Frankfurt Motor Show 2017: the seven best concept cars
From styling shooting brakes to electric racing SUVs, here are the cars that caught our eye in Germany
The Frankfurt Motor Show is known for hosting the top new production cars - and fans also get a glimpse of the future as manufacturers unveil their latest concept models.
Although Mercedes dominated the spotlight with its new F1-powered Project One hypercar, there were several new concepts on show offering innovative connectivity features and high-tech powertrains that give diesel-engined cars a run for their money.
Here are our seven best concepts from this year’s event.
1. Audi Aicon
The Aicon concept is Audi’s interpretation of what a fully-electric driverless vehicle might look like in the near future.
Under the sleek exterior sit four electric motors, one attached to each wheel, that are powered by a 435-mile battery pack, reports Business Insider. The concept also supports wireless charging and can be charged to 80% capacity in around 30 minutes.
Inside, says the website, the cockpit is a steering wheel-free zone, thanks to its fully autonomous systems, which don’t require any driver input. Instead, occupants get a long touchscreen display that wraps around the dashboard and doors.
2. Aspark Owl
There hasn’t been a new Japanese carmaker for quite some time, but that all changed in Frankfurt as start-up company Aspark revealed its first concept car, called Owl.
It’s an all-electric hypercar that appears to have been inspired by GT1 racing cars from the late 1990s, particularly the Mercedes CLK GTR. Top Gear says the hypercar boasts a weight of just 850kg and can go from 0-62mph in two seconds flat.
3. BMW i Vision Dynamics
BMW has been one of the leading car manufacturers in the move to electric powertrains - and its i Vision Dynamics concept offers fans a glimpse at how the company’s first battery-powered saloon could look.
“The i Vision Dynamics sits about halfway between a current 3 Series and 5 Series in terms of length and width, while it is considerably lower than both of those models,” reports Evo. It boasts a battery range of 375 miles and can go from 0-62mph in “just four seconds”.
4. Electric Mini
While not the most radical concept to appear in Frankfurt, the electric Mini is one of the few that is on course for production.
The concept takes much of its styling from the existing Mini hatchback, says Autocar, although its blanked-out grille and yellow highlights denote this model as an EV. There’s no word yet on its battery range, but according to the magazine, it’s due to go on sale in 2019 and will be built at the company’s new plant in Oxford.
5. Honda Urban EV
Honda stole the hearts of many at the motor show, with its Urban EV concept bringing retro styling to an ultra-modern electric vehicle.
The car’s boxy proportions and circular headlights are derived from the original 1972 Honda Civic, while its interior features a long touchscreen display that spans the width of the cabin - similar to the Tesla Model 3. According to BGR, Honda is aiming to release the Urban EV in Europe in 2019.
6. Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy
Jaguar was among many carmakers to debut an electric concept in Frankfurt, but its I-Pace eTrophy isn’t for those looking for a quiet EV to drive to the shops.
The eTrophy is based on the upcoming I-Pace SUV, says Autocar, but Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division has lowered the eTrophy’s weight and fitted a range of “track-spec modifications”.
It will be part of a one-make racing series that supports the all-electric Formula E championship next year, but there’s no word of a high-performance road-going version yet.
7. Kia Proceed
Korean carmaker Kia revealed a sporty shooting brake concept of its Proceed in Frankfurt that, according to Car magazine, is intended to reinvent the family hatchback as a more premium product.
Much of the concept’s styling comes from the marque’s upcoming Stinger saloon, the magazine says, and its cabin features seats “wrapped in rippled black fabric” and doors with “hand-painted satin fabric”. However, the unconventional cabin is not expected to appear on the production version, which is expected to appear in early 2018.