FRANKFURT, Germany – The Frankfurt Motor Show is a dizzying exhibition of automotive can-do spread out over nearly a dozen halls across the vast Messe Frankfurt fairgrounds in the heart of downtown Frankfurt.
Although the press conference schedule for the automakers is compressed into one day, because the show is so spread out, seeing each reveal as they happen is a tall order especially when you are also in need of photos – people are literally everywhere, including in my (attempted) shots.
Thankfully there are two press days. As a result, I’ve elected to divide my show recap in two. It may not exactly be a 50/50 split, but it’ll be close enough. Posted today, are the stands I visited along with a few photos from each. Because this is a European show, there are several nameplates on display here that I’m skipping over (Renault, Skoda, etc.) because they don’t exist in Canada.
With that out of the way, here’s what caught my eye on day one (in alphabetical order):
RS 4 Avant
The skinny: Okay, so we’re breaking a bit of a rule here because the new RS 4 Avant is unlikely to make it to Canada, but because we have a real soft spot for all things Audi Sport, we’re going to include it.
By the numbers: This is one fast wagon. Powered by a 2.9L biturbo TSFI V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic (tiptronic) transmission, the quattro RS 4 Avant produces 450 horsepower and 442.5 lb-ft. of peak torque. 0-100 km/h time is pegged at 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 250 km/h, which jumps to 280 km/h with the optional dynamic package.
In market: European orders begin this fall, with cars beginning to arrive in dealerships in early 2018. Base European price is EUR 79,800, which is about CAD $116,332. Again, if you really want one, you’re probably going to have to move to Europe.
R8 V10 RWS
The skinny: For sports car purists who have long wished Audi’s supercar came in rear-wheel drive. Your wish has finally been granted, in limited quantities, and is available in both Coupe and Spyder configurations.
By the numbers: Like other current R8s, RWS (Rear-Wheel Series) models will be powered by a naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10 that produces 540 horsepower and 398.3 lb-ft. of maximum torque and is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch (S tronic) automatic transmission. 0-100 km/h time for the Coupe rated at 3.7 seconds (Spyder- 3.8 seconds) with a top speed of 320 km/h (Spyder- 318 km/h).
In market: Audi is building only 999 RWS models. Each will be numbered as a limited edition (i.e. 1 of 999). European orders begin this fall, with the first units arriving in early 2018. The Coupe starts at EUR 140,000 (CAD $204,708), while the Spyder starts at EUR 153,000 (CAD $223,012). No word yet on Canadian availability, allocation or pricing.
The skinny: The second-generation grand touring coupe from Bentley, with prodigious power and luxury. The Britain-based, Volkswagen-owned luxury brand also confirmed a plug-in hybrid Continental GT is in development.
By the numbers: This gorgeous, hand-crafted exotic is no poser. Much like the first-gen model (which dates to 2003), the Continental GT puts out a staggering amount of power. The 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine delivers 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft. of peak torque through an all-new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that drives the rear wheels. 0-100 km/h time is rated at 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 333 km/h.
In market: No pricing has been announced for any territories, but the new Continental GT is available for order now with deliveries set to begin in Q2 of 2018.
Aventador S Roadster
The skinny: An open-top version of the flagship Aventador S, the coupe variant of which went on sale this past spring.
By the numbers: Like its coupe stablemate, this raging bull is powered by a naturally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12 engine that produces 740 horsepower and 508.91 lb-ft. of peak torque, and is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that drives all four wheels. 0-100 km/h time is rated at 3.0 seconds, with a top speed of 350 km/h.
In market: The first Aventador S Roadster deliveries begin next February, and while Canadian pricing has yet to be announced, the starting U.S. MSRP has been set at $460,247 (taxes incl.) which is about CAD $560,605.
The skinny: A Formula One-derived hypercar that’s legal on public roads. And, as you might have guessed, only a few very lucky (and wealthy) people will have the privilege of owning one.
By the numbers: The collaborative effort that created this car— which is still technically a concept— brought together engineers from AMG HQ in Germany, along with the company’s Formula One operations in the UK. And their creation is simply incredible. Essentially, they transplanted the high-performance plug-in hybrid drive system from the team’s F1 car – Project ONE uses the same 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 working in conjunction with four electric motors; the front axle will be powered entirely by two 120 kW motors. The mid-mounted V6 is capable of reaching engine speeds of 11,000 rpm, unheard of for a production car. Power will be sent to all four wheels via an AMG eight-speed manual transmission. So how fast? Blindingly. AMG pegs total system power at 1,000 hp which can rocket the car from 0-200 km/h in less than six seconds, with a top speed of 350 km/h.
In market: As mentioned, Project ONE is still a concept, but Mercedes-AMG has said the car will be built but production will be limited to 275 units. No specific ETA exists yet, but the price has been pegged at about EUR 2.275 million, which is about CAD $3,315,585. A Mercedes-Benz Canada rep confirmed a ‘healthy’ number of Canadian orders, but declined to provide an exact number.
The skinny: The range-topper for Porsche’s all-new third-gen Cayenne SUV gets a redesign, along with more horsepower and torque than the outgoing model.
By the numbers: The Cayenne Turbo is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 that produces 550 horsepower and 567 lb-ft. of torque, which represents a 30 horsepower and 14 lb-ft. increase over the previous model. Power is delivered to all four wheels via Porsche Traction Management and an all-new eight-speed Tiptronic (automatic) transmission that rockets the Cayenne Turbo from 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds (3.9 with the Sport Chrono Package) with a top speed of 286 km/h.
In market: The 2019 Cayenne Turbo will go on sale in Canada next summer with a starting MSRP of $139,700.
Check back tomorrow for Day 2 coverage!
Photography by Lee Bailie