The 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show hosts the world premiere of the SYMBIOZ – Renault’s vision of the car and its role in society looking ahead to 2030. Electric. Autonomous. Connected. It is designed to be fully integrated in the human ecosystem. Renault’s new concept car actively explores the future of mobility and offers a completely new travelling experience with features, technology and design that interact with its ecosystem.

“The way we use our cars is changing. Already a car is more than just a way to get from one place to another. Full of technology, it’s becoming an interactive and personalised space that connects passengers to other cars, people and objects around them” said Thierry Bolloré, Chief Competitive Officer, Groupe Renault.

From mobility of the future to pure driving enjoyment, Renault’s vision of the car is people-centred for an easier life experience.

RENAULT SYMBIOZ: A NEW LIVING SPACE FOR A NEW KIND OF FREEDOM

The Renault SYMBIOZ concept is powered by all-electric motors in line with Renault’s intent to continue to pursue its Zero Emissions strategy. Renault, the European leader in electric vehicles, developed SYMBIOZ to ensure the home and car share energy. Kilowatt-hours are distributed through a smart grid shared by the car and the home in an artificial intelligence environment that anticipates people’s needs. For example, it’s possible to programme the system to use the power stored in the car batteries temporarily for the lights, screens and home appliances during peak times. If there is a blackout, this happens automatically and power sharing can be monitored and adjusted.

Both cars are electric, autonomous and fully connected to their environment. ‘Travellers’ – the driver and passengers – enjoy a cabin that feels like home and has been designed for autonomous motoring. On the road, the car becomes an extension of the home. When parked inside the home, it doubles as an extra mobile, modular and multi-purpose room.

The Renault SYMBIOZ marks an industry first

Renault is the first car manufacturer to present a complete home at a motor show that evokes future possibilities of how the car will deliver new features inside the home and will be an extension of the home on the road. Visitors to the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show were able to explore SYMBIOZ and the unprecedented display which embodies Renault’s vision of how mobility might evolve in years to come and new-generation mobility and connected services solutions.

Renault showed the house and concept in static and dynamic modes. In the first scenario, SYMBIOZ drives into the house to become an additional, modular room in the form of a useful, mobile and connected space, parking inside and then outside the physical structure.

SYMBIOZ also shows Renault’s vision of the car as an extension of the home when travelling. Generous cabin space is attributed to SYMBIOZ’s rear-wheel drive configuration, with two electric motors located on the rear axle, and the batteries housed beneath the floor. The combination of the retracting dashboard, and pivoting front seats make it ideally suited to ‘Mind-off’ autonomous driving. In this mode, drivers can easily relax and chat, read a book or enjoy total access to their personal digital world. Additional personalisation technology allows automatic detection of passengers, customized seat settings, music streaming, and entertainment options.

“After an initial series of concept cars based on Renault’s ‘Cycle of Life’ design strategy which sought to prefigure the styling of our upcoming models, our new concept cars set out to explore what mobility might resemble in the future,” said Renault SVP Corporate Design Laurens van den Acker.

“No longer can we think of car design in isolation from the ecosystem surrounding us. Renault SYMBIOZ truly is a unique project that allowed us to work with planners, designers, engineers and architects. Our goal was to explore new boundaries in customer experience, technology, energy use and design harmony to form a completely new global experience.”

A real demo car based on Easy Life of SYMBIOZ – on the road soon

An electric, autonomous and connected demo vehicle that makes real many of the elements of SYMBIOZ will be available for testing later this year. This demo vehicle embodies the brand’s mid-term vision before 2023 and previews technology Renault customers may find in its production car range in the near future. This includes an evolved version of MULTI-SENSE technology, which adapts the ambiance and driving experience to customer mood in the Mégane, Scénic, Talisman and Espace in our current range. The demo car will also showcase features from the “EASY CONNECT”, new-generation mobility and connected services solutions, and it will preview the Renault Autonomous drive technology that will be progressively deployed in the range under the name “EASY DRIVE”.

The demo version of SYMBIOZ was made in partnership with technology and creative industry leaders in an Open Innovation approach:

  • LG is involved in the development of the human-machine interfaces.
  • Ubisoft is providing on board virtual reality experience for autonomous driving mode.
  • Devialet is developing a new user experience through advanced sound system.
  • Sanef is working on the way the car communicates with road network infrastructure.
  • TomTom is contributing its geo-positioning expertise.
  • IAV is providing autonomous driving engineering expertise.

Suzuki Motor Corporation’s all-new Swift Sport has made its global debut during a press conference at the 67th IAA Frankfurt Motor Show on September 12.

The latest generation of the Swift Sport brings with it a myriad of changes which include a lower, wider stance, more aggressive styling, and a torque-to-weight ratio that catapults the Sport into true hot hatch territory.

Engineers have also bid adieu to the 1.6L naturally-aspirated motor in favour of the same 1.4L Boosterjet turbo engine seen in Vitara; a welcome addition to an increasingly powerful line-up with turbo now available in five models across the range. That, coupled with compact dimensions and a kerb weight that’s sub one-tonne should be music to the ears of sports-minded drivers.

Swift Sport chief engineer Masao Kobori said, “We know that our customers value a dynamic driving experience above everything else, so for the third-generation Swift Sport our development concept was Ultimate Driving Excitement.”

Kobori continued, “It’s lighter, sharper, and quicker. It’s more aggressive and emotive, but we’ve also refined the elements that make it practical to use every day—the clutch feel, the manual transmission shift throw, the seats and steering wheel. Everything that puts the driver at the heart of the experience.”

