Frankfurt motor show preview: the top new cars

Volkswagen's all-electric hatchback, Hyundai's third-generation city car and an all-new Land Rover Defender. These are the star cars headed to the Frankfurt motor show in September.....

The bi-annual Frankfurt motor show is one of the biggest motoring events around – and that's because it gives us a first look at some of the exciting new cars you'll be able to buy soon.

New VW ID 3, Audi A3 and Land Rover Defender

Like the events in Paris and Geneva, Frankfurt puts an emphasis on European car makers, meaning many of the cars on display there will (eventually) find their way into showrooms.

As has been the trend in recent years, many of Frankfurt's new cars are expected to be both electric and autonomous. Among them is the Volkswagen ID 3, the Golf-sized electric hatchback that's due to go on sale early next year, and the Mercedes-Benz EQV electric people carrier. Over the next few slides you'll find details on all of star cars headed to the Frankfurt motor show:

Audi A3

Audi A3 What Car? rendition

The next-generation version of Audi's popular family hatchback will be larger than the car it replaces, meaning more space inside for passengers and luggage.

It will also feature a high-tech interior borrowed from the latest Q3 family SUV, including the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display and a permanent internet connection that means it can show you the latest fuel prices, for example. As well as the usual petrol and diesel engines, the new A3 will be offered as both a mild hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. An electric A3 is also planned, borrowing technology first used on Audi's E-tron electric SUV.

As well as the staple five-door A3 hatchback, there will also be a new S3 hot hatch, an A3 Saloon and a new coupé-styled version to take on the Mercedes CLA. The three-door A3 Cabriolet, though, won't be replaced.

Audi RS6 and RS7

Audi RS6 and RS7 spy shot

Audi's A6 Avant estate and A7 Sportback five-door coupé are both luxurious cars, but for buyers who also want prodigious pace, the new RS6 Avant and RS7 headed to Frankfurt will be worth paying attention to. We're expecting to see wide, muscular bodywork and uprated engines.

Both the RS6 Avant and RS7 will have a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre petrol V8 under their bonnets – the same engine that's used by the Porsche Panamera Turbo and Lamborghini Urus SUV – producing around 605bhp.

BMW Vision M Next

BMW Vision M Next concept car

We're used to seeing BMW's M Performance division turning out tuned versions of existing BMW products, but this Vision M Next concept car is intended to show how a modern successor to the original M1 sports car of 1978 might look.

As is fitting of the times, it's a plug-in hybrid, and it has 591bhp on tap from what's expected to be multiple electric motors. Top speed is 186mph. It's tentatively planned for production as a strictly limited-run model, arriving shortly before the second-generation BMW i8.

Cupra electric concept car

Cupra electric concept car

Cupra is the new performance sister brand of Seat. Until now, it has shown off the Cupra Ateca sports SUV and Formentor plug-in hybrid sports SUV. Now, however, it's going fully electric, presenting what looks to be an SUV-coupé that's strongly tipped to make production.

Underneath, it's likely to be based on Seat's el-Born electric family hatchback. The el-Born is powered by a 201bhp electric motor and good for 261 miles of range on the WLTP test cycle.

 

Hyundai i10

Hyundai i10 concept sketch

The Hyundai i10 used to be our favourite city car, but it was de-throned by the excellent Kia Picanto two years ago. Now, though, Hyundai is ready to unveil the third iteration of its smallest model and thus mount a new charge on retaking class honours.

And since the new i10 shares its underpinnings with the Picanto, it's starting on a very strong footing. Expect to see a range of economical turbocharged petrol engines and a high-tech interior featuring luxuries such as a rear-view camera, smartphone mirroring and the latest driver assistance systems.

Land Rover Defender

Land Rover Defender

The new Defender is arguably Frankfurt's biggest unveiling, as Land Rover prepares to unveil the new generation of its off-road icon. The Defender will be more capable away from the asphalt than ever before, but it's also expected to be more civilised on it, too, thanks to optional air suspension and a softer ride.

Inside, there will be a digital instrument display and a wide infotainment touchscreen alongside plenty of hard-wearing materials. The Defender family will grow, too, to include plusher versions, a pick-up truck and models with different wheelbases. Prices are expected to start at around £45,000.

Mercedes-Benz EQV

Mercedes-Benz EQV van

Earlier this year, Mercedes unveiled a conceptual version of its electric people carrier, the EQV, and in Frankfurt we'll see the car in production form. Based on the V-Class, the EQV has an electric range of around 250 miles and a top speed of 99mph.

Its batteries are mounted underneath the floor, meaning there should still be plenty of space inside for luggage and up to eight people. It's also expected to be available in a more luxurious six-seat form, too.

Porsche Taycan

Porsche Taycan

The Taycan is Porsche's first fully electric model, and it's aimed at cars including the Tesla Model S. First unveiled in concept form as the Mission E back in 2015, the Taycan will go on sale early next year, priced from around £62,000.

While many technical details are still unknown, we know the Taycan will have four-wheel drive and be offered in a number of different power guises, with range-topping versions exceeding 600bhp. Porsche is targeting a real-world range of around 311 miles.

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3 concept car

The road to Volkswagen's new electric hatchback began all the way back in 2016, when the ID concept car wowed audiences with its futuristic looks. In production form, it will cost from around £35,000 and will be capable of travelling up to 341 miles between charges. Different versions with lower ranges will also be available, but it's the mid-range version with a range of 260 miles that's expected to be the most popular.

Perhaps most excitingly, though, the ID 3 is only the first of a new family of Volkswagen electric vehicles to go on sale. We already know that among that family are small and large SUVs, as well as an executive saloon and an MPV.

Volkswagen ID concept car

Volkswagen ID concept car concept car

Speaking of a wider family of ID models, the concept due at Frankfurt is expected to be a small SUV, likely called the ID 2, which could cost from as little as £18,000 when it goes on sale. It would sit below the ID Roomzz and ID Crozz (pictured) in Volkswagen's electric SUV range.

It's expected to have similar dimensions to the current T-Roc and is described by bosses as being just as important to Volkswagen's future as the original Beetle was in its past.