Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
7 minute read
21 Sep 2017
8:48 am

Frankfurt Motor Show continues to electrify

Mark Jones

In 2020, VW starts launching its new generation of electric vehicles currently in development.


Without a doubt, the theme behind this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, just as in 2015, is the drive towards the zero emission, electrically charged, autonomous transport of the future.

The very near future I might add.

Volkswagen I.D range 



The year 2020, a mere three years from now, will mark a turning point for VW as they continue to develop a fresh generation of innovative electric vehicles – the avant-garde I.D. Family.

And launch dates are even being announced, with the fourdoor I.D. hatch, and the I.D. CROZZ, an all-wheel drive, zero-emission SUV starting the onslaught in 2020.

The futuristic concept I.D. CROZZII was also shown. VW Commercial Vehicles also announced that the zero-emission van, the I.D. BUZZ, will be launched in 2022.

All I.D. concept vehicles share the new all-electric architecture and the unique design DNA for electric mobility.

Other shared characteristics include zero-emission driving ranges from 500 to 600km, a lounge-like spatial concept, digitalisation of all displays and controls, and integration of an optional fully automated driving mode (I.D. Pilot).

Volkswagen AG will be launching over 30 new electric models by 2025, with the I.D., I.D. BUZZ and I.D. CROZZ being the three most important high-volume models of this campaign.

They forecast annual sales of the I.D. models may increase from 100 000 in 2020 to one million in 2025.

Volkswagen T-Roc 



We also got to see some slightly more traditional cars in the form of the just launched VW crossover: the T-Roc.

This offers multiple customisation options in colours and bi-colour design, state-ofthe-art driver assitance systems, innovative digital features, perfectly connected internet and efficient engines with power of up to 140kW.

The exterior dimensions are concise and there’s a high level of interior functionality (five-seater, 445 litres of luggage capacity).

It’s available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive (subject to local confirmation), which combines the dominance of an SUV with the agility of a sporty compact.

Volkswagen Polo GTI 



The new Polo is on its way early next year, and we got to see what the GTI version will offer.

It is the world’s best-known identifier for sporty compact cars.

The next Polo GTI features a power output of 147kW, DSG as standard and a claimed top speed of 237km/h.

A GTI is GTI, and one trait they all share is perfectly balanced dynamics.

This is the secret to the success of the GTI – an alliance of high powertrain agility, low weight, tight yet comfortable running gear, safe front-wheel drive and an ergonomically optimal seating position behind a grippy sport steering wheel.


With the four-door design vision Audi Aicon, the brand with the four rings, presented an autonomous Audi of the future – with no steering wheel or pedals.

As a design concept, the four-door 2 + 2 leaps ahead to show the exterior and interior design of the next decades.

The technology demonstrator combines innovations relating to the drivetrain, suspension, digitalisation and sustainability in a visionary manner.

The Aicon, too, is designed for purely electric operation and should be able to cover distances between 700 and 800km on a single charge.

The Audi Aicon shows the world of tomorrow in which the advantages of door-to-door individual transport combine with the luxuriousness of a first-class airline cabin.

A cabin with no steering wheel or pedals and all the comforts of modern communications electronics and perfect ergonomics – simply first-class.


Audi Elaine

Static photo, Colour: Lux Silver

Static photo,
Colour: Lux Silver

This second concept revealed is an SUV coupe, based on the Audi e-tron Sportback, it adopts the dynamic lines, the progressive lighting technology, the functionally elegant interior and the electric quattro drive with three electric motors and a combined peak output of 370kW.

A new highlight are intelligent technologies which reduce the driver’s workload and open up many opportunities for spending time in the car pleasantly and usefully.

These systems are summarised under the term Audi AI and, in many cases, use strategies from the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

They are networked seamlessly with the cloud and with other vehicles, giving them the capability to learn and think in a proactive and empathetic way.

Thanks to these systems, the driver gains more time, more safety, more efficiency and more customisation. For highly automated driving at level 4, the SUV coupe uses a next-generation zFAS.

It provides information for the highway pilot which can take over the driving task at speeds up to 130km/h and automatically change lanes.

Audi A8



Heading to the more practical side of the spectrum, the new A8 that was shown, is the world’s first volume-production car to be designed for conditional automated driving at level 3 in accordance with international standards.

On highways and multi-lane motorways with a physical barrier separating the two directions of traffic, the Audi AI traffic jam pilot takes over the driving task in slow-moving traffic up to 60km/h.

The system handles starting from a stop, accelerating, steering and braking in its lane. If the driver has activated the traffic jam pilot at the AI button on the centre console, they can take their foot off the accelerator and their hands off the steering wheel for longer periods.

Unlike at level 2, they no longer need to monitor the car permanently and, depending on current national regulations, can turn to other activities supported by the on-board infotainment system.

The driver must remain alert and capable of taking over the task of driving when the system prompts them to do so.

Audi RS4 Avant 



Upping the performance ante, we saw the new Audi RS 4 Avant that combines high performance with tremendous everyday usability.

Its 2.9 TFSI engine with 331kW and 600Nm of torque makes it the sporty vanguard of the A4 family.

The standard quattro drive distributes the power of the V6 biturbo to all four wheels. The Audi RS 4 is claimed to be able to sprint from 0 to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds.

The top speed is 250km/h, but with the optional RS dynamic package increases to 280km/h.

Audi R8 V10 RWS



Right at the top of the performance spectrum we saw the R8 V10 RWS with rear-wheel drive.

It will come in a limited series of 999 units with Coupe and Spyder variants. It will be rear-driven and built exclusively by hand at the Böllinger Höfe R8 factory. “The R8 V10 RWS is made for purists,” said Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Audi Sport GmbH.

“A limited-edition special model for customers with an appreciation for essential driving enjoyment, the R8 V10 RWS is an absolutely exclusive offer.

With its mid-mounted V10 engine and rear-wheel drive, it successfully brings the driving concept of our R8 LMS racing car to the streets.”

Hyundai I30 N



Hyundai Motor showcased its young, Europe-focused range with the all-new i30 N, i30 Fastback and Kona.

Hyundai’s first high-performance car, the i30 N is built on the new generation i30 and this car has been developed from the ground up to deliver maximum driving fun in everyday life on the road as well as on the track.

The i30 N is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine available with two power outputs: the Standard Package engine delivers 184kW, whereas the Performance Package engine’s maximum power is boosted to 202kW.

Both outputs deliver a maximum torque of 353Nm (378Nm with overboost function) and reach a maximum speed of 250km/h it is claimed.

Hyundai’s new high-performance car is all about precision, control, safety and durability.

The key high-performance features are segment-leading for Hyundai Motor’s first N model and can be chosen individually according to driving mood.

Hyundai I30 Fastback 



With the i30 Fastback, Hyundai Motor is entering the compact market with a premium, classy, five-door coupe.

The i30 Fastback is characterised by its strong stance and sporty, elongated lines.

By offering the latest HyunHyundai i30 Fastback dai SmartSense active safety and driving assistance features, the i30 Fastback democratises technology, as do the other members of the i30 range.

The powertrain line-up consists of two downsized turbocharged petrol engines carried over from the new generation Hyundai i30.

With the i30 Fastback, Hyundai Motor makes premium design features accessible for everyone.

Hyundai Kona 



The all-new Kona is a true SUV with a bold and progressive design, premium features, accessible connectivity and the latest safety technologies. Hyundai’s Kona offers a sleek, sharp design with full-LED twin headlamps, two-tone roof and a choice of 10 exterior colours.

This new SUV combines optional on-demand four-wheel drive, 7DCT and Hyundai’s latest powertrains.