Whilst power and appearance were obvious key considerations, so too were safety and technology with the Sport featuring a Bluetooth®-compatible Smartphone Linkage Display Audio Display unit with a multimedia 7-inch touchscreen and sat nav together with advanced safety including lane departure warning, weaving alert, adaptive cruise and high beam assist.

Release date, spec details and pricing information for the Australian market is yet to be announced.

Land Rover has revealed the Discovery SVX – the ultimate Discovery for off-road enthusiasts seeking epic adventures.

Discovery SVX, launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show, adds extreme all-terrain capability to the Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) product triangle. SVX will sit alongside the acclaimed Range Rover Sport SVR and Range Rover SVAutobiography, which are hallmarks for outstanding on-road performance and supreme luxury respectively.

Discovery SVX will be the first Land Rover hand-assembled by expert craftsmen at the SVO Technical Centre in the UK when production begins in 2018.

John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director, said: “SVO designers are embedded within the Land Rover team andhave worked with our engineers to unleash their own passion for adventure to create another truly desirable and versatile vehicle in the Land Rover line-up.” 

Discovery SVX embodies the design excellence and engineering integrity that are core values of every Land Rover, building on the legendary Land Rover all-terrain capability and adventurous spirit to deliver the ultimate in off-road performance and desirability. Since its launch in 2016 the fifth-generation Discovery, built on Land Rover’s strong, safe and light aluminium architecture, has won admiration as the world’s best full-size versatile SUV. That makes it the perfect base for SVO’s first SVX vehicle. New Discovery is the first modern Land Rover to wear the SVX badge.

Mark Stanton, SVO Director, said: “The SVX product line gives us a fantastic opportunity to deliver the ultimate Land Rover all-terrain capability in a dynamic and distinctive manner, creating a rugged and versatile SUV that the whole family will love: effortless, unstoppable and connected, whatever the terrain. Discovery SVX is designed to reward off-road driving enthusiasts with the next level of all-terrain capability, without compromising comfort and practicality.”

SVX takes Discovery versatility to new levels through further development of its formidable off-road ability. It will be offered exclusively with Jaguar Land Rover’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol powertrain, tuned to deliver 386kW peak power and 625Nm torque, along with suspension modifications to enhance driver confidence when tackling the toughest terrain.

Hydraulic Active Roll Control (H-ARC), is new to Discovery on SVX. It gives increased wheel articulation and improved body control, enhancing extreme off-road traction while also reducing body roll for smooth and sure-footed on-road driving. Discovery SVX has improved approach, departure and breakover angles, achieved by raising both the lightweight aluminium monocoque architecture and the four-corner air suspension system, employing long-travel dampers and revised knuckles, and fitting larger 815mm diameter 275/55 R20 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tyres on forged aluminium alloy wheels. 

Tyres with higher side-walls reduce contact pressure and improve performance on soft surfaces. Combined with a more aggressive tread pattern, this improves grip in muddy conditions. Discovery SVX is also equipped with active centre and electronic rear locking differentials which work with the specially tuned Terrain Response 2 system to optimise traction on all surfaces. 

Complementing these hardware upgrades are unique software calibrations for the eight-speed automatic transmission with twin-speed transfer box, and Discovery’s dynamics systems including Hill Descent Control, Electronic Traction Control (ETC), Adaptive Dynamics, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) and variable ratio electric power-assisted steering (EPAS). Discovery SVX also features a model-first Pistol Shifter in place of the Drive select rotary shifter to offer the driver optimum control of gear selection in off-road manoeuvres.

To visually reflect Discovery SVX’s inherent robustness and go-further ability, Land Rover designers have referenced features of iconic Discovery off-road challenge vehicles, such as those used for Camel Trophy and G4 Challenge events, to give SVX a distinctive, aggressive and purposeful appearance inside and out. 

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer, said: “The combination of design excellence and engineering integrity inherent in every Land Rover is the foundation of everything we do. The Discovery SVX reinforces Land Rover’s unrivalled reputation for building vehicles with true all-terrain capability for customers who desire the ultimate in off-road performance.”

The production preview SVX at Frankfurt IAA features unique front and rear bumpers with protective skid plates and exposed Rush Orange-finished metal recovery eyes – each rated to enable recovery of more than six tonnes, an anti-glare bonnet finish and an integrated rear-mounted electric winch system.

Discovery SVX also stands out through its exclusive satin Tectonic Grey paint finish, a unique colour and material combination of Lunar and Light Oyster with Rush Orange accents inside, and ‘X’ logo perforations on the SVX-branded seats. Unique Narvik Black side vents with V8 badging, a Narvik Black Dynamic grille, Silver roof rails and a roof-mounted unit with two additional light pods for improved low-light visibility complete the transformation.

The first Land Rover SVX from SVO makes its world debut on the Jaguar Land Rover stand at Frankfurt IAA, 12-24 September, alongside a comprehensive range of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles including SVO stablemates the Range Rover Sport SVR, Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic, Jaguar F-TYPE SVR and Jaguar XE SV Project 8.

MINI is shaping the future of urban mobility by providing driving fun in increasing diversity. At the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the British premium brand gives visitors an impression of how the unmistakable MINI feeling will develop in future to cover a broader range beyond the current model program. Innovative concepts and technologies provide additional room for individual flair and highly emotional experiences, while continuing to enhance the thrilling agility and exemplary efficiency that are typical of MINI.

