September each year marks the last chance for manufacturers to make a major stamp on the future of their business in Europe, with either the Paris or Frankfurt motor shows acting as one of the biggest platforms to do so in the motoring calendar. This time round it is the turn of the German financial hub to host the final banquet of automotive goodness.
Like most major motor shows, we already had a good idea of what was coming to the Frankfurt event, but just as predictably, we’ve also had some surprise showstoppers. Here’s a round-up of the best models to come out of the Frankfurt motor show.
Porsche Mission E Concept
Arguably the star of the show, Porsche’s all-electric Mission E is a 600bhp, lightweight Tesla-baiting super-saloon - and doesn’t it look superb. The Stuttgart firm has been playing around with the idea of a fully electric model for some time now following the success of its hybrid technology on models such as the Cayenne, Panamera and most importantly the 918 Spyder, but few saw such an example as the Mission E to surface as it has.
Porsche has created the Mission E after gaining bundles of knowledge from the development and running of the Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid race car in terms of electric drive and energy storage, while the 918 Spyder programme has also been incredibly fruitful in regards to lightweight construction and battery technology. Porsche claims its two electric motors on the Mission E’s two axles offer a range of up to 330 miles and can be charged as much as 80 per cent in just 15 minutes via its charging port housed under a retractable body element, with an industry-first 800 volt process doing the work - that’s double the charge voltage of that used by Tesla and its Supercharger technology.
A launch date of 2018 has been touted by Porsche for the production form of the Mission E, as it looks to do battle with an advanced version of Tesla’s saloon that will also emerge at a similar time. Porsche’s duo of electric motors offer a combined power output of over 600bhp to be out through an on-demand four-wheel drive system, giving the 2000kg Mission E a 0-62mph time of just 3.5sec - 0.1sec shy of the fastest accelerating Porsche, the 911 Turbo. The current Tesla Model S P85D serves up 682bhp and gets from 0-62mph in 3.2sec, so it’ll be interesting to see where the American firm is in 2018.
Lamborghini Huracan Spyder
It’s about time Lamborghini revealed its drop-top Huracan and here we have it, the Spyder, and it looks fantastic. Going up against the 488 Spider, the new Lambo continues its use of a fabric retractable roof as opposed to Ferrari’s sophisticated folding metal hard-top, but the firm from Sant’Agata insist that the Huracan Spyder is 40 percent stiffer than its Gallardo equivalent and offers 50 per cent more downforce.
Lamborghini has implemented the same 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 from the Huracan Coupe, resulting in the same 602bhp output and 413lb ft of torque, accelerating the Spyder from 0-62mpg in 3.4sec - 0.2sec short of the coupe’s 3.2sec - all the way to a 202mph top speed. However, the Spyder gets new cylinder-on-demand technology and an engine stop/start system, meaning CO2 emissions are improved by 14 per cent over the Gallardo Spyder. Lamborghini has also reworked both the car’s four-wheel-drive system and its clutch. Launching in spring 2016, the Huracan Spyder will cost £205,000.
Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo Concept
Although Hyundai has also revealed its own spectacular Vision Gran Turismo Concept at Frankfurt, it’s hard to ignore Bugatti’s effort, if not just because of its imposing nature, but also for the fact that it represents an idea of where the VW-owned hypercar firm is heading for its Veyron replacement.
No power details for the concept have been released, but the car, produced for Gran Turismo’s run of extravagant Vision collection, is powered by a W16 engine that puts all its horses through all four corners of the car. More importantly, the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo Concept is a look at where the French company is heading in regards to the design language of its new Veyron (currently referred to as the Chiron) which is set for a 2017 release. Veyron production (finally) came to an end with the La Finale special edition earlier this year.
Although initially designed to be used in the virtual world, the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo has actually been intricately developed by Bugatti engineers to ensure that every component would have a real world performance function, albeit it with a stripped down racing approach. Bugatti’s engineers insist the concept could conceivably reach speeds in excess of 250mph on the straights of Le Mans and could be at least as quick as current LMP1 cars, despite its compromised handling compared to that of the Audis, Porsches and Toyotas.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
As one of the most anticipated cars to come out of Alfa Romeo, the new Giulia has a lot to prove as it looks to go against mid-range saloon staples such as the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class. Effectively the 159 replacement, the Giulia will arrive in 2016 and it’s the hot QV (Quadrifoglio - Cloverleaf) version that has everyone talking.
Powered by a rather potent Ferrari-derived turbocharged 3.0-litre V6, the Giulia QV pumps out over 500bhp to really take the competition by the scruff of the neck, giving the BMW M3 and new Merc C63 AMG something to think about. Meanwhile, Alfa will offer the Giulia with both rear-and all-wheel drive, a first for the company. The super saloon has already set a fearsome 7:39.0 time at the Nurburgring, a new record for a saloon car, with downforce of up 100kg really helping the cause thanks to its carbon fibre active aero front splitter.