The Frankfurt Motor Show, or International Motor Show (IAA) as it’s formally known, is a big deal. It alternates with the Paris Motor Show and 2019 marks its 68th outing, at which we can envisage attendee numbers exceeding the almost 900,000 that were wowed at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2017.
Themes that unsurprisingly continue to dominate the world’s latest car shows include autonomous or ‘driverless’ vehicles, last-mile, shared and other solutions in the mobility space, pioneering innovations in sectors such as tyres that often border on the incredulous and, of course, alternatively-fuelled vehicles with the primary focus on electric.
EVs are cool for so many reasons, from their clear environmental advantages and ability to avoid various congestion charges and clean air zones, to their technology-filled interiors, wonderfully near-silent ride characteristics and rapid acceleration. CarLeasingPeople’s personal and business customers are evidently as excited as our knowledgeable team when it comes to electric cars – and many of the tantalising concepts unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2017 of upcoming electric cars are tipped to be showcased as production models at the 2019 IAA before being introduced to the car lease market in Q3 and Q4 of this year into 2020.
The Frankfurt Motor Show 2019’s doors open to the public between the 12th and 22nd of September inclusive, but the world’s motoring press and automotive media customarily get a couple of days’ head-start and we’ve rounded up our picks from the new electric cars they’ll be feasting their eyes on.
German manufacturers’ models rarely fail to appear in the top spots of tables ranking the most popular lease cars and Frankfurt is their home turf, so it seems fitting that we should start with the mighty Volkswagen Group.
Volkswagen at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019
Okay, it found itself in controversial waters a few years ago, but the world’s largest car manufacturer group positively radiates a green hue these days and has always been one of the leading automotive innovators. Volkswagen television adverts have recently started popping up on UK viewers’ screens teasing VW Group’s ID ‘e-mobility’ family range, which the brand proudly states is ‘the future of electric vehicles’, spearheaded by the ID.3.
Which electric cars and concepts has VW announced before now?
VW’s previous dabbling with all-electric cars has largely comprised the e-Up! city car and Volkswagen e-Golf hatchback, which has only achieved modest sales and lease orders compared to the considerably more popular GTE hybrid.
VW at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2017
At the IAA 2017, Volkswagen took the wraps off its “Roadmap E” electrification strategy with the aim of seeing the entire VW range electrified by 2030, with no fewer than 50 pure EVs by 2025, which isn’t really that far away. Backed by £18 billion of investment in electric power, the German giant began releasing concepts, sketches and other details surrounding various types of models likely to appear under its ID banner.
The ID Buzz electric campervan with strong retro design echoes that might well lure Jamie Oliver from his restoration example was joined by the ID Crozz electric crossover SUV and the ID concept itself, which is certain to be one of Frankfurt’s leading stars this year as it heralds VW’s people car for the electric generation, befitting of what the brand’s name means.
The Volkswagen ID.3 electric hatch at the IAA 2019
Built from the ground up as a fully-electric car, the ID 3 hatchback will prove instrumental for VW. Fortunately, the vivid wrap seen in media images and videos won’t make production, but we understand that a two-tone paint option will be offered for versions in ‘1ST Plus’ trim, which sits between default albeit high-spec’ 1ST first edition launch models and 1ST Max variants that will boast a head-up display incorporating the incredible augmented reality technology that VW has been pioneering, along with a full-length glass roof.
We feel that Volkswagen is right not to have styled the ID.3 hatchback radically unusually, which may have run the risk of alienating some of the brand’s loyal customers. Its hatchback-cum-MPV styling will nevertheless convey plenty of futuristic and green clues often associated with EVs, from a short bonnet, the absence of a front grille, cutting-edge matrix lights and smoothed-off alloys, to aerodynamically sculpted sides, a rear spoiler and wheels positioned close to the car’s corners.
Inside, the VW ID.3 electric hatchback is set to feature a large, fully-digital instrument cluster, a central floating entertainment touchscreen of around 10” and augmented HUD that will, for example, project sat nav directions onto the road ahead and overlay information onto buildings and other surrounding sights. Customisable ambient lighting that acts like a chameleon is expected on the car’s options list whereby a cold temperature setting is likely to trigger shades of blue, while selecting higher climate temperatures will be met with reds and oranges. Additionally, the ID.3’s voice control system promises everyday speech intelligence rather like Alexa and other assistants, with the ability to pre-emptively play upbeat music if the driver mentions feeling sleepy.
The specification of Volkswagen’s electric car
The ID.3’s credentials as an electric car are even more impressive, with a more than useable battery range of up to 260 miles from the 55kWh special edition launch variants, while the forthcoming entry-level 45kWh and range-topping 77kWh versions will offer ranges of a very respectable 205 miles and 341 miles respectively. The standard 11kW charge point VW’s family-friendly EV is set to come with will be capable of recharging the car in anywhere from 4 to 7 hours depending on which size of battery is chosen, while it’s compatible with rapidly-fast 125kWh public chargers able to recharge even the 77kWh variant’s battery in around 30 minutes. Specialist EV websites are typically citing the Long Range version of the ID.3 with a 0-62mph time of 5.5 seconds and a power output of 268bhp, making it an especially exciting prospect.
