Frankfurt motor show 2019 preview

Mat Watson
August 15, 2019

Read carwow’s complete guide to the Frankfurt motor show 2019 to find out all about the new cars that will go on sale in the next 12 months, with an A-Z guide of all the new models that will be revealed at the event.

The 2019 Frankfurt International Motor Show, which runs from 12-22 September, is one of the biggest on the car fan’s calendar and has been held since 1897. The biennial show is the home event for German manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen, all of which will host large stands, revealing new cars, concepts and model updates. 

Like every car show over the past few years, you can expect this year’s Frankfurt event to focus on electric and alternatively fuelled cars – the headline launch of the show will be VW’s new ID.3. It’s the first electric car Volkswagen has built from the ground up and the company expects to sell more than a million of them. By contrast, Audi will prove petrol cars are still alive and kicking by launching its outlandishly fast RS6 Avant in Frankfurt. 

While both those cars will soon be in showrooms, Frankfurt will also be chockablock with concept cars that will never go on sale, but whose designs hint at models that you might be able to buy in the future. 

Want to tune your current car rather than buy a new one? Then you can expect Frankfurt to have plenty of stands devoted to car parts. If you like two wheels over four, motorbikes will also be on display in Germany.

Sound good? Then tickets start from around £8.50 (€9.00) for half-day access or from £12 (€13) for a day’s entry to the event. Getting there is easy because the event’s location (Festhalle Messe Frankfurt) is just a 15-minute walk from the city’s main station.

For now, though, keep reading to find out exactly what new cars you can expect to see in Frankfurt. And don’t forget, carwow will be updating this article regularly with all the latest news in the lead-up to and during the show.


You can expect the Audi stand to be so big it’ll be like a mini motor show within a motor show. Guaranteed crowd-pleasers will include the RS6 Avant and RS7 five-door coupe, both of which are tipped to get 4.0-litre V8s with more than 550hp. 

The most important launch for Audi, however, will come in the form of the new Audi A3 Sportback (pictured). Audi’s Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1 Series alternative will be based on the new Volkswagen Golf and get bold new styling with the now customary large grille. Expect it to get a smart new and more spacious interior, which is laden with large infotainment screens. A sophisticated voice-activation system and comprehensive self-drive kit will round off the new technology. In terms of mechanicals, the new A3 is likely to get mild-hybrid tech across the board for improved fuel economy and to be quieter and more comfortable than the car it replaces.


The BMW stand in Frankfurt will be your first chance to see the new X6 in public. It trades a little bit of the BMW X5’s practicality for the added style of a coupe body. That said, it still has room for four and a massive boot. The X6 can be had with a choice six-cylinder petrol or diesel engines, while the range is topped by the 530hp M50i V8 petrol. Four-wheel drive comes as standard but in the X6 it’s designed to make the car surefooted on-road rather than unstoppable off it.

While the X6 is a car you’ll see in showrooms soon, the BMW Vision M Next is years away. It’s a hybrid supercar that uses a four-cylinder petrol engine and electric power to produce 600hp combined and an electric-only range of just 62 miles (100km). It’s tipped to eventually become a replacement the BMW i8 hybrid sports car.  


The Cupra brand might currently be made up exclusively of rebadged SEATs but that’s set to change with the introduction of the petrol-electric hybrid SEAT Formentor and an all-electric SUV that set to be unveiled in Frankfurt. The new SUV is yet to be named, and all we’ve got to go on is this teaser pic which shows you that the new car has five doors and… a light-up badge.


You could be forgiven for thinking that you had already seen the Honda E, several times, but Frankfurt is the first time you’ll be able to see the car fully production-ready. Not that much has changed. The E is still a cutesy five-door electric car with a posh interior. Its rear-mounted electric motor gives it brisk performance and excellent manoeuvrability, because it doesn’t hamper the turning radius of the front wheels. It will have a range of 125 miles and goes on sale next year. 


Frankfurt will be your first opportunity to see the latest version of the Hyundai i10 city car. Bigger than the old model, it gets sharper looks and should have more interior space. Hyundai’s saying it will have more safety kit than any other small car, the latest infotainment tech and you can expect it to be available with a pokey 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. It will go on sale in 2020.  


Lamborghini is set to use Frankfurt to show a petrol-electric hybrid concept that’ll eventually replace the flagship Aventador. Very little is known about the new car – codenamed LB48H – but, as it’s a Lamborghini, you can guarantee it’ll have outlandish looks to match its outlandish performance. Here’s hoping it looks a little like the Lamborghini Terzo Millennio pictured.

