2017 Frankfurt Auto Show: Industry at the crossroads
The biggest auto show in the world takes place every other year in Frankfurt on a fairgrounds site aptly called the Messe. With nearly a dozen separate buildings, some given over completely to large auto groups like VW, the show presents a challenge both to exhibitors and attendees alike to not only cover all the ground, but make sense of what’s going on in a business undergoing change at a speed and scale not seen since its infancy.
Some manufacturers, like Volvo, Nissan, Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler, have decided to forgo the expense and take a pass on the show. Since it is their home show, however, the German makes will be out in full force with multiple introductions of significant models and concepts that herald the coming technological revolution in both vehicles and automobility.
As a result, there will be much talk of electrified and self-driving vehicles along with the introduction of more conventional fare, particularly at the luxury end of the scale. Audi will have new versions of the A7 and A8 while also giving the floor over to Audi Sport, which will show an RS5 Cabriolet and RS4 Avant. BMW will have a long list of vehicles including the new 6 Series GT, M5, X3, i8 Roadster, a sport version of its EV i3 and a commemorative 40th anniversary edition of the 7 Series.
It’s Mercedes-Benz, however, that offers a microcosmic look at the opportunities and challenges faced by the industry as a whole. At the very top, it will be showing its Project One supercar and AMG GT 4-door from its Mercedes-AMG sub-brand, while at the same time laying the groundwork for its electric future with a hatchback from its Mercedes-EQ EV nameplate. And confirming that trucks are still very much a part of the automotive landscape, the not-for-U.S. Mercedes X-Class pickup and all-new G-Class SUV will be in the spotlight.
Frankfurt will also mark the first show where Opel/Vauxhall is no longer part of General Motors, but rather, the newest division of the French PSA Group, which includes Peugeot, Citroen and DS. Opel and Vauxhall will have a new performance version of its midsize sedan in the Insignia GSi (similar to our Buick Regal GS) and the Grandland X Crossover.
Other vehicles to look for include a new Porsche Speedster, Volkswagen’s new Polo and subcompact crossover T-Roc as well as an assortment of similar or slightly larger crossovers including the Seat Arona and Dacia Duster. Check back for complete coverage of the show beginning Sept. 12.
Past Frankfurt Auto Shows
Can we interest you in a blast from the automotive past? Go back and revisit the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show for debuts of first time lux SUVs such as the Bentley Bentayga and Jaguar F-Pace. Check out our coverage of the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show to see the concept car that spawned the Lexus NX crossover. Revisit the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show to check out the Jaguar C-X16 Concept and the Land Rover DC100 Concept. Or go all the way back to the 2009 show for a look at the Bugatti 16 C Galibier Concept and the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept that eventually became the i8.
And when you've seen all you want to see in Frankfurt, here's your ticket to all the big auto shows around the world.