IT’S THE Frankfurt Motor Show! And Car Dealer is here in force covering all the big reveals and talking to the world’s leading manufacturers.
Full coverage will appear in issue 68 of Car Dealer magazine and in the meantime we’re updating the website daily with the latest news. Today we bring you the top 10 new models show-goers have been admiring as they tour the halls.
1 Hyundai i10
Hyundai has unveiled its next-generation i10. The outgoing model has been a huge success for the brand since going on sale five years ago, quickly becoming one of Europe’s leading A-segment cars. It’s been a hit with us Brits – we’ve snapped up a third of all i10s sold in Europe. Dealers and buyers can look forward to higher levels of equipment and space, which will make the new i10 a more practical, everyday city car and move it closer to the B segment. As with the 95 per cent of Hyundai cars sold in the European market, the new i10 has been designed at the company’s technical centre in Russelsheim, Germany. It’s set to go into production later this month.
2 Ford S-Max
Europe is of course massively important to Ford, so the launch of the next-generation S-Max is big news here in Frankfurt. After seven years in production, the seven-seat S-Max has become once of the most successful Sports Activity Vehicles (SAVs), and as well as being perfect for young families, it’s been a big hit with women too. Changes to its design are the first thing dealers will notice, with its new styling and detailing moulded around the original shape. It even has a striking Aston Martin-esque front grille, while the rear remains true to its signature S-Max design. When does production start? Early in 2015.
3 Ford Mondeo Vignale
Ford has also launched a new premium sub-brand. Vignale is aimed at ‘discerning customers’ who seek and appreciate time and attention when buying their vehicles. The first car to wear the Vignale badge will be the brand’s new Mondeo and Ford says it will provide customers with ‘an ownership experience, rather than just a product’. Meanwhile, Vignale will bring an up-market appearance to both the car and Ford showrooms. Dealers will have the ability to provide their customers with one-on-one advice along with a range of exclusive services.
4 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
The GLA-Class will be Mercedes’ first compact SUV in the UK market, making it a very important model for the brand. The premium soft-roader will go head-to-head with the likes of BMW X1 and Audi Q3. The SUV segment is becoming increasingly crowded as customers look to downsize into more practical, everyday compact cars. The GLA is also the first Mercedes-Benz SUV to be available with the new-generation permanent all-wheel-drive system, 4MATIC. Meanwhile, the GLA-Class is the fourth of five new compact models from the German brand. In the first half of 2013, 173,362 units of the A- and B-class were delivered worldwide. Impressively, more than 50 per cent of buyers for the A-Class in Europe were conquest customers.
5 Mazda 3
The Mazda 3 is now in its third-generation and features Mazda’s clever SKYACTIV technology. The all-new 3 will go on sale in the UK in January 2014 and is well-equipped for a C-segment vehicle. We’re sure it will stand out in its class. Following the CX-5 and Mazda 6, the Mazda 3 has a dynamic, sporty stance with a bold appearance and simple styling. Mazda says its target market will be younger buyers, but the company is hoping the car will appeal to families who want something with a dash of style for the school run and trips to the supermarket.
6 Seat Leon ST Estate
Ford and Vauxhall, watch out! This new five-door estate is certainly going to be a threat. Seat’s Leon ST follows the current successful hatchback, but drivers of the new wagon will benefit from increased practicality and of course, far more room: the Leon ST has a vast boot space of 587 litres, which can be extended to a whopping 1,470 litres. Being the third member of the Leon group, the ST estate introduces the eco-biased Leon Ecomotive to the range, powered by a modest 1.6 litre TDi Diesel engine.
7 Honda Civic Tourer
Durability and practicality have long been watchwords for the Japanese brand and this car epitomises those worthy (but a tad dull) qualities. Now, with the arrival of the new Civic Tourer, the hatchback has morphed into a spacious five-door estate. It has a boot capacity of 624 litres and when the rear seats are folded down, that figure jumps up to 1,668. Even if it doesn’t score points for practicality anywhere else, it’s almost certain to appeal to large families.With first deliveries set to take place in February 2014, the UK-built Tourer will be produced in Swindon, Wiltshire.
8 Audi A3 Cabriolet
Order books for the A3 Cabriolet in the UK open in October, with the first deliveries expected in March 2014. The Cabriolet is the fourth model in the A3 range and the soft top will become the German brand’s first ever compact Quattro-equipped cabriolet model. Meanwhile, it will also be bigger but lighter than all of its predecessors. As you’d expect from the Teutonic technicians, the A3 is designed to place emphasis on both performance and efficiency.
9 Peugeot 308 R Concept
Although it’s still officially a concept car at this stage, the French brand says its new hot hatch – the 308 R – will go into production in 2014. The ‘R’ pretty much confirms its purpose, as the new vigorous-looking 308 R concept inherits the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine from the RCZ R performance coupe. This ultra-sporty Peugeot will also eventually make it to showrooms and the brand says its identity will resemble this radical-looking hatchback.
10 Jaguar C-X17
Jaguar has unveiled its all-new SUV concept, which is likely to go on sale in 2015. The C-X17 Concept showcases the brand’s advanced aluminium monocoque architecture, which will underpin future models including a BMW 3 Series rivalling compact saloon. The C-X17 makes great use of Jaguar’s current design theme and the company is hoping its bold features will appeal to a global audience.