Land Rover Defender

Germany’s motor show could just be turned on its head by a new British car, yes, it’s true. That car is the new Land Rover Defender something we’ve been talking about since, well, since the old model went off sale way back in 2016. Expect the new version to be a lot more sophisticated than the antiquated old car, with huge infotainment screens, air suspension, plus luxurious fixtures and fittings. Power will come from four and six-cylinder engines and you’ll be able to choose from short (90), longer (110) and longest (130) models. Most important of all, the new Defender will be just as unstoppable offroad as the old one. 


You’ve seen the EQC electric SUV and drooled over the prospect of the EQS electric S-Class, well, this is the next piece to Mercedes’ all-electric line-up. Called the EQV, it looks almost identical to Mercedes’ eight-seater V-Class, and it is. Except that the usual diesel engine has been swapped for batteries and an electric motor, giving it a range of 250 miles and an ability to suck up 60 miles worth of charge in 15 minutes. 


With their clean-running and instant thrust, electric motors are perfect for driving in town, making them a perfect match for a city slicker like the Mini 3-door, now coined the Mini Electric. Makes sense. Save for some coloured trim and badges, it looks identical to a petrol or diesel model. It has nippy performance and a small battery that’s light enough not to affect the car’s go-kart-like drive, although it does mean it has a relatively meagre range of fewer than 130 miles on a single charge. 


As you can tell from the picture, Nissan will reveal a new car – expected to be the 2020 Juke – on the 3rd of September before it goes on show publicly in Frankfurt. Like the current model, the new Juke will be a strikingly styled small crossover with an interior spacious enough for a young family. It’ll be available with a choice of small and efficient petrol engines, but could also be offered as a petrol-electric hybrid.


Head over to Peugeot’s stand in Frankfurt and you’ll be greeted by the new 2008. The latest version of Peugeot’s smallest SUV gets striking looks on the outside and a pair of large infotainment screens on the inside. It’s bigger than the old car so you can also expect it to have more interior space. The big news is hidden in the engine specs, though, because as well as having the petrol or diesel 2008 you can also choose the electric e2008, which has a range of more than 190 miles. 


Gone are the days when performance brands scoffed at electric cars and you’ll see the proof of that on Porsche’s Frankfurt stand in the form of this – the Porsche Taycan. Under its four-door coupe body, it has two electric motors and four-wheel drive – which can burst the car from 0-62mph in a little over three seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph. 


The Renault Captur is another small SUV set to get revealed in Frankfurt. It gets chunky looks on the outside and a posh feel on the inside including a Tesla-copying, portrait-style infotainment screen. It’ll have space for four and a boot that’s surprisingly large for this size of car. Power comes from the usual petrol and diesel engines, but the Captur will also be available as a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid with an electric range of 28 miles.  


Skoda will premier Monte Carlo versions of its entry-level Kamiq SUV and Scala small car in Frankfurt. The trim level will sit at the top of the range on both cars and will add kit such as a contrast-colour roof, black exterior trims and black wheels. That sporty theme will continue inside, where you’ll get body-hugging seats finished in a natty fabric, a sports steering wheel, smart trims and alloy-finished pedals. Best of all, you will be able to combine these sporty looks with cheap-to-run petrol or diesel engines.


Vauxhall will launch the new Corsa in Frankfurt and, yes, it’ll be available as a pure electric car. The new model gets sharper styling, more interior space and a posher cabin with the now-expected large infotainment screens. You can choose from petrol or diesel engines with up to 100hp or go for the eCorsa electric model. This has 136hp, gets from 0-60mph in 8.1 seconds and has a range of more than 205 miles. 

If you need more range then another car on the Vauxhall stand may just tickle your fancy – the Grandland X Hybrid4. It has two electric motors and a 1.6-litre petrol engine producing 300hp combined and making the car four-wheel drive. That gets the spacious SUV from 0-62mph in seven seconds and gives it an electric-only range of up to 32 miles. 


The ID.3 could be the most important car to get launched in Frankfurt. The first car VW has designed from the ground-up to be electric, it is about the same size as a VW Golf, but its stubby bonnet means more of its length can be devoted to the passenger space. You’ll be able to have your ID.3 with a choice of two electric motors with 150 or 204hp and with three batteries giving you a range of 205, 260 or 340 miles. It’s also rear-wheel drive, giving the car an extremely tight turning circle that should make it perfect for driving in town.

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