Top 10 cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show
18 September 2017
Motor shows are always a busy and exciting time in the automotive world, as they provide a glimpse of what's to come in the near and distant future.
And this year's Frankfurt Motor Show, Europe's second show of the year, proved to be just as jam packed, with a clear trend towards compact SUVs and electric mobility. These are our top 10 most important new cars for fleets that made a debut at the Frankfurt show, along with the key information for business buyers.
Audi says the A8, the brand's new flagship model unveiled in July 2017, is the most technologically advanced Audi ever made and the "first production automobile in the world to have been developed for highly automated driving".
The A8 signals a new design era for Audi, boasting HD Matrix LED headlights with laser lighting, and an LED light strip combined with OLED technology
It is set to be launched with two extensively re-engineered V6 turbo engines - a 3.0 TDI and a 3.0 TFSI. The diesel boasts 286hp and the petrol version 340hp. Two eight-cylinder versions - a 4.0 TDI with 435hp and a 4.0 TFSI with 460hp - will follow.
The A8 is built at the Neckarsulm site in Germany and is available to order in the UK this month, with first deliveries due in late 2017.
The X3 is the German brand's latest attempt to stamp on the toes of the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60 in the premium mid-size SUV market.
Despite the focus on electrification at Frankfurt this year, BMW will not be offering the revised X3 with an electric powertrain. Instead, two diesel engines will be offered - a 190hp and 3.0-litre diesel, with the new 2.0-litre petrol unit and a performance version joining the range later on.
Priced from £38,800, the car will be equipped with a 10.3in touchscreen media system and will be available to order from 11 November. The BMW Display Key is an option and displays a variety of information, including fuel levels and if the windows and sunroof are closed.
The X3 adds BMW's gesture-control function and the vehicle can also be controlled using the firm's voice assistant, which offers the "most advanced levels of natural voice control currently available".
Citroen C3 Aircross
Citroen's new compact SUV also got its public premiere at the Frankfurt show and we'll be getting behind the wheel of this new car very soon.
It's the latest car from the PSA Group to move away from its MPV roots into the more popular SUV territory, and will indirectly replace the ageing C3 Picasso.
Built on the same platform as the C3, the Aircross measures in at 4,150mm long, 1,760mm wide and 1.64m tall. It boasts the now-familiar Citroen styling cues, such as two-tier headlights, a light and airy cabin courtesy of the enlarged windscreen, and 3D-effect taillights; however, it appears the Aircross ditches the trademark Citroen Airbumps seen in the C4 Cactus and new C3.
Prices start from £13,995 and there will be five engines to choose from across three familiar trim levels - Touch, Feel and Flair - including the firm's award-winning 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine.
Honda Civic Diesel
The new tenth-generation Civic has been on sale for a while now, but finally a diesel engine has been confirmed to join the line-up.
Available from March 2018, the revised version of the firm's 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine will offer 120hp and running costs of 76.3mpg combined fuel economy, and CO2 emissions from 99g/km.
In addition to the new engine, the Civic will also be available with Honda's nine-speed automatic gearbox later in the year, marking the first time Honda has added the nine-speed transmission to a two-wheel-drive car.
Honda also revealed its Urban EV Concept at the show, the firms next step in its plan for the electrification of its European car range.
A production version of the EV Concept is expected to come to the UK in 2019.
Hyundai has taken the opportunity at Frankfurt to unveil its Nissan Juke-rivalling Kona SUV ahead of the car's arrival in the UK later in 2017.
Sharing its platform with the Kia Stonic SUV, the Kona will sit below the Santa Fe and Tucson in the Hyundai SUV line-up.
At launch, two petrol engines will be available - a 118hp 1.0-litre unit and a more powerful 174hp 1.6-litre. The former is expected to emit 119g/km of CO2, placing it in a 22% benefit-in-kind tax bracket for 2017/18, while the latter is expected to emit 169g/km of CO2.
A 1.6-litre diesel unit is due to arrive in mid-2018, though no other information is available at this stage regarding its output.
Pricing and specification details are yet to be confirmed.
Another entry to the soon-to-be-busy compact SUV sector is the Kia Stonic, a close relative of the Hyundai Kona. It goes on sale in October and joins the Korean firm's now five-strong SUV line-up, which includes the Soul, Sportage, Niro and Sorento.
Styling-wise, the Stonic looks similar to other members of the Kia family, while a variety of personalisation options aim to make the new SUV the most customisable Kia to date. Customers will be able to choose from up to 20 two-tone exterior colour combinations, with a further choice of five colours for the roof.
A number of petrol and diesel engines will be available, as well as some of the latest tech such as Apple CarPlay, while safety kit like autonomous braking, lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring will also be available across the range..
Seat has revealed its all-new Arona crossover, which is set to rival the likes of the Nissan Juke.
One of our favourite new releases at this year's show, the Ibiza supermini-based crossover is part of what the Spanish brand calls a "new product offensive", having already launched the new Ibiza and facelifted Leon hatchback this year.
Petrol power comes courtesy of a three-cylinder 1.0-litre unit in 95 and 115hp guises, plus a larger 150hp unit, while diesel options consist of the 1.6-litre unit in 95 and 115hp forms.
The Arona is 79mm longer than the Ibiza, with which it shares a platform, and is 99mm taller than the recently launched supermini. Meanwhile, boot space is rated at 400 litres - a hike over the Ibiza's 292-litre capacity; it's main rival, the Nissan Juke, has bootspace of 354 litres.
At the end of this year, we will bid a fond farewell to the characterful Yeti and welcome this car, the new Karoq SUV, to the Skoda line-up.
Based on the same platform as the Seat Ateca and Volkswagen Tiguan, but expected to be the biggest and most practical of them all with a class-leading boot of 521 litres, the new Karoq features Skoda Connect, which makes the new SUV 100% connected. Using the app, you can remotely lock and unlock the doors, control the headlights and see where the car is parked.
Design-wise, the Karoq looks very much like a baby Kodiaq, and is both longer and lower than the Yeti it replaces.
Expected to be available with two petrol and two diesel engines, the Karoq will also be available in front and all-wheel drive guises when it goes on sale late in 2017.
Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
More spacious, lighter and debuting the latest technology, the new Insignia Country Tourer once again comes with black all-round protective cladding, silver front and rear skid plates, and an extra 20mm of ground clearance to help give it a rugged off-road appearance.
Set to rival the Skoda Octavia Estate and Volkswagen Passat Alltrack when it officially goes on sale early next year, the Country Tourer will sit at the top of the Insignia estate range, and will come with four-wheel-drive only and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The car will also feature a new top-of-the-range diesel engine, and a range of new equipment such as Apple CarPlay, LED headlights and Vauxhall's OnStar
We've already seen the T-Roc in the metal but the new mini SUV made its first public appearance in Frankfurt.
Rivaling the likes of the Peugeot 2008 and Nissan Juke, the new T-Roc adds an extra dose of character over its more sensible siblings, the Golf and the Tiguan.
Wider, but slightly shorter, than the Golf and 252mm shorter than the Tiguan, boot space is among the best in its segment at 445 litres.
We're big fans of the interior too, which features the latest version of VW's excellent infotainment system alongside the next generation of the firm's intuitive Active Info Display. A personalisation function allows the car to save more than 100 infotainment, convenience and assistance settings too.
The T-Roc will be available in front and all-wheel guises alongside a range of diesel and petrol engines.