The MINI Electric Concept showcased in Frankfurt for the first time embodies a whole new dimension of the brand's characteristic go-kart feeling, now combining it with locally emission-free mobility. The concept vehicle conveys a message of sustainable urban transportation in MINI style while at the same time previewing a volume production model that will follow soon. The first purely electrically powered MINI to be manufactured in large-scale production will go on the road in 2019 – precisely 60 years after the classic Mini was first launched. It will make electromobility a highly emotional experience that combines driving fun, style and individual flair – as is characteristic of the MINI brand.

Lots of driving fun on a small surface area – this traditional principle will remain an integral part of MINI in the future, too. It is a fundamental element of its character that is derived from spectacular motor racing success. 50 years ago the classic Mini achieved its third outright victory at the Monte Carlo Rally. The MINI ACV 30 concept study presented 20 years ago, demonstrated just how much the model's racing career influenced not only the history of the classic Mini but also the development of the modern MINI.

The Anniversary Concept Vehicle that came out right on time to mark the 30th anniversary of the car's third triumph at the "Monte" showed how the classic Mini's characteristic design features – such as the hexagon radiator grille and the large circular headlamps – could be transferred to a modern vehicle concept. The foundation stone was laid for a new era full of driving fun and individual style in a variety of forms.

Diversity and individual character are also embodied by the other elements of the MINI trade fair showcase in Frankfurt. From 14 to 24 September, the British premium manufacturer presents a broad cross- section of its range, containing elements drawn from the current model program, its rich selection of optional equipment and the latest additions in the area of accessory and lifestyle products. The setting for this display of both current and future items is Hall 11 at the main entrance to the Frankfurt trade fair centre, a site that will be shared by the BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad brands.

More driving fun, more style, no emissions: MINI Electric Concept.

The MINI Electric Concept is modern, purist and efficiently dynamic, providing a look ahead to a new form of urban mobility free of local emissions that still guarantees unmistakable driving fun. The spontaneous response of the electric motor to every movement of the accelerator adds a whole new dimension to hallmark brand agility. The powerful drive of the MINI Electric Concept draws its energy from a lithium-ion battery, ensuring maximum range and typical MINI agility combined with emission-free mobility.

The MINI Electric Concept not only stands for increased driving fun, it also adds a touch more style in local emission-free city traffic. Its design combines hallmark brand proportions and design features with specific details reflecting the fact that is purely electrically powered. Since the electric motor does not require cooling air, the hexagonal front grille is closed in order to enhance the car's aerodynamic properties. There are also fibre glass attachment parts that reduce aerodynamic drag. The paint finish in Reflection Silver and Interchange Yellow is reminiscent of the MINI E presented in 2008. Produced in a small series of some 600, the latter was subjected to field tests in everyday driving conditions, thereby providing key insights for the development of the purely electrically powered BMW i3.

The MINI Electric Concept is the next step along the way to sustainable urban mobility. The BMW Group announced in July 2017 that the expansion of its model range to include electrically powered vehicles was to be a central pillar of its corporate strategy. In this connection, start of production of the first purely electric MINI was announced for 2019.

Based on the MINI 3 door, the electric vehicle will be manufactured at the MINI plant in Oxford. Its drivetrain will be produced at the Dingolfing and Landshut sites – the competence centres for e-mobility within the BMW Group production network.

Paving the way for electric driving fun: the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4.

The world premiere of the MINI Electric Concept comes just a few months after the launch of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 (combined fuel consumption: 2.3 – 2.1 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.0 – 13.2 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions from fuel: 52 – 49 g/km). The first plug-in hybrid model of the British brand is already paving the way for purely electric and therefore locally emission- free driving fun. Thanks to its battery range of up to 42 kilometres in the NEDC test cycle, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 effortlessly overcomes the limits of urban mobility without producing any CO2 emissions at all. And sustainable MINI feeling is ensured beyond city limits, too: a top speed of 125 km/h is possible in electric driving mode.

This means that pure electric power is already sufficient to take care of most everyday driving. The combustion engine comes into play if a higher level of performance is required. Together the two power units produce a system output of 165 kW/224 hp. Here again, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 offers an entirely distinctive experience. The precisely controlled interplay between the combustion engine driving the front wheels and the electric motor powering the rear wheels makes for an intelligent all-wheel drive system that guarantees supreme driving fun in all weather conditions and on all road surfaces.

Fresh impetus for pure driving pleasure

The BMW i3 shows the way ahead to a new era of mobility. It is recognised the world over as a symbol of driving pleasure, sustainability and intelligent connectivity in the urban traffic environment, which is why it has become the best-selling electric car in the premium compact segment. The recipe for success of the BMW i3 has now been further improved, thanks not just to refreshing styling accents, cutting-edge equipment features and new digital services, but also to the addition of a new model variant. For making its debut alongside the new edition of the first ever premium car to be conceived from the outset for all-electric mobility is the BMW i3s.

With a higher output, model-specific chassis technology, noticeably more dynamic driving qualities and design features all of its own, it generates a particularly intense blend of the unrivalled sporty driving pleasure associated with electric cars from the BMW Group. By offering a premium-quality, all-electric driving experience, meaning zero local emissions, together with a whole new level of connectivity technology, both models represent the future of urban mobility.