VW ID.3 prices haven’t been confirmed officially yet but everything points to it costing from around £25,000, with the special edition launch models likely to be priced in the £30,000 region, making it a very affordable electric car proposition indeed for many business drivers and personal leasing customers.
MINI Electric at Frankfurt 2019
With today’s roads becoming increasingly congested, hatchbacks still represent an excellent alternative to ever-popular SUVs, and iconic British brand MINI will be exhibiting its first all-electric model at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019, which could prove popular amongst drivers keen to embrace EVs and who share the seemingly prevalent public sentiment regarding the B-word.
Anyone with the chance to attend the IAA 2019 will find MINI in Hall 11 and the MINI Cooper SE is sure to grab lots of attention, closely resembling the current 3-door MINI hatch but with a smoothed-off nose just like the VW ID.3 and all other electric cars, plus a small number of EV-related badges and trim elements such as on the alloys, tailgate and bumper. Extrovert drivers might like the yellow styling options available, while most onlookers will find the Union Jack taillights an attractive detail.
Will the MINI Electric still be fun to drive and handle sportily?
Electric cars have long been regarded as somewhat heavier than their petrol and diesel counterparts because of the weight of their batteries, but the great news is that BMW has pledged that the new all-electric MINI Cooper SE won’t just provide sustainable, environmentally-friendly driving but will also fire the emotions, in line with MINI’s core values. Front-wheel drive, 184bhp and instantaneous acceleration of 0-62mph in an impressive 7.3 seconds at the slightest nudge of the throttle combine with bespoke-tuned suspension and a clever battery position that gives the MINI a considerably low centre of gravity, resulting in handling that BMW says will be go-kart-like. Compared to the petrol Cooper S, which is around 130kg lighter, the MINI Electric will actually have a near-neutral front-to-rear weight distribution of 54/46, and recharging times are cited as 3 hours using an 11kW AC charger and approximately 40 minutes from flat to 80% charge using a fast DC public charge point.
How much will the MINI Electric cost?
Built in the UK, the MINI Electric is set to offer a battery range of up to 168 miles, which is more than practical enough for the average UK driver to eke a week’s worth of motoring out of, and its price tag of around £27,900 before the government’s Plug-In Car Grant reduces it by another £3,500 should translate into attractive monthly personal car lease and business contract hire rentals.
The electric Vauxhall Corsa at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019
Another extremely popular and much-loved hatchback from Britain will also be on show at the International Motor Show (IAA) 2019 in the form of the electrified Vauxhall Corsa, which we envisage performing strongly in the personal lease and car sales markets over coming months and years.
The IAA 2019 will play host to the public debut of the Corsa-e, which will no doubt be presented in range-topping trim and likely even the orange paint job Vauxhall has used in its media and press images so far, rather than entry-level SE guise. With PSA (Peugeot Citroen) now owning Vauxhall, the electric Corsa will share its platform with the e-208 and will incorporate a 50kWh battery pack offering a driving range of around 210 miles in Normal mode and perhaps as much as 280 miles in Eco mode, with a power output of 134bhp, which should prove plentiful considering the car’s compact footprint and the rapid acceleration associated with electric power.
Vauxhall will provide an 11kW home car charger with each Corsa-e and prices start at £29,990, reducing to £26,490 with the PiCG. In perspective, this is considerably more expensive than the same all-new Corsa with the same 5 doors but with a petrol engine, which commences at £15,550 – but most EV advice sources point to running costs from electric cars proving much more favourable because of the cheaper cost of electricity and their relative engineering simplicity, not to mention the environmental benefits.
Details on the new Vauxhall Corsa-e
The new generation Corsa is set to be more attractive than ever on the outside with edgy lines, a sophisticated-looking grille, floating roof, classier overtones, standard fitment of alloy wheels and even LED headlights, with IntelliLux Matrix versions on the options list as a class-first move Vauxhall has taken to demonstrate how upmarket and feature-rich the new model really is.
On the inside, the infotainment touchscreen is available in 7-inch and 10-inch versions, Vauxhall has commendably fitted Android Auto and Apple CarPlay by default, and the driver’s smartphone can even be used as a key as well as for displaying vehicle data. The drive/park selector has been borrowed from PSA’s parts bin, which will add a touch of modern cool to the new Corsa in electric and automatic guises, and the dashboard is driver-focussed in keeping with the car’s sporty pledge.
Reassuringly for our car leasing customers who have young families needing ISOFIX child seats, older children or perhaps elderly relatives who often travel as passengers, the e-Corsa promises to be a safe choice, equipped with lane keeping, departure, blind-spot and parking assist systems, drowsiness detection, speed limit reminders, road and traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking either as standard or optionally.
