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Highlights of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

Posted on December 1, 2017 – Cars Shows

 

Every year, thousands of petrolheads meet in Germany for a car fest. The show includes the super luxurious cars most of us can only dream about as well as unveiling the latest models or presenting prototypes that may or may not be produced.

2017 was another fantastic year for this event with all the household names present. Here are the most notable vehicles on display.

Mercedes' AMG's new Project ONE

After revolutionising the world of Formula One for the last few years, Mercedes decided to apply their racing knowledge to road cars to create Project ONE. It may not have been cheap at a cost of NZ$3.8 million, but Project ONE is the stuff of dreams.

Calling it a supercar would be an insult. With a 1,000 horsepower hybrid drive from AMG's Formula One team and a 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine it is truly a hypercar.

Like any hybrid car, an electric motor harnesses the kynetic energy generated by the car to recharge. But Project ONE’s kinship with racing is evident in the fact that this electric motor is attached to a crankshaft that can eliminate turbo lag almost entirely.

Project ONE is made even more efficient thanks to a split turbocharger design that keeps exhaust gasses away from the compressor, thus generating more power as the engine is fed cooler and denser air. In case the boost from the exhaust gasses isn’t enough, the two sides of the turbo are connected by a shaft equipped with a 121-hp electric motor able to power the compressor.

One of these beauties will set you back by almost NZ$4 million but, sadly, the first 275 Project ONEs manufactured have already been sold so you will have to wait until the ‘mass-production’ cars are released in 2019.

Mercedes’ Concept EQA

With the unveiling of the Concept EQA electric car, Mercedes couldn’t be any clearer about the fact that they intend to take on Tesla.

Daimler, its parent company, has announced that Mercedes would sell electrified versions of its cars by 2022 but it hasn’t confirmed whether Concept EQA would remain a window-dressing prototype or not. It is, however, a direct competitor to Tesla’s Model 3.

It can fit 5 adults and, with its two electric motors, it claims to have a range of about 400km per charge and to be able to get 25% of its charge within 10 minutes when using a rapid charging station.

Now, there’s no denying that this car is super cool. The front of the vehicle doesn’t have a traditional radiator grille, but a black panel with LED strips that change appearance depending on the driving mode the car is in. In Sports mode, it will show a horizontal wing; in Sport Plus mode, it displays a design that looks like a grille. The sides of the car and the bumpers also have LED strips.

Although Mercedes hasn’t announced a launch date, they said that Concept EQA is close to production and will be ready by the end of the decade.

G650 Landaulet

The G650 Landaulet is always a crowd pleaser, looking like it just stepped out from some exciting adventure.

Created using the G-class basic model, it was turbocharged with a V-12 engine. It increased the wheelbase size and added the luxurious back seats from the Mercedes-Maybach S-class. The fixed roof was replaced with a fabric top that is power operated.

In terms of manoeuverability, the Landaulet is second to none. Muddy swamps, craggy roads, pot holes, low vegetation, it will take them all on without problem, and not sluggishly, as it can go from 0 to 90 km/h in under 6 seconds according to Mercedes.

The cabin design is relatively unchanged and has a charming vintage charm about it. The rear compartment is a different story though: seats that can recline almost completely flat with massage system integrated and fold-out tray tables and silver champagne flutes in a separate compartment. There are also two glove compartments and an electrical partition which can go from clear to opaque with a flip of a switch. Not impressed? Well, Mercedes will even throw in two cuddly pillows!

Sales price hasn’t been confirmed yet but it is expected to be around NZ$700,000.

BMW i Vision Dynamics

The i Vision Dynamics is another offering to electric cars. It is expected to fill a market gap between the i3 and the i8.

A ‘Gran Coupé’, it will however have four doors but with the ‘cut’ roofline of a two-door sedan coupé. With its minimalist lines, it conveys modernity and technology effortlessly.

The i Vision will feature an all-electric drivetrain and an autonomy of almost 600 km and the car manufacturer is aiming for a 0-to-100 km/h speed increase in under 4 seconds. It is rumoured that it will will be equipped with BMW's semi-autonomous driving technology but there is no word as to when the car might be available to purchase.

The beloved Mini

Even people who are not particularly interested in cars love Minis. Its design has remained unrivalled through decades of existence bringing that adorable car to icon status. But the brand’s owner is also dead serious about performance and this is why we have seem more sporty versions over the years.

At the Frankfurt Car show this year, BMW unveiled the John Cooper Works GP concept. Paradoxically, the basic design and shape that make Minis so cute lend themselves particulalry well to all sorts of extreme modifications, and this concept is certainly the craziest of them all so far.

It may look a little like a racing car from the outside, but you just have to open a door to see how far the designers took their ideas: with tubular roll cage, fire-suppression system and racing seats with multi-point belts.

It isn’t clear whether this will ever be more than a prototype but if it does get mass produced, it is expected to sell for over NZ$56,000.


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