The BMW i3 has reigned as the top-selling premium electric car in its class since 2014, not just in Europe but worldwide too. And in Germany, it has actually been topping the new vehicle registration statistics for the electric car segment as a whole, also since 2014. It’s not just the visionary electric vehicles and inspirational design that help to make BMW i so popular, but also its innovative mobility solutions and the revolutionary new form of premium character, with sustainability as a key defining element. By offering such products while also adopting an all-embracing approach that takes into account the complete lifecycle – from raw material production, through the manufacture and operation of the vehicles to their later recycling – the BMW i brand has established itself as a pioneer for forward-thinking mobility.

BMW eDrive electric motor in two output levels, high-voltage battery with large capacity of 94 Ah/33 kWh, optional range extender engine.

The driving experience in the BMW i models has played no small part in the growing appeal and popularity of electric mobility. Following systematic refinement, the BMW eDrive technology aboard the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s enables drivers to enjoy locally emission-free mobility with wonderfully instantaneous power delivery, efficient use of energy and an optimised range for a level of everyday practicality that even extends beyond the demands of purely urban travel. Both models draw their energy from the lithium-ion high-voltage battery developed by the BMW Group with a capacity of 94 ampere hours (Ah) or 33 kilowatt hours (kWh). A range extender engine can be ordered as an option for both the new BMW i3 and the new BMW i3s.

The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s will celebrate their world premieres at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main in September 2017. The global market launch will begin in November 2017.

Design: sporty look.

The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s have a remarkably dynamic character by premium compact electric car standards, and a number of design tweaks have been included to express this to particularly striking effect in their visual appearance too. The unmistakable, avant-garde exterior styling has already picked up the iF gold award for product design and the World Car Design of the Year award along with other accolades, and it has now been enhanced by a number of deft design touches that clearly convey the sporty and stirring driving experience on offer.

The trademark BMW i Black Belt running from the bonnet over the roof to the car’s rear end is now complemented by A-pillars and roof lines that also sport a black finish. The range of paint finishes for the remaining body elements has been extended to include Melbourne Red metallic and Imperial Blue metallic. Besides these two new additions, customers can also choose from the non- metallic shades Capparis White and Fluid Black as well as Protonic Blue metallic and Mineral Grey metallic.

The restyling of the front and rear aprons places particular emphasis on the car’s width, which has the effect of signalling just how sporty both models are to drive and how sure their handling is. A chrome-design trim strip running across the full width of the rear and the positioning of the model and eDrive badges on the outer edges of the boot lid serves to reinforce this impression.

The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s come equipped with all-LED headlights as standard, which employ LED bulb units for dipped beam and high beam as well as the daytime running lights. The new turn signal indicators also feature LED technology and are integrated into the front apron in the form of horizontal strips. This means that LEDs are now used for all lighting functions at the front of the vehicle too, as was already the case with the glass-covered rear light assemblies.

The new BMW i3: new styling accents for a sense of sporty elegance.

The thoughtful evolution of the exterior design not only helps to bring the sporting credentials of the new BMW i3 more to the fore, but highlights its sophisticated elegance too. The front bumper is completely painted in the body colour and has a black U-shaped surround that reinforces the car’s presence when viewed from the front. Moving round to the rear end, the powerfully moulded contours and the contrast in colour between the black surround and the body-coloured inlay again create an energetic and expressive appearance.

The new silver-coloured roof line accent for the new BMW i3 adds a further touch of elegance and dynamism. It widens towards the rear, thereby accentuating the stream flow, as the distinctive outline of the side windows is known.

The new BMW i3s: a thoroughly dynamic performer.

The new BMW i3s incorporates a number of design elements all of its own that underscore its particularly dynamic character. Both the front and rear aprons are notable for their model-specific, powerfully shaped contours. At the front, the bumper inlay as well as the U-shaped surround encircling it have a black finish.

The front apron’s side sections are bordered on their lower edge by accent strips in BMW i Blue or Frozen Grey that further emphasise the width of the car. The accent in the closed BMW kidney grille is also painted in high-gloss black on the BMW i3s to give the grille a larger and more prominent appearance. The rear apron of the new BMW i3s is likewise composed of individually styled contours, while the black surround frames an extra-wide, body-coloured inlay. On the new BMW i3s, the roof line accent also sports the same high-gloss black finish as the A-pillars.

The new BMW i3s comes equipped as standard with sports suspension that includes a 10-millimetre drop in ride height. The additional 40 millimetres of track width compared to the BMW i3 is given added impact by the black wheel arch borders. The new BMW i3s is available with exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design that are 20 millimetres wider than the previously available versions. They can be ordered in the Bicolour and Jet Black colour variants.

Interior: great sense of roominess, sustainable materials.

Like the exterior design, the interior styling of the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s is rooted in the novel LifeDrive vehicle architecture. The carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell has a wonderfully spacious feel about it and is dominated by a sense of lightness. The design principle of the two four-seater models means there is no need for either fixed B-pillars or a transmission tunnel. Doors that open in opposite directions allow the occupants to get in and out with the greatest of ease.

The Loft, Lodge and Suite equipment lines are available for the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s as alternatives to the standard Atelier version. The Lodge interior design option includes a new covering for the seat surfaces in Solaric Brown that combines natural leather tanned using an olive leaf extract with a wool-based textile material.

The fact that the BMW i3 and BMW i3s also count sustainability among their premium characteristics shines through in the rest of the materials selected for them too, including recycled plastics, renewable raw materials, natural fibres and open-pored, unbleached eucalyptus wood. Over 80 percent of the surfaces visible to the passengers are made from recycled materials or renewable resources. The new blue seat belt option provides a splash of colour in the interior in typical brand style. The BMW i3s supplements all this with special model lettering on the front floor mats as standard.

