Every two years, the motoring world packs its bags for the Frankfurt Motor Show where the latest and greatest cars are showcased. Here the CarGurus UK team selects our six favourite new models that will be heading to a showroom near you soon.
Volkswagen ID.3: The people’s (electric) car
Volkswagen is adamant that the badge that helped democratise the car in the last century is going to be known for electrification in this one. The ID.3 has been presented as an affordable, hassle-free battery-electric family car and the first of a new generation of bespoke electric vehicles.
This Golf-sized hatchback is expected to be in UK showrooms next summer, with a choice of three battery packs – 45kWh, 58kWh and 77kWh – from launch. Volkswagen says the 77kWh ID.3 will boast a range in excess of 342 miles, and guarantees its batteries will retain at least 70 per cent of their usable capacity after eight years or 100,000-miles. To help alleviate range anxiety, Volkswagen is also working with Tesco to install 2,500 charging bays at 600 stores by the end of 2020.
Land Rover Defender: The iconic off-roader
The long-awaited Land Rover Defender reboot has been unveiled and the robust, Tonka toy styling hasn’t disappointed. While the original Defender could trace its origins back to 1948, this latest version is festooned with 21st Century tech: think less farmers and more suburban families.
There will be two body styles from launch including a three-door, short-wheelbase ‘90’ and a five-door, long-wheelbase ‘110’. Both versions will receive an automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive as standard and be offered with a selection of petrol, diesel or hybrid powertrains. Of course, the go-anywhere remit will be fiercely protected but it will now benefit from more comfort, safety and convenience in order to extend appeal.
Honda e: The hipster Honda
Honda may have built a brilliant (if in places slightly bland) folio of mainstream models, but the electric age is permitting the Japanese car-maker a reinvention of Apple-style proportions. The Honda e is probably the most stylish, characterful and exciting small electric car to go on sale in 2020.
It has a similar footprint to the diminutive Honda Jazz, uses a 35.5kWh battery pack available in two power modes and boasts an interior with lounge-like seating, wooden dashboard, wraparound infotainment screens and cameras that replace conventional door mirrors. There’s a sense of fun here that’s rare in cars at any price. A comparatively low 124-mile range and high (£35,000) asking price (excluding the £3,500 government grant) may give it a slightly tougher sell, but Apple has proven that strong design can levy a premium.
Audi RS6 Avant: The guilty pleasure
Are we still allowed to talk about petrol engines in public? Well, if so, then feast your eyes on the fourth-generation Audi RS6 Avant, the most extreme family transport this side of a Lamborghini Urus.
The RennSport or RS moniker signifies an angrier, faster, more powerful version of the capacious estate car we already love. Beneath that heavily creased bonnet is a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that develops 592bhp and 590lb ft of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Engage the new launch control feature and the RS6 Avant will accelerate from 0-62mph in a supercar-threatening 3.6 seconds. Select the Dynamic Package Plus and you’ll also get an unlimited 189mph top speed, 22-inch alloys and carbon-ceramic brakes. Audi is yet to release prices or economy figures, but expect the RS6 Avant to arrive in showrooms early next year.
Porsche Taycan Turbo S: The Tesla rival
Tesla created a pretty seismic shift in the motoring landscape with its all-electric Model S, proving that electric cars could be premium, hugely desirable and boast a credible range. Seven years on, Porsche is finally prepared to challenge the Silicon Valley alternative with the Taycan. While lower powered, smaller battery versions will undoubtedly follow, Porsche has chosen its home show to present the range-topping and Ludicrous-mode-threatening Taycan Turbo S. With dual motors and an ‘overboost’ feature that increases power to 761bhp, the Turbo S can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 2.8sec, dispatch 0-125mph in under 10 seconds and still provide a 262-mile range. That’s some performance, but at £138,000, the Taycan Turbo S has a price to match.
Vauxhall Corsa e – the learner-friendly EV
The big news about the all-new Vauxhall Corsa is that one of Britain’s best-selling superminis has gone electric. The Corsa-e, as it’s officially called, doesn’t wear its electric creds so vividly as the Honda e but instead makes everything feel deliberately normal. Even the charging port remains located at the rear corner of the car. Of course, you can still buy petrol and diesel versions of the all-new Corsa, but when the electric version arrives in showrooms later this year, features a 50kWh battery, boasts a claimed range of 205 miles and costs £23,000 after the EV grant, why would you?
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