The first Munich motor show, or 2021 Munich IAA Mobility show, to give it its official name, opened yesterday and as expected there’s a plethora of new models and exciting concepts on show.
Replacing the usual Frankfurt motor show, IAA Mobility is geared at highlighting the enormous (yet exciting) change the automotive market is currently going through. All the big hitters are in attendance with a few notable exceptions such as Vauxhall, Citroen and Peugeot.
Despite the absence of the Stellantis group of brands, there’s lots to talk about such as Audi’s bonkers Skysphere concept and Cupra’s searing-hot hatch Urban Rebel concept. However, we’re focussing on seven cars that are stunning in their own way – from brave design choices to bold industry decisions.
Building on the success of the ID. 3 and ID. 4, VW is going all out with the stunning ID. LIFE concept. Described as a crossover between a supermini and an SUV, the LIFE features a Tesla Model S style yoke and a minimalist wooden dash. It almost looks like VW is getting brave in its new eco-champion guise. Due on sale in 2023 with an expected range of 248 miles, the LIFE is expected to sit below the ID.3 and will very likely adopt either the ID.1 or ID.2 moniker. Following the news that the sporty ID.3 GTX all-electric hot hatch is going into production, we hear that VW also plans to produce a sporty GTX variant of the LIFE.
It was only a matter of time before this classic returned. Although not due until 2024, we’re already looking forward to the Renault 5’s all-electric revival. The Renault design team have produced something thoroughly modern whilst remaining faithful to its classic roots. It’s still a concept at this stage, but we hope it makes it to production unchanged. It’s fresh, exciting, and the off-centre badge on the rear with the number five nestled inside Renault’s all-new logo is quirky French design at its best. The Renault 5 bodes well for the French automaker who has also recently announced the Megane E-Tech electric crossover.
The Smart partnership between Mercedes’ parent Daimler and Chinese manufacturer Geely has had its fair share of ups and downs over the years. The Smart range of ultra-ultra-compact cars has always represented a niche option that never really had a chance at the mainstream. That’s could be set to change as the Smart brand is relaunched as an all-electric offering. The Concept #1 compact SUV is proof of Smart’s ambitions to move away from dinky city cars into the larger segment. It’s a bold reimagining for the brand, but one that has huge potential.
Kia is showing off the new Sportage which now features plug-in hybrid and hybrid powertrains. Looks-wise it’s a radical departure for SUV and draws design cues from the brand’s tasty-looking all-electric model, the EV6. Design was one of Kia’s three key pillars when updating the new Sportage alongside advanced technology and ensuring the car is fun to drive. Despite being derived from the EV6 design, the look is a touch more Marmite than the EV6 which has been universally praised. However, as a long-time favourite of Intelligent Car Leasing customers, we wouldn’t bet against the success of the new Sportage, whatever it looks like.
The EQE is the all-electric equivalent of the E Class and is set to join the EQ family in mid-2022. To our eyes, it’s the nicest-looking EQ model to date with its subtle coupe design cues. It also boasts an impressive 410-mile range that beats out the Tesla Model 3 Long Range when it comes to long-distance electric driving. Inside, it borrows heavily from its big brother, the EQS, featuring a similar interior and the same stunning panoramic display – the preposterously named “MBUX Hyperscreen”. For those who like a little extra oomph to the already exciting electric driving experience, there’s an AMG version in the works too. This could be a huge winner for Mercedes in the all-electric executive space.
Chinese manufacturer Great Wall has announced it will be launching its first model in the UK – the Ora Cat. Due in 2022 with a 248-mile range, it’s another retro-futuristic looker that feels like a cross between the Vauxhall Adam and the long-gone Alfa Romeo MiTO. It’ll compete alongside Volkswagen’s ID. 3 in terms of size, but it’s expected to significantly undercut it on price. China is proving itself enormously innovative in the all-electric space with brands such as Nio, Xpeng and BYD (Build Your Dreams) which, apparently, after Tesla sells the most electric cars per minute. Could the Cat be the initial salvo in a barrage of low-cost ultra-high-tech Chinese EVs? We think it’s inevitable.
We round out our list with something different. On the back of Hyundai’s announcement that it’s planning to launch two new hydrogen powertrains in 2023, BMW announced its own Hydrogen SUV, the iX5. While still in production, it’s expected to launch in limited numbers next year. As the name suggests, the iX5 will form part of BMW’s i-range of zero-emission vehicles. We’re not convinced that the refuelling infrastructure will be in place any time soon to support the initiative, but anything that drives the zero-emission cause forward in innovative ways is worthy of attention. If you do manage to find a hydrogen fuelling spot, four minutes will get you around 311 miles of range.
Categories : Top Car Choices