BMW is firing the starting gun on the brand’s forthcoming product offensive with an extraordinary pageant of new models and concept vehicles at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt am Main. The company’s stand centres on its expanded luxury class line-up, captivating studies and production models in numerous segments exhibited at a public trade fair for the first time. The new products unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt show highlight the status of BMW as a manufacturer of vehicles that transmit unrivalled levels of emotional appeal with their inspirational design, trailblazing innovations and the driving pleasure for which the brand is renowned. BMW is also showcasing the latest technological developments for the future of personal mobility, in which powertrain electrification, comprehensive digitalisation and other advances in the field of automated driving will play a particularly important role.

Hall 11 at the main entrance to the Frankfurt trade fair site has been prepared for the shared BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad stand, and serves as a forum for current and future highlights of the product range. This is where the new products and features from all the brands will be presented under the slogan “This is tomorrow. Now. Die Zukunft ist jetzt”. The exhibition space covers an area of over 10,500 square metres and has a circuit running around it that is about 150 metres long. This will give visitors to the Frankfurt Motor Show on 14 – 24 September 2017 the opportunity to experience the new models in action too.

Both the BMW Concept 8 Series and the BMW 7 Series Edition 40 Jahre are testimony to BMW’s expanded presence in the luxury segment. Other facets of driving pleasure are demonstrated at the 2017 Frankfurt show by the BMW Concept Z4, the new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo and the new BMW X3 respectively – including exhilarating open-air fun, elegance and long- distance comfort, not to mention multi-faceted sportiness. The know-how gleaned from competing in motor sport is a traditional component of the BMW brand’s DNA, and it endows the new BMW M8 GTE with ideal credentials for endurance racing. The new BMW M5, meanwhile, transfers these high-performance genes from track to road to stunning effect. The new edition of the BMW i3, which is making its debut appearance at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show together with the new and even sportier BMW i3s, illustrates just how closely the company associates driving pleasure with sustainability.

BMW Motorrad is also placing the spotlight on the intensely emotional and sustainable sides of mobility in Frankfurt. The exclusive BMW HP4 RACE for track use and the BMW Motorrad Concept Link, boasting an all-electric drive system and state-of-the-art connectivity technology, are joined by numerous other pioneering ideas for urban mobility in tomorrow’s world.

Dynamism, luxury, allure: the BMW Concept 8 Series.

The BMW Concept 8 Series gives visitors to the IAA Cars 2017 show a taster of a new model from the brand due for launch in 2018: the BMW 8 Series Coupe. The study is the epitome of dynamism, luxury and exclusiveness – the quintessential qualities of a modern-day BMW coupe. As Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Harald Krüger explains: “The forthcoming BMW 8 Series Coupe will demonstrate that razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand-in-hand. This will be the next model in the expansion of our luxury-car offering and will raise the benchmark for coupes in the segment.”

The BMW Concept 8 Series reveals much of what is to come. Classic styling features combine with new design ideas. Crisp lines that mark out clear surfaces and the car’s powerfully sculpted volumes together form a powerful proclamation of uncompromising sportiness. The silhouette of the BMW Concept 8 Series is composed of its long bonnet, flowing roofline and the striking upward sweep of its trailing edge. The styling of the interior and the choice of materials echo the purposeful interplay between dynamism and luxury. The lines in the cockpit area gravitate forwards, reinforcing the focus on the task of driving. Merino leather, a faceted ground gearshift lever and an iDrive Controller made from Swarovski glass with a smoky quartz look give the interior an exclusive air.

A new take on the roadster: the BMW Concept Z4.

The BMW Concept Z4 is revealed at the IAA Cars 2017 as a statement of unbridled driving pleasure. This design study likewise offers a look ahead to a series-production version of the car set to be unveiled over the course of next year. A shorter bonnet and crisp overhangs ensure the driver sits closer to the middle of the car than in previous BMW roadsters. The surfaces and forms of the BMW Concept Z4 create a modern and emotionally engaging impression. The large Air Breathers rearwards of the front wheels act as the source of the flanks’ elaborately modelled surfaces, which appear to have been shaped by the flow of air as it exits the Air Breathers.

The appearance of the front end sparks associations with classic roadster models from BMW. The styling of the BMW kidney grille is reminiscent of the BMW 328 Mille Miglia. Its broad outline and low-set positioning instil a sense of flamboyance very much in the mould of the BMW Z8. In a first for BMW, the Concept Z4 provides a vertical interpretation of the four-eyed headlight look, with two light sources placed one on top of the other on each side. The bonnet curves over the wheels, creating an intriguing and virtually seamless sweep over the front end as a whole.

The fluent transition between exterior and interior is clearly visible from both the styling and colour scheme of the BMW Concept Z4. Much of the interior adopts the colour of the car body, with just the driver’s cockpit standing out in an all-black finish that reinforces the focus on the driving experience.

Looks, long-distance comfort and practicality: the new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo.

The new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo serves up a sensational blend of alluring coupe style, luxurious long-distance comfort and flexible practicality. The systematic evolution of this body format is particularly evident in both the new luxury-class model’s sporting elegance and its superior dynamism. Inside, the driver-focused cockpit layout is generously sized, with a raised seating position. The rear compartment comprises three full-size seats, while the boot capacity can be increased from 610 to a maximum of 1,800 litres.