The electric Vauxhall Corsa has been open for ordering for a few months already, with the first UK deliveries anticipated in April 2020, which is a service provided as part of all car leasing pricing for customers living at mainland postcodes.
The world’s first electric rally car
As fans of more intimate motorsport such as BTCC touring cars and rally, we were excited to learn that the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019 will also be where Vauxhall, badged as Opel in Europe, unveils what will be the world’s first all-electric rally car, based on the new Corsa-e.
The ADAC Rallye Deutschland event held annually in Germany will even introduce a new race called the ADAC Open e-Rally Cup for Vauxhall’s new electric hatchback, which will replace the ADAM city car on rally stages. The battery providing 260Nm torque from a standstill, combined with promised nimble handling, should help the car and event to both prove exciting. With a silver and lime colour scheme, Vauxhall’s pioneering electric rally car looks awesome, too, and we hope it spawns the brand offering similar decal options to its everyday customers.
Honda has developed an electric hatchback too
The final hatchback in our roundup of the best new electric cars making their debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019, we adore this one, the Honda E. Its retro, happy-looking, cute styling is sure to win over scores of fans with its round headlights and taillights, the simple design to its grille, bonnet and sides, its black alloy wheels with silver spokes, and the black treatment given to the car’s roof and tailgate.
Honda has to be saluted for keeping the E looking very close to the original concepts, right down to the wing mirrors, which are actually stubby cameras that send live video footage to a pair of 6-inch HD screens inside. Such a major technological step will likely take some getting used to but we’re sure it’ll eventually prove useful, safe and refreshingly superior to humble glass mirrors in other ways, too.
Stunning details from Honda
Massive dual 12.3” touchscreen displays dominate the dashboard of the Honda E, which will feature an intuitive, conversational virtual voice assistant and wooden trim not dissimilar to the approach of the BMW i3. The effect will be divisive but we personally love it, acting as a reminder of the futuristic Japanese family car’s green credentials despite the Honda E’s tech-rich interior and powertrain.
A battery range of around 135 miles doesn’t sound remarkable but will be enough for the UK’s average motorist, while the Honda E’s 33.5kWh battery and single electric motor will serve up either 134hp or 152hp depending on which version someone chooses to buy or lease. The highlight of the Honda E driving experience will be its 50:50 weight distribution which, combined with rear-wheel drive, will make it a smile-inducing blast to drive around town and on sweeping country roads. It will accept fast-charging, enabling flat-to-80% battery replenishment to take place in around half an hour.
The all-electric Porsche Taycan
The majority of Car Leasing People’s team are genuinely petrolheads so it’s fitting that we conclude our look at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019’s upcoming electric cars with a sports car we’re very excited about indeed – the Porsche Taycan.
A four-door coupe rather like the gorgeous Panamera with which it shares its rear design, Porsche’s all-electric debutant showcases a stunning new approach to the front, the signature round headlights of the 911 and other models having evolved into PDLS Plus Matrix headlights surrounded by quad LED DRLs, all encased in a more angular unit from which the vertical air vents seemingly bleed.
The front wings are typically beefy, perpetuating Porsche’s tell-tale design, and the overall look of the Taycan is resolutely muscular, complete with detailing including flush pop-out door handles, a low-slung rear number plate, and 3D glass-look lettering running across the back, parallel to the full-width light bar. It’s an absolute beauty, echoing the Mission E concept car, with enough styling differences to distinguish it as the marque’s first electric car.
A 93.4kWh battery and two electric motors sit at the heart of both the ‘entry-level’ Porsche Taycan Turbo and the Turbo S, which interestingly both produce 617bhp as standard, but selecting overboost increases the former to 671bhp and the range-topper to a phenomenal 750bhp, sure to make eyes water by hitting 62mph in 2.8 seconds.
All-new from the ground up, the engineers have ensured that the Taycan oozes Porsche in every way, with media road-test reviews reporting that it feels remarkably agile, brutally fast and tangibly special, all while offering around 310 miles of range and eventually 350kW fast-charger compatibility thanks to an industry-first 800V electrical system, translating into 15 minutes plugged in adding roughly 250 miles.
Electronic torque vectoring, rear-wheel steering and adjustable air suspension finish off the formidable Porsche Taycan electric supercar package nicely, and pricing is expected to range from £115,00 to £138,000, with UK deliveries anticipated early next year.
The pace of the electric car revolution has evidently shifted up a gear, with manufacturers of cars ranging from popular hatchbacks for families and fleets through to relatively exclusive performance cars all scrambling to showcase their upcoming electric cars at events like the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019. This certainly is an exciting chapter in automotive history and Car Leasing People looks forward to helping growing numbers of our customers to embrace emissions-free, near-silent motoring.