- IAA Mobility opens to the public this week with a focus primarily on green car debuts.
- The show moved from Frankfurt, where it called home since 1951, to Munich.
- BMW, in its hometown, and Mercedes lead the intros.
While the Internationale Automobil-Austelling, or IAA, used to be called the Frankfurt Motor Show and used to hold debuts of all kinds of new cars from all over the world, the latest iteration of the IAA will focus more on green cars.
The show opens today to the press and tomorrow, September 6, to the public. It’s being held in Munich this year so look for a lot of BMW news. Here are a few debuts you may see. We’ll keep you updated as the show progresses.
Just weeks after debuting the Skysphere concept at Pebble Beach, Audi took the wraps off its Grandsphere all-electric concept at IAA Mobility in Munich. Audi calls the all-electric concept “a private jet for the road.” The Ingolstadters claim the Grandsphere sedan “combines the luxury of private travel in the greatest comfort with a comprehensive onboard experience.” The Grandsphere is said to have Level 4 autonomy, turning the car into a “spacious sphere of experience without a steering wheel, pedals, or displays.” The front seats, therefore, become ‘a first-class lounge with maximum space, freer views, and access to all the functions of a holistic digital ecosystem.” Wow, and I thought the A2 was cool.
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The 17 and a half-foot cruiser rides on Audi’s Premium Platform Electric, or PPE, and is powered by a 120-kWh flat battery sending juice to motors in all four wheels. Looking forward to seeing this in action. And maybe getting a ride… in 10 or 20 years.
Since the IAA is held in Munich, and Munich is BMW’s home turf, there will be a lot of news out of the spinning propeller at this new show, most of it centering on sustainability. BMW has announced that it will reduce its CO2 emissions by more than 200 million tons by 2030 overall, and by a third on a per-car basis. It will increase the amount of recycled material that goes into its cars as part of how it gets raw materials needed to make them.
BMW i Vision Circular
The all-electric compact four-seater i Vision Circular is aimed at model year 2040, when it will be made with 100-percent recycled materials. The idea is to show BMW’s “pioneering force in the development of a circular economy,” circular meaning recycling, hence the name.
BMW iX XDrive40, 50, and 60
We’ll have more specifics on these later, but suffice to say there are all-electric crossovers coming from BMW soon. What BMW we’ll see at IAA says its new iX is its new “flagship for sustainability,” with electric drive and increased digitalization. The all-electric all-wheel drives will feature the fifth-generation of its eDrive technology, with one electric motor at the front and another in the rear, at least at first. The iX will launch with two model variants, both with all-electric AWD making 523 hp. The iX XDrive40 will have a range of 391 miles while the iX XDrive50 will go 264 miles. An iX XDrive60 will arrive later with an output of 600 hp. We will have more on these iXs in the coming days.
BMW CE 04
Sort of the successor to the C Concept, this ultra-cute electric scooter will charm your socks off while getting you around and through big-city traffic. With 42 hp it’ll go from 0-31 mph in 2.6 seconds, thanks to a 9-kWh battery. Range is listed at 81 miles. Of course, the C Concept said it had 99 miles range and was optimistic by almost half. Nonetheless, it does look cool and will make you the hit of your weekly existentialist angst meeting in the city.
Not to be outdone by its Bavarian competitor, Mercedes-Benz is coming to Munich with eight debuts from all five of its brands: Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-EQ, Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Maybach, and smart. Five of the debuts are full electric, while one is a hybrid. Here are a few of them.
This “electric business sedan” is the E-Class-sized version of the mighty EQS that debuted last year. Like the EQS, the EQE rides on Mercedes’ new all-electric EVA2 platform architecture, but with a sportier approach.
“The most important thing for us is that the EQE is not just a shrunk EQS,” Dr. Shahram Hami-Nobari, head of development vehicle functions for EVA2, said at the Mercedes preview Sunday night in Munich. “We wanted a clear commitment to the family but not a duplicate.”
The look of the EQE is a bit different, with a new front clip and a larger wing on the back. External dimensions mimic the standard E-Class. Range from the 90-kWh battery is listed at 660 kilometers, or about 410 miles, but that’s probably with the overly optimistic European standard. Our mileage will be less. It will be launched next year as the EQE 350.
This 751-hp screamer is aimed straight at the Tesla Model S, and even featured Lewis Hamilton in its promo video, so you know it’ll be fast. It has 133 more hp than the standard EQS, and hits the 751 figure with the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package. That’ll launch the car from 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds, according to AMG. Battery capacity is a deep 108 kWh, but US EPA range hasn’t been released.
Mercedes-Benz G-Class Concept EQG
The big blocky brawler from the Cold War, the Mercedes G-Class, will live on as an electric vehicle, if we’re not reading too much into the premier of the Concept EQG. Called a “near-production study,” the all-electric G will offer individual control of each wheel, along with a two-speed transfer case for rock crawling.
“Wherever market conditions permit, Mercedes-Benz will be ready to go fully electric by the end of the decade,” emphasizes Markus Schäfer, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and COO of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “With this strategic step from ‘Electric First’ to ‘Electric Only,’ including sustainable production and the CO2-neutral lifecycle of our batteries, we are accelerating the transformation to a zero-emission and software-driven future. We want to inspire our customers to switch to electric mobility with convincing products. An icon like the G-Class fulfills this task perfectly.”
Mercedes-Maybach Concept EQS
This Maybach electric is “a luxurious all-electric SUV based on the modular architecture for luxury- and executive-class electric vehicles,” according to Mercedes-Maybach. It calls the car “a near-production one-off,” but if it’s serious about going emissions-free, it’d have to make a Maybach, right? While light on drivetrain specifics, Head of Top End Vehicle Group at Mercedes-Benz AG and Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH Philipp Schiemer did say, “The near-production concept car represents proof that state-of-the-art electric drive technology and pioneering infotainment with the MBUX Hyperscreen combine perfectly with hallmark Maybach craftsmanship and an exquisite interior. This passionate combination of meticulously perfected details creates a unique automotive luxury experience. With the future all-electric SUV series model, we’re extending our leadership aspirations in the high-end segment to the area of electric mobility, too.”
Last time we had an alternative-fueled B-Class car in the US, it was powered by hydrogen. Last April Mercedes revealed this practical family hauler with electric drive. The EQB comes standard with seating for five but you can get it with seven seats, Mercedes says. The EQB is the second electric compact from the company after the EQA. The EQB 300 4MATIC offers 225 hp while the EQB 350 4MATIC offers 288. A FWD model is coming. Both offer a range of 260 miles on the European WLTP standard.
Volkswagen ID.5 GTX
On the heels of the ID.4 EV, Volkswagen released, or was going to release, the ID.5 at the IAA, calling it “an elegant, coupe-like design (with) the versatility of an SUV.” Details aren’t official, but the ID.5 GTX might have a 150-kW, 201-hp rear motor and a 75-kW, 101-hp front motor. Those good at math will have already added those up to 302 hp, a lot for VW’s MEB electric car platform. VW did say it would make 309 miles on a charge from what might be a 77-kWh battery. It might come out by the end of this year.
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