Intelligent lightweight engineering has led to an average 150 kilogram weight saving over the outgoing model. Together with the considerable improvement in the car’s aerodynamic properties, the increase in power and the superior efficiency of the engines, this ensures both sportier performance and greater fuel economy.

The most innovative mid-size SAV around: the new BMW X3.

The new BMW X3 is set to write the next chapter in the success story of this mid-size SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) with an even more striking, dynamic design language, powerful yet also efficient drive systems and luxurious appointments. The third generation of the BMW X3 follows in its predecessors’ tyre tracks by combining rugged off-road looks with a sporting presence. Comfort levels can be further elevated by a host of new equipment options like three-zone automatic climate control, the Ambient Air package, active seat ventilation and the panoramic glass roof.

The engines’ increased efficiency benefits both the sportiness and fuel economy of the new SAV, as does the intelligent lightweight design, which has lowered the car’s weight by as much as 55 kilograms compared to the predecessor model. The new BMW X3 also boasts class-beating aerodynamics with a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29.

Yet more driving pleasure and zero CO2: the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s.

The world’s best-selling electric car in the premium compact segment now comes with refreshing styling accents, cutting-edge equipment features and new digital services to make locally emission-free driving even more enjoyable. And the BMW i3 has now been joined by a second model variant. With a higher output, model-specific chassis technology, noticeably more dynamic driving qualities and design features all of its own, the new BMW i3s brings out the sporty side of electric mobility more vividly than ever.

The agile handling characteristics of both models are improved still further by the optimised Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. Other new features in the BMW i3 and BMW i3s include the On-Street Parking Information service, the unique BMW Digital Charging Service and the BMW Connected personal mobility assistant.

Now with M xDrive: the new BMW M5.

The latest generation of the BMW M5 (fuel consumption combined: 10.5 l/100 km [26.9 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 241 g/km; provisional figures) adds intelligent M xDrive all-wheel drive to the familiar M powertrain / chassis / aerodynamic balance ensemble for the first time. This development takes the high-performance sedan into a new dynamic dimension and endows it with additional everyday usability in all driving conditions. The electronically controlled, fully-variable distribution of power between the front and rear axle links up with the Active M Differential, which likewise works fully variably and provides a locking effect between 0 and 100 per cent at the rear axle. The result: the power generated by a 441 kW/600 hp V8 bi-turbo engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology is delivered to the road to majestic effect. The new BMW M5 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds.

The model-specific design features of the new BMW M5 include a roof made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The weight saved through the integration of the CFRP roof and other components (e.g. the exhaust system) help to ensure that the new BMW M5 with M xDrive all-wheel drive is lighter than the model it replaces.

En route to Le Mans: the new BMW M8 GTE.

BMW Motorsport is using the IAA Cars 2017 show to present its new flagship contender for international GT racing: the BMW M8 GTE. The new racing car will line up in competitions including the FIA World Endurance Championship over the coming season and therefore make its debut in endurance racing ahead of the market launch of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe. Among the races on the car’s schedule is the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The V8 engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, which is restricted by regulations to a displacement of 4.0 litres, is derived from the series- produced unit and has a nominal base output of more than 500 hp, depending on the classification. Intelligent lightweight design brings the weight of the new BMW M8 GTE down to approximately 1,220 kilograms.

Luxury with tradition and style: the BMW 7 Series Edition 40 Jahre.

An unmistakeable combination of luxury, driving pleasure and innovations has defined the character of the BMW 7 Series model range for four decades now. With the BMW 7 Series Edition 40 Jahre, this tradition-steeped collection of virtues is expressed in a particularly concentrated way. The special-edition model uses exclusive design features to emphasise the imposing elegance and progressive styling of this luxury sedan.

The BMW 7 Series Edition 40 Jahre models are being produced in a limited quantity of 200 units and tailored to individual customer specifications at BMW’s Dingolfing plant. Eye-catching BMW Individual special paint finishes in the variants Frozen Silver metallic and Petrol Mica metallic give the exterior of the car an alluring appearance. And among the key contributors to the exclusive ambience inside the car is BMW Individual full leather trim Merino fine grain in the colour combination Smoke White/Cohiba or Smoke White/Black.

Relentless progress on the road to automated driving.

Ever increasing driving automation is playing a central role in the major changes taking place in personal mobility. The BMW Group is committed to expanding its development expertise in the field of automated/autonomous driving. Here, the company can call on its many years of experience and well- founded pool of knowledge, as well as the expertise of strong partners.

The company’s stake in HERE, a globally leading technology provider in the area of navigation data, enables the development of extremely precise map material. And collaborations with Intel and Mobileye create a digital ecosystem for the development of high-quality, safe and secure automated driving functions, which – among other things – will be channelled into the series development of the BMW iNext. At Campus Unterschleißheim, the BMW Group’s new development centre for automated driving, the company is now pooling all of its expertise in the areas of vehicle connectivity and automated driving. Elsewhere, a fleet of 40 BMW 7 Series cars have been adapted to serve as test cars in highly and fully automated driving trials.

Urban mobility, re-thought: the BMW Motorrad Concept Link.

BMW Motorrad is presenting a design study for a new vehicle segment at the Frankfurt show, as well as a future vision of urban mobility on two wheels. The BMW Motorrad Concept Link generates zero local emissions, is sporty and agile, and offers innovative functionality and digital connectivity. This concept vehicle links the digital and analogue worlds and serves as both a means of transport and a communication device.

Unbeatable performance, maximum exclusivity: the BMW HP4 RACE.

