the new I.D.CROZZ impresses with a large amount of space and a highly versatile seating concept. B-pillars were omitted in the I.D. CROZZ, so that the large swinging and sliding doors could be opened wide, and it is even possible to transport a crossbike without any trouble.
Now it is also possible to open and close the doors and activate the fully automated ‘I.D. Pilot’ driving mode by voice command. The front and rear axles each have one electric motor drive whose torque distribution is controlled via an ‘electric propshaft’. The driving range of the SUV that outputs 225 kW (system power) and boasts a top speed of 180 km/h is up to 500 kilometres (NEDC) on one battery charge.
Audi Aicon Concept
With the four-door design vision Audi Aicon, the brand with the four rings is presenting an autonomous Audi of the future – with no steering wheel or pedals. As a design concept, the four-door 2+2 boldly leaps ahead to show the exterior and interior design of the next decades. The technology demonstrator combines innovations relating to the drivetrain, suspension, digitalization and sustainability in a visionary manner.
The four electric motors produce a total of 260 kW and 550 Newtonmeters. Each drives one wheel, enabling electronically controlled, variable quattro all-wheel drive. Maximum acceleration played a less important role in the specification than maximum efficiency and thus also range. This operating strategy is also pursued by the powertrain and electric brake units, which use recuperation to recover energy. Targeted lightweight construction of the multimaterial body and optimized aerodynamics also help the Audi Aicon to achieve ranges between 700 and 800 kilometres on a single charge.
Even charging has been reduced to a minimum. Thanks to a high-voltage system with 800 volts, the Aicon’s battery unit can be charged to 80 percent of capacity in less than 30 minutes. The car is also equipped with a unit of inductive, i.e. wireless, charging. The Aicon manages both without a driver. In an AI Zone, it can pull up to a charging station on its own and charge its battery without any human assistance.
Chery EXEED Plug-in Hybrid
Chery counts as one of the bigger names in manufacturing in China, and it’s also the leading auto exporter, so its move towards conquering the European continent makes sense. It also makes sense bringing to the Frankfurt Motor Show a plug-in hybrid compact SUV, as the first product from a completely new brand, called Exeed that will soon introduce an all-new model line of passenger cars.
“In just a few years we intend to start selling a family of vehicles in European markets across multiple segments, with power supplied by a range of electrified powertrains,” explained Chery CEO Anning Chen during the IAA press reveal.
The new Exeed TX PHEV mixes a 1.5-liter gas engine with 147 horsepower (110 kilowatts) and a 114 hp (85 kW) electric motor, linked to a seven-speed automatic transmission and a smart all-wheel drive system. Performance should be good –0-100 km/h in less than six seconds, along with an average fuel economy rating of just 1.8 litres per 100 kilometres, according to NEDC. The SUV’s electric range stands at 70 kilometres at speeds up to 120 km/h.
Citroën E-MEHARI styled by Courrèges
An exclusive limited edition, developed with Courrèges, foreshadows a new generation of E-MEHARI. Building on their partnership based on elegant design and sustainable mobility, the two iconic French brands are here presenting a model adorned in an elegant black robe draped over its arches, contrasting with the bright, all-in-white interior so characteristic of Courrèges.
A true free spirit, the 100% electric 4-seater cabriolet with a personality of its own is doubling down on its automotive qualities with a new hard top version with windows, central locking system and airbags, all housed within an interior that has been totally redesigned to incorporate Citroën’s own style.
Mercedes-AMG Project ONE
The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE, a two-seater supersports show car, brings the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology from the race track to the road almost par for par to represent the highlight of AMG 50th anniversary. The performance hybrid is said to produce over 1000 hp and reach top speeds beyond 350 km/h.
The high-performance plug-in drive comes directly from Formula 1 and consists of a highly integrated and intelligently networked unit compromising one hybrid, turbocharged combustion engine and a total of four electric motors. One has been integrated into the turbocharger, another has been installed directly on the combustion engine with a link to the crankcase and the two remaining motors drive the front wheels.
BMW i Vision Dynamics
The BMW Group offers a clear image of the electric mobility of the near future with the world premiere of the BMW i Vision Dynamics. The four-door Gran Coupe study with pure-electric drive system combines electric mobility with the BMW brand values of dynamism and elegance.
With a range of 600 km, a top speed of over 200 km/h and acceleration of 0-100 km/h in four seconds, it offers a look ahead to the e-mobility experience of the future with a new level of sporting elegance.
“At the BMW Group, the future of electric mobility has already arrived,” says Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management at BMW AG. “We have more electrified vehicles on the road than any established competitor and are committed to expanding our activities in the field of electric mobility as part of our NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy. By 2025 we will be offering 25 models with an electrified drive system – of which 12 will be pure-electric. With the BMW i Vision Dynamics we are showcasing how we envisage future electric mobility between the i3 and i8: a dynamic and progressive, four-door Gran Coupe. We are therefore electrifying the heart of the BMW brand and, at the same time, elevating BMW i into a totally new dimension.”
MINI Electric Concept
Almost 10 years after MINI E laid the foundations for production-standard battery electric vehicles within the BMW Group, MINI is now offering a window on the future of urban electric mobility. With a focus on driving excitement and inspiring design, it moves the brand’s urban tradition into the electric age and in doing so spices up the conventional notion of electric mobility. A production version of the MINI Electric Concept will be unveiled in 2019.
“For aerodynamics and lightweight design aren’t just important in the world of motor sport; they are also essential factors for maximising the electric range,” explained Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The surfaces furthermore have a sense of precision and contemporary clarity about them that gives added impact to the car’s efficient character. In addition to this, the striking accents and vivid contrasts give the exterior that distinctive MINI twist.”
Honda Urban EV Concept
Honda has revealed an all-new electric vehicle, the Urban EV Concept. The concept car is built on a completely new platform, and sets the direction for the technology and design that will appear on a future battery electric Honda production model.
The driver’s outward visibility from the Urban EV Concept is excellent thanks to slim A-pillars and a wide windscreen that appears to sweep around the entire front of the car. Entry and exit from the vehicle is via rear-hinged coach doors. The electric charging cable connection is housed on the bonnet.
Honda’s Urban EV Concept can accommodate four occupants, across two bench seats finished in different materials. The seatbelts for the rear bench are fixed in the middle of the seat, allowing the belt to retract out of the way before a passenger exits the car.