- Auto show season cranks up again
- Crossovers continue to dominate
- The BMW 3 Series still goes from strength to strength
The 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show begins next week. Held every other year (alternating with Paris), this is the car world’s first big event now that summer vacation is over and everyone’s back at their desks. Since it takes place in Europe, Frankfurt is geared more toward Old World marques. But there’s always a ton of interesting machines, as this is also one of the largest auto shows.
This year, auto-show offerings continue to underline the irresistible rise of the crossover SUV, with new names entering the fray and hogging attention from more mainstream brands. We’ll also see fresh takes on old favorites and a couple of ways to enjoy open-top motoring at 200 miles per hour.
The new BMW X1, the Munich company’s most compact crossover, makes its world debut along with the Jaguar F-Pace. The Jag is a premium compact crossover that’s claimed to have some driver appeal, similar to the BMW X3 and Porsche Macan.
Bentley and Maserati are names usually more connected with racing than the luxury full-size-SUV market, but when there’s a killing to be made, heritage takes an overstuffed back seat covered in leather; in Frankfurt, Bentley brings its Bentayga, and Maserati unveils the Levante. Back on Planet Mortgage, a new generation of the Kia Sportage compact crossover is also scheduled for launch.
Even the most notable concepts are crossovers, including the Audi Q6 e-tron all-electric SUV. The Mazda Koeru introduces the idea of a vehicle that could slot between the CX-5 and CX-9 (so expect a CX-7 down the road). Over at Volkswagen, meanwhile, is a hint of the next generation of the Tiguan compact crossover.
The Regular Show
If FIAT/Chrysler is really going to take Alfa Romeo’s stateside presence seriously, then we should probably see the new Giulia sport sedan this side of the Atlantic. It’s a direct rival to the BMW 3 Series, which is pretty much king of its class and, coincidentally, receives a midgeneration refresh in time for Frankfurt. The Giulia’s job becomes even more daunting once the wraps are pulled from the all-new, fifth-generation Audi A4.
One class down, Infiniti shows off its new Q30, a premium compact car designed to tempt buyers away from the Audi A3. A brand-new MINI Clubman wagon will get the lights and music treatment, while the FIAT 500 has had its cute little face lifted.
The Ferrari 488 Spider is the Prancing Horse’s latest convertible, and in true supercar fashion, it can reach 203 mph. But it’s not alone in the high-speed follicle-rearranging world, because the Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster also zooms into Frankfurt. This open-top version of Lamborghini’s breathtakingly fast (217 mph) supercar is limited to just 500 units.
In the perpetual challenge of providing power with fuel efficiency, the regular Porsche 911 looks like it will have smaller-capacity engines but will compensate with turbocharging. That’s quite a significant change in this midcycle revamp, but the styling tweaks are much more subtle.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet is a radical move. It’s a convertible version of the company’s flagship and technological masterpiece. The coupe is already in production, so this version chops the top. Other new models on the 3-pointed star’s stand include the C-Class coupe in regular and high-performance AMG versions.
This is what to expect from the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show so far. More news and debuts will emerge during the press days of September 15 and 16. Autotrader will be posting the highlights, so be sure to check in regularly.
What it means to you: It looks like there’s a crossover in your future — unless you have six figures to spend. Even then, there’s always that big Bentley.