IAA 2017: These are the innovations at the auto show


The Tesla specter haunts the IAA

German manufacturers rely on electronics

Germany is doing electricity, at least that is the tenor of the carmaker in the run-up to the 67th IAA in Frankfurt. VW alone wants to invest 20 billion euros in clean drive technology by 2030. Source: N24 / Paul Willmann


Tesla is not represented at the IAA at all, and yet the American electric car pioneer seems to be omnipresent. They all want to build cars that are at least as good as Elon Musk – and will continue to do so for a long time.

A.if only it was tomorrow. Seldom have the exhibitors at an automobile fair directed their gaze forward so readily and with such great significance as this year at the IAA. Because the mood after the diesel scandal and suspicion of cartels is miserable and the giants of the traditional auto industry are harassed from all sides, paint men like Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche, VW boss Matthias Muller and BMW board member Harald Kruger at least the future in shimmering colors at the home game.

Design studies and technology carriers with more or less grip on the ground, but a lot of visionary charisma should prove that they have recognized the signs of the times in Stuttgart, Munich or Wolfsburg and do not want to be taken away from them without a fight.

The top dogs are betting primarily on two cards: the electric drive and autonomous driving – and often enough both are combined. With the Smart Vision EQ without a steering wheel, for example, Daimler shows how the inventor of the automobile imagines the robotaxi and lets a glass cuddle ball roll onto the stage, which you can still use but no longer own.

Audi, on the other hand, is moving to the other extreme, turning the A8 of the day after tomorrow into the Aicon long-distance lounge and wants to do so even in times of rampant car sharing still arouse desire for ownership and desires, because nowhere can you travel as comfortably and intimately as in your own four walls – even if you are on wheels.

IAA 2017: These are the innovations at the auto show-auto

With the Vision EQ Fortwo study, Smart is looking to a future in which cars are completely autonomous

Source: AFP

A little closer to reality are the electric cars with steering wheels, which are primarily aimed at a manufacturer that is omnipresent in Frankfurt but still not at the trade fair: Tesla. Because it doesn’t matter whether it’s the 600-kilometer Vision iDynamic in the format of the BMW 4 Series, the forerunner of the Mini E as the ultimate urban vehicle or the electric A-Class, which Mercedes is sending into the race as the EQ A with a 400-kilometer radius of action, the GLC with fuel cell or the updates from Audi e-Tron and VW ID Crozz – they are all supposed to mark the rise of the newcomer from California stop and put his still not properly delivered and nevertheless omnipresent Model 3 in its place.

Some manufacturers fear the demon from Silicon Valley so much that they even turn around completely: Former Opel boss Karl-Thomas Neumann philosophizes at the IAA about how Opel could have been turned into a pure e-brand and Daimler boss Zetsche is even implementing this idea at Smart and is completely banning the combustion engine there at the end of the decade.

Whether VW ID Cross, Mercedes EQ A or BMW Vision iDynamic – all these concepts are traded as close to series production or, like the GLC F-Cell, even as pre-series. But it will take a while before they actually come out onto the street. In the best case scenario in 2019, often not until 2020, and then the German manufacturers will go online on a large scale. Not to mention the autonomous visions with a horizon for 2030 and later.

The VW Group offers many new SUVs

Just looking into the future may be tempting given the mood. But because the brave new world is still a long way off and the way there has to be financed somehow, the manufacturers are also showing a lot of new cars at the IAA that you can buy very soon.

How electric is the International Motor Show?

The IAA in Frankfurt shows a wide range of electrically powered vehicles. VW boss Matthias Muller longs for an objectification of the discussion. Source: N24

But they’re not quite as unconventional and innovative as the visionary studies. However, many of them have one characteristic that is more necessary than ever in times like these: the vast majority of series premieres are SUVs and therefore ideally equipped for difficult terrain.

The flood of off-road vehicles is led by the VW Group: At the lower end of the scale are the fresh and youthful T-Roc, which is unusual for VW, as well as the all the more boring Seat Arona and the Skoda Karoq, which is right in the middle.

IAA 2017: These are the innovations at the auto show-2017

The Audi Aicon study looks like a super sporty sedan, but one without a steering wheel


And at the top end was the third edition of the Cayenne, which is available in Frankfurt with a basic petrol engine and a top turbo, but does not fuel the discussion about diesel for the time being due to the at least temporary abandonment of the compression-ignition engine.

There is also a new BMW X3 from Munich and the rather exaggerated view of the overdue X7. The Koreans want to conquer the city with the double Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic, Citroën relies on the C3 Aircross in this league, and Dacia has launched a new Duster as a challenge to all used Kraxler, which once again wants to become the cheapest off-road vehicle in the country.

