The week of the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) is here, and the Volkswagen Group was expected to bring big things to the stage this year… The VW Group had a special press event all to themselves on September 14th, dubbed Volkswagen Group Night. This night tends to be the highlight of the entire show for many enthusiasts, and VW did not disappoint.
Just in case you aren’t familiar with the brands under the Volkswagen group, they are: Volkswagen (of course), Audi, Bugatti, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche, Skoda, and Seat. With big names like these, you can expect some pretty exciting stuff.
Debut of the VW Group’s exciting new models
Audi debuted a few new models at Frankfurt, including the 2017 S4, 2016 A4, 2017 A4 Avant, the 2017 A4 Avant G-tron, and a Tesla-competing electric SUV, known as the Audi Q6 E-tron.
The appearances of the A4 and S4 aren’t too different, though there are noticeable sharper angles throughout. Some were expecting a more aggressive change to the outside lines, but as one media outlet (AutoExpress) put it, “Audi’s A4 is now in its fifth-generation and, despite appearances, this is an entirely new model rather than a facelift.” The innovative virtual cockpit seen in the 2016 TT’s will be present in the A4 and S4, along with better fuel efficiency and features of autonomous driving technology.
The Q6 E-tron was perhaps the star of Audi’s lineup, bringing innovative electric touches to the automotive world. The exterior is sleek and aerodynamically designed, but the real news is under the hood. It is powered by a giant battery pack, which Audi claims can drive the car for 310 miles between charges -and it can be fully recharged in just under a hour. There are also solar panels on the roof (like the Fisker Karma) for extra juice. Don’t let the fact that this is a hybrid SUV deter you from the fact that this thing is quite powerful and quick: three motors drive every wheel for a output of 509hp/590lb-ft torque, propelling it from 0-60 in just 4.6 seconds. With the arrival of an electric mid-range SUV expected in 2018, this vehicle just may be the blueprint for what will arrive at dealerships across the globe.
Unfortunately, we aren’t likely to see the Avant variants reach American soil. (We’ll cross our fingers for everyone craving the wagon lifestyle.)
The S4 (top left), A4 Avant (top right), A4 (bottom left), and Q6 E-tron (bottom right)
Volkswagen Group brands also released some exciting new models:
Perhaps the most highly anticipated Volkswagen to debut was the Tiguan. This long-needed second generation update is bigger and lower, putting it more apt to compete with the Audi Q5. Called an “evolutionary redesign,” the new Tiguan features a more aggressive exterior, a MK7 Golf and Passat inspired roomy interior, a host of new tech, and its most efficient engines to date. Engine options include 1.6L and 2.0L 4-cylinder diesels -with a single or twin-turbo option for the 2.0L-, and 1.4L or 2.0L turbocharged petrol engines available in front or four-wheel drives. Also offered is a GTE plug-in hybrid version, consisting of a 1.4L turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor. We honestly can’t wait to see these hit our lot.
The new Tiguan
VW also released two new Golfs at the show: The Golf GTI Clubsport and the Golf GTE Sport concept. The GTI Clubsport is a street-legal track-focused machine to celebrate the Golf’s 40th birthday that will be postitioned below the Golf R, but putting out about 50 more horsepower than a standard GTI. This hot-hatch is also equipped with a sweet overboost function that boosts the horsepower by 10% for short periods of time, putting it into Golf R territory. Quite sadly, the Clubsport will not be hitting US soil (insert crying face here).
The Golf GTE Sport concept made its first debut in Worthersee earlier this year, but reappeared at the Frankfurt show. It is a potential future model of the GTI with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Inspired by the racing world, the body is made mostly of carbon and cabin room for only two. There are three, yes three, motors in this crazy hatch -two electric with power to all four wheels and a turbocharged 1.6L TSI petrol engine. Being a concept, we won’t see this car (or anything like it) for awhile, but we’re crossing our fingers that it becomes a reality.
Golf GTI Clubsport
Golf GTE Sport Concept
Porsche released a few models itself: the 911 Carrera S coupe and cabriolet, and the Mission E concept car which is a direct Tesla competitor. The decision to make the concept is expected to be decided by the end of this year, let’s hope they say yes!
Porsche Misson E concept
Bentley debuted its highly-anticipated first-ever luxury SUV, the Bentayga. Bentley went over the top with this one, creating the world’s soon-to-be fastest SUV in production, in direct competition with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, Range Rover, and Audi Q7. This thing boasts a huge W12 engine that puts out a whopping 600hp and a 0-60 time of 4 seconds flat at 187mph (301km/h). Bentley offers up a crazy range of options for the interior including a refrigerator in the trunk and a custom in-dash diamond and solid gold clock. Um. Anyway, this SUV isn’t all about pampered luxury; it’s built to go off-road with controls for specific surfaces and hill descent control. We’re not sure who would take this six-figure SUV out mudding, but hey, you never know.
Lamborghini released its new Huracan LP610-4 Spyder, causing convertible supercar fans to rejoice everywhere.
Bugatti finally debuted its insane Vision Gran Turismo in the flesh -or metal I suppose- that has had the world buzzing. A real-life drivable version of a video game car, this concept is definitely not street legal. It is, however, an important glimpse into the future of Bugatti’s models.
Vision Gran Turismo
Seat released a new Leon Cross-Sport concept, dubbed the “Urban Rebel of the Seat family.” This little hot hatch crossover boasts 269bhp from a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. It also is being envisioned with four-wheel drive, laying down enough rubber to help propel it to 0-60mph in just 4.9 seconds. It is expected to compete with the VW Golf R and Audi S3. Unfortunately, we won’t see these in America.
The Leon Cross-Sport concept
Skoda released its new Superb Combi, which is eerily similar to the A4 Avant.
Skoda Superb Combi
And lastly, the new Ducati Monster 1200 R debuted. Motorcyclists rejoice.
Ducati Monster 1200 R
The Volkswagen Group did nothing short of impressing the world with its show of models. We can’t wait to see some of these cars come out of (or go into) production and hit lots. Don’t forget to watch the continuing coverage of the Frankfurt Motor Show!