Frankfurt motor show future hangs in balance

Published: 18 September 2019

► Frankfurt motor show 2019
A-Z guide to all the new cars
► IAA future in jeopardy

The future of the Frankfurt Motor Show is in question, after a series of protests, falling attendance numbers and high-profile jibes have undermined what has historically been one of the A-list shows on the international calendar. The show organisers this week refused to commit to holding the Internationale Automobil Ausstellung (IAA, for short) in Frankfurt next time round and the FT published a story titled 'Future of the Frankfurt motor show thrown into doubt.' Things are looking bleak.

The prime German auto show has attracted several protests by climate activists; the picture above captures the moment a Greenpeace member stormed the stage during a visit by German chancellor Angela Merkel to the Volkswagen stand on 12 September and this weekend a much larger protest brought much of Frankfurt am Main to a standstill. 

Bernhard Mattes, the outgoing head of the VDA German car lobby, admitted he couldn't commit to the status quo in Frankfurt and suggested that the days of the giant auto show could be numbered. 'We have made several changes already - it's not about how many cars, how many visitors, how many square metres,' he said. 'First we have to agree on a fresh concept, then decide [in which city] to display this best,' he told reporters, as he unexpectedly quit his post. 

The Frankfurt show is a biennial exhibition, rotating with the Paris motor show. Read on for the full details of the stars and themes of the 2019 Frankfurt motor show, including the long-awaited Land Rover Defender, the electric Honda e, Volkswagen's groundbreaking ID.3 and the new Porsche Taycan EV.

The biggest news from Frankfurt 2019

Despite the question marks hanging over the future of the IAA, this month's show contained some cracking new cars - and, ironically, very many zero-emissions, much cleaner electric vehicles. Read on for our guide to the most important new metal.

Land Rover Defender 


Land Rover has finally unveiled its new Defender. It’s the biggest shake-up in the model’s seven-decade history, with an all-new platform, unprecedented range of engines, new technology and significantly increased dimensions. More controversially, production has also moved from Solihull to Slovakia. More info here.

Porsche Taycan


Stuttgart's first production EV makes its official public debut at the Frankfurt motor show. Shown here in white, with those neat white-surround wheels we saw on the concept car around five years ago, it's still a looker. Is it enough to propel Porsche onto a Tesla Model S owner's radar – or more interestingly, a Porsche 911 owner's' radar? We'll know that when we drive it, and when Porsche reveals cheaper trims: right now only a pricey Turbo and Turbo S model are availible. More info here

VW ID.3 

First the Beetle, then the Golf, and now this: the ID.3. This new electric car is the first of a generation of bespoke Volkswagen EVs, and it’ll spearhead a very new chapter in Wolfsburg's line-up. 'In a nutshell the ID.3 is as compact as a Golf, has the interior space of a Passat, and the [performance] punch of a Golf GTI,' Ralf Brandstatter, VW's COO for passenger cars has told us. Here’s everything else you need to know

BMW 4-series Concept

This is the new BMW Concept 4 and, you guessed it, it’s designed to give us a glimpse of the next-generation 4-series. That’s only good news, though, depending on what you think of that enormous grille. Here’s everything you need to know about the two-door coupe concept just shown on the show floor. More info here.

Mercedes EQS Concept


Not only is the EQS Mercedes’ first signal of an all-electric S-Class to come, it’s also the first use of a new EV platform the brand will roll out in the near future. Take a look at the EQC concept and the EQC production car, and you’ll see just how similar the production EQS could be to what ends up on the road. That’s a very good thing.

Every new car at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show: an A-Z preview guide

AUDI
RS7 Sportback (below)  
World debut of swoopier, more coupefied version of the RS6 wagon
RS6 Avant
 
First look at the new 592bhp top-dog A6 estate - for antique dealers in a hurry
AI Trail  Rivian's clearly upset the Germans: Audi's made a tough electric off-roader for IAA 
A1 CityCarver  Think Allroad for the junior A1, and you're on the money

Audi RS7 Sportback at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show

BMW
X6  
We've seen the new X5, now's the time for the sleeker, slammed coupe-roofed version. And a Vantablack show car, too!
Vision M Next  
A look ahead to how even M division is going to have to electrify itself
Concept 4  All the grille, not ideal - the concept previewing the next-generation 4-series is certainly divisive

Cupra Tavascan concept at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show

CUPRA
Tavascan concept car (above)  
Seat's sportier, more bespoke brand shows its first all-electric crossover

HONDA
E electric car (below)  Finally: we're about to see the full production version of Honda's cute little electric city car

Honda e production car at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show

HYUNDAI
i10 city car  
The endless conveyor belt of new Korean cars continues with an edgily styled new i10 baby 
i30 N Project C  A lighter, snarlier hot hatch is coming to Frankfurt
45 electric concept  Hyundai's retro-modern EV will break cover 

LAMBORGHINI
Sian hybrid supercar  
Lambo's first hybrid production car makes its public debut, and borrows cues from Terzo Millennio concept

LAND ROVER
Defender (below)  
Surely one of the biggest draws of Frankfurt 2019 - the new Defender 4x4 is eagerly awaited

Land Rover Defender

MERCEDES-BENZ
A-Class Hybrid  
First look at the new stronger and more saintly Merc A250e plug-in hybrid
EQV  
Also shown at the Frankfurt motor show is the electrified bus from Merc. Urban hotels rejoice!
GLB35 AMG  Oh look, a 'Coupe' of an exisiting crossover. Again. 
GLE Coupe and AMG  And the same deal again, this time with the GLE SUV 
Mercedes GLC 300e and GLE 350 de  Plug-in hybrid versions of Merc's SUVs could prove big sellers

MINI
Electric  
The full production version of the electric Mini hatch will make its debut at the 2019 IAA

PORSCHE
Taycan (above)  
A major launch, this: the first all-electric Porsche production car will makes its public debut at the Frankfurt auto show
Macan Turbo  Stuttgart's range-topping compact crossover makes its public debut 

SEAT
Tarraco PHEV  Crossover gets a plug-in variant

SKODA
Citigo e-IV  All-electric city car is the sister model to the latest VW e-Up 

Smart ForTwo EQ at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show

SMART
EQ models  
Refreshed Fortwo (above) and Forfour electric babies at Frankfurt motor show 

VAUXHALL/OPEL
Corsa  
Important new supermini launch from Vauxhall - and there's a fully electric one, too
Grandland X Hybrid4  Vauxhall joins the plug-in PHEV hybrid party with its family crossover 
Astra  Latest refresh for Vauxhall Astra range will be at the 2019 Frankfurt auto show
Vivaro Life  Technically a motor show debut for the passenger van first shown earlier this spring 

VOLKSWAGEN
ID 3 
VW's redemption starts here, with the world debut of its first, full-production MEB electric car
T-Roc Cabriolet  Yes, they really have gone and lopped the top off the junior SUV

Frankfurt motor show 2019: dates, tickets and day information

Where is the Frankfurt auto show held?  Trade fair grounds, Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1, D-60327 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
When is Frankfurt motor show 2019?  12-13 September 2019 (trade days), 14-22 September 2019 (public days)
Opening times: 9.00am-7.00pm every day
How much are Frankfurt motor show 2019 tickets?  Adults from €13 in advance (€15 on the door), student concessions and half-day tickets available 
Frankfurt auto show official website: https://www.iaa.de/en/

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