If you want to be without increased ground clearance and an adventurous look, more sensible cars are also recommended this autumn – above all the new VW Polo or the Hyundai i30 Fastback and Kia Stinger, which are surprisingly passionately designed for Korean brands.

The high-flyer comes from AMG

On the other hand, higher up the air becomes rather thin. Because apart from the new generation of the Audi A8, which with its traffic jam pilot builds the greatest bridge to autonomous driving, there are at most model updates and variants in the luxury class. For example, Mercedes has revised the S-Class coupe and convertible, and BMW is releasing a new M5 that brings its 600 hp onto the road with all-wheel drive for the first time.

Of course, the IAA is again a fair for dreamers, where lust and passion are cultivated with a lot of luxury and performance. It is not for nothing that Bentley is showing the new generation of an even more feudal and brisk Continental, and it is not without reason that Ferrari is promising the better-off with the new Portofino an even stronger, faster and nicer place in the sun.

And even this side of the upper class there are fast cars, for example the Hyundai i30N as a GTI killer or the Renault Megane RS as a declaration of war against the Golf R and Ford Focus RS. But the absolute high-flyer this year comes from Stuttgart or, to be more precise, from Affalterbach.

IAA 2017: These are the innovations at the auto show-China becomes second home Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton presents the Hypercar Project One from AMG: Not a real Formula 1 car, but one with a lot of technology from Formula 1

Source: Getty Images

Just in time for its 50th birthday, the fast Mercedes sister AMG is pulling the cloth from “Project One” at the IAA and is promising a road-legal Formula 1 car for the first time with this over 1000 hp hypercar. Under the ultra-flat carbon coupe shell there is nothing other than the drive from Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton’s company car.

A car like this does not really fit into a new era. But firstly, the Silver Arrow for Captain Future is flanked by the EQ A and the autonomous Smart, secondly, in addition to a high-revving V6 petrol engine, it also has four electric motors and drives at least 25 kilometers without electricity.

And third, the Project One is also just a bold vision. Because until the car is built for just under three million euros in an edition of 275 copies, it will take just under a year and a half. Oh, if only it was tomorrow.

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6 thoughts on “IAA 2017: These are the innovations at the auto show”

  1. This hype about electric cars fits in with the usual hypocrisy of politics, because the eco-balance of e-cars is anything but environmentally and resource-friendly.

    But what annoys me even more is the talk of digitized and autonomous driving.

    Before politicians rant about these things without a clue, they should first ensure that fast internet and stable mobile communications are available everywhere in the country.

  2. Here you can see the long-term braking distance of the conventional automotive industry: They are still bringing rows of dinosaurs and SUVs onto the market, although the concept was wrong from the start in terms of energy. But how do you tell the customer who wants to sit so high up? 🙂

  3. The Chinese cars will soon be seen on German roads. We helped develop the CHERY EXEED for three years. The engineering process is currently the most efficient in vehicle electronics development worldwide. A technology center was set up in Shanghai in just 36 months and the new platform developed. Unfortunately, that was not possible in Germany.

  4. So, one could not write anything new in the West either! The usual marketing slogans for e-mobility, a few new or face-lifted mini, midi and maxi SUVs, an MB super sports car that nobody needs (how far does it get with a pure electric drive, 25 km?) And now it’s TESLA but again the pioneer of the branch. The bashing of the D-automobile industry against TESLA (battery production = greatest environmental sin on earth) has just begun. 202x becomes VW "the electric car" put on the market and everything will happily take its course again. VW will create an environmentally friendly production of batteries, if necessary with specially made software.
    You have to admit that the IAA has become a farce. The right good innovations have long been presented at other trade fairs that are not dominated by the D-auto industry. In my opinion, that’s up to us. The arrogance with which our auto industry operates around the world is taking revenge. For years we have smiled at China, India and many others. We leaned back, filled our bellies and put our future in the hands of old rulers a la Piech. Now comes the big wailing. We can do that.

  5. And all over the world you can see the Indian and Chinese cars driving around. This has existed since the Japanese and at least since the Koreans "Cockiness" no longer. The much-praised Tesla also makes billions in profits * dream.
    Yeah, always complaining and seeing everything black.

  6. The one with Formula 1 technology from Mercedes could almost have existed in 1955.

    The legendary 300 SLR, a racing sports car with practically the same technology as the also legendary Silberpfeil W196 in the form of the Uhlenhaut Coupe.
    At that time there was talk of producing a small edition of around 25 copies.
    However, the effort and the subsequent supply of these vehicles in the customer’s hands with service and spare parts would have become very expensive and because of that "simple" 300SL with wing doors sold quite well, the project was shelved.
    Actually a shame because the two Uhlenhaut Coupes are already a stunner.
    OK, the noise in the interior too!


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