Another BMW Motorrad highlight in Frankfurt is the presentation of the BMW HP4 RACE. The new model is the world’s first industrially-produced motorcycle that features a main frame made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The BMW HP4 RACE is a pure-bred racing bike that will be individually crafted in a production run of 750 units.

The all-new Kia Picanto city car has been revealed to European media for the first time ahead of its public debut at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show on March 7. The new Picanto will go on sale across Europe from the start of Q2 2017.

Now in its third-generation, the new Kia Picanto brings a new, more youthful and energetic character to the A-segment. Boasting an assertive new design and a high-quality, high-tech new cabin, the latest model also offers buyers greater potential for customisation and promises to be the most versatile car in its class.

The new Picanto will be powered by one of three petrolengines, including Kia’s new 1.0-litre turbocharged gasoline direct injection (T-GDI) power unit. When the new 1.0-litre T-GDI engine goes on sale during Q4 2017, it will be the most powerful engine ever offered in the Picanto, and the first time this car has offered a turbocharged petrol engine.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, comments: “The Picanto is one of Kia’s best-selling models around the world, and has a particularly strong fan base here in Europe.

“Our European customers have told us that they love the design of the outgoing Picanto. They love its low running costs, its compact dimensions for city driving, and the high level of equipment available for the money. The new model retains these strengths, and now offers a new level of dynamism and performance, as well as introducing the latest technologies for in-car connectivity and enhanced safety. For these reasons we are confident that the new Picanto will help us further build our profile and market share in this very competitive segment.”

Worldwide, more than 1.4 million of the current-generation Picanto have been sold since it was launched in 2011, with more than 300,000 of those sold in Europe. Despite the car approaching the end of its lifecycle in showrooms, Kia sold more than 55,000 Picanto models in Europe in 2016, representing year-on-year sales growth of 3 per cent.

Exterior design

The all-new Picanto has been created by Kia’s design centres in Namyang, Korea and Frankfurt, Germany, collaborating to design a youthful, energetic look. Briefed to produce an innovative, bold and fun-looking urban city car, designers have followed up on the mandate to full effect, giving the new Picanto a more assertive stance with bolder body lines.

With the wheelbase extended to 2400mm (an increase of 15mm), the wheels have been pushed further out to the corners of the car for a 25mm shorter front overhang, making the car look more planted on the road. Strong, straight lines run horizontally across the front of the car, emphasising the ‘tiger-nose’ grille and angular new wrap-around headlamps. Vertical lines that encompass the side intakes and lower grille enhance the Picanto’s more confident new ‘face’.

In profile, the new Picanto is characterised by distinctive lines running along the side skirts, shoulder and around the wheel arches, and subtly-sculpted body surfacing – again, each helping to create a more confident on-road design and visually ‘stretching’ the car for a greater sense of ride stability – although the Picanto is no longer than the outgoing model, at 3595mm in length.

The new model adopts Kia’s wide C-pillar as a design motif, which stands more upright than that of the previous model. Combined with a longer rear overhang – up 10mm, to 520mm – for a more assured posture.

The all-new Picanto will offers buyers greater potential for customisation than ever before, with a choice of 11 vibrant paint finishes designed to make the car stand out. Among the six new colours available to buyers are ‘Lime Light’, ‘Shiny Red’, ‘Aurora Black’ ‘Pop Orange’, ‘Sparkling Silver’ and ‘Celestial Blue’ pearlescent metallic paint finishes. The Picanto is fitted with 14-inch steel wheels in its most basic form, and customers can select one of four aluminium alloy wheel designs, ranging from 14-inch to 16-inch in diameter.

The exterior of the Picanto is also complemented by new projection headlamps with LED indicators and LED daytime running lights, and, from Q3 2017, a subtle shark-fin antenna on the roof to replace the existing aerial.

For the first time, Kia will also offer the Picanto in a new ‘GT-Line’ specification, inspired by the sportier appearance of the company’s higher-performance ‘GT’ models, such as the Optima GT. In GT-Line specification, the exterior of the new Picanto is completed with red, silver and black highlights in the grille, side intakes, along the side skirts and in the rear valance, as well as chrome-tipped twin exhausts.

Interior design

Inside the new Picanto, Kia designers have created a more modern, refined cabin than the second-generation model, with new materials and layout adding a greater sense of quality for occupants. The predominantly horizontal design adds greater visual width to the interior, highlighting the increased cabin dimensions.

The dashboard layout is now more centrally aligned, with a large 7.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) sitting at the heart of the centre console and moving many of the car’s controls further up into the driver’s line of sight. A satin chrome-effect strip runs across the dashboard for a higher quality ambience, and large, vertical air vents at either end ‘bookend’ the front passenger compartment.

Customisation is key to the appeal of the new Picanto’s cabin. While black and grey cloth seats are available as standard, buyers can also personalise their new Picanto with one of five optional colour packs, featuring contrast artificial leather upholstery and stitching. Available at launch, these colour packs are:

  • High Gloss Black – a combination of black, grey and white upholstery with white stitching (and available with a black or grey base colour)
  • Brown – brown seats with light blue flashes down the side and light blue stitching
  • Blue – navy and true blue artificial leather and cloth upholstery with white and orange stitching
  • Red – black and grey seats with red flashes and red stitching
  • Lime – grey and light grey upholstery with lime green stitching

The contrast colours of the seats can be paired with optional new colour pads on the door armrests, echoing the contrast scheme selected for the seats. Finally, the Picanto’s new GT-Line derivative will be equipped with a D-cut steering wheel. The interior of the GT-Line model will be available with the full range of colour packs.

Practicality and packaging

Despite its on-road footprint remaining the same as that of the outgoing model, the all-new Picanto will offer buyers best-in-class packaging efficiency, with maximum versatility resulting from its larger cabin and class-leading boot capacity.

The Picanto meets the increasing trend towards five-door models in the A-segment, with Kia discontinuing the three-door model for the third generation car. Offering maximum practicality, the new model is no larger than the model it replaces, at 1485mm in height, 3595mm long and 1595mm wide. The new platform boasts a longer wheelbase and longer rear overhang, however, freeing up more space in the cabin and boot (the front overhang is reduced by 25mm, to 675mm).

Inside, the new Picanto provides occupants with more leg- and head-room than best-selling rivals in the A-segment, while a lower step height makes for easier ingress and egress. The base of the dashboard has been moved upwards by 15mm for greater knee and leg space for front passengers. The new Picanto is available with either four or five seats, with the rear bench split into either two or three seats depending on buyer preference (1.2-litre models are five-seat only).

The new central armrest for front passengers can slide back and forth up to 55mm – a first in the class – and covers a small storage compartment designed to accommodate a one-litre water bottle or a sunglasses case. At the base of the centre console is an open double-shelf tray to store mobile devices and other small items, with retractable twin cupholders which can fold away to yield more storage space.

Beneath the sun visors in the front of the cabin, the vanity mirror also features bright new LED lights and a strip of mood lighting. By providing the surrounding glow of a make-up room mirror, the Picanto’s new vanity mirror makes it easier for occupants to apply make-up, check their hair-style, or adjust their hat, scarf or tie.

The boot grows from 200 litres (VDA) to a maximum 255 litres – the most of any car in the class – and also features a two-step boot floor, which can be raised or lowered by 145mm to create additional space as required, as well as create an under-floor storage area. The 60:40 split-folding rear seats can be folded down completely flat with a one-touch lever, for maximum ease of use. This also boosts cargo capacity to 1010 litres.

Comfort levels are also improved. Where the seats in many A-segment rivals provide one-piece back rests with integrated headrests, the new Picanto gives buyers fully-adjustable headrests, which move up and down and tilt forwards and backwards.

The Picanto’s new seats are also more comfortable for longer journeys, featuring the same seat-base materials and construction found in larger Kia models (such as the new Optima). In the rear, the angle of the back rest is more reclined – from 25 to 27 degrees – for a more relaxed posture, and slightly more prominent side bolsters on the rear bench further improve comfort and support during faster cornering.

Ride and handling

The outgoing Kia Picanto won plaudits for its combination of immediate handling responses and a comfortable ride. Engineers have emulated these characteristics in the new model, while making a series of modifications to the suspension – independent by MacPherson strut at the front; torsion beam at the rear – to realise greater ride stability and quicker, more enjoyable handling responses.

Designed to reduce the body roll angle under cornering by up to one degree and enable more immediate reactions to steering inputs, the Picanto’s anti-roll bars are 2 per cent stiffer and mounted slightly lower at the front, and 5 per cent stiffer and slightly higher at the rear. The Picanto’s revised dimensions – with a longer wheelbase and slightly shorter front overhang – also enable the pitch centre of the car to be placed further towards the rear of the car, helping to naturally reduce ‘nose dive’ under braking without firming up the suspension and potentially compromising ride comfort.

In addition, the longer wheelbase contributes to a natural improvement in ride quality and stability on all roads. The torsion beam rear axle has been reshaped and features newly-designed trailing arms, helping to reduce weight by 1.8 kg over the rear axle with no loss in component rigidity.

A new steering rack means the steering ratio has been quickened by 13 per cent over the outgoing Picanto, from 16.5:1 to 14.3:1. Not only does this enable more immediate responses to driver inputs, but reducing the turns of the wheel lock-to-lock (from 3.4 to 2.8 turns) makes the Picanto even easier to drive at low speeds and in the city. With the front wheel pushed closer to the front of the vehicle, resulting in a shorter overhang, the reduced weight ahead of the front axle reduces inertia for more agile handling.

The new Picanto is the first car in its class to offer buyers torque vectoring by braking – an additional function of the Electronic Stability Control system. The adoption of this new technology for an A-segment car means the Picanto retains a higher degree of handling stability and security under cornering, while helping to reduce understeer during harder cornering.

Engines and transmissions

Underpinning the all-new Picanto’s quicker, more responsive steering is a range of highly efficient small-capacity petrol engines. Serving to minimise the weight over the front axle, the downsized engine line-up also delivers the sprightly acceleration and immediate powertrain responses that customers expect of an urban car.

Three petrol engines will be available to buyers. The 1.0-litre and 1.25-litre naturally-aspirated multi-point injection (MPI) engines have been carried over from the outgoing Picanto, with a range of enhancements to improve efficiency and driveability. From Q4 2017, Kia’s new 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) power unit will also be available, offering turbocharged petrol performance in the Picanto for the first time ever. All engines are paired with a five-speed manual transmission, delivering power to the front wheels. Idle Stop & Go is available on certain manual models, while the 1.25-litre MPI engine is also available with a four-speed automatic transmission.

The 1.0-litre MPI engine provides the entry point into the Picanto range, producing 49kW at 5500rpm and 96Nm torque. The most fuel efficient engine available to Picanto buyers, the 1.0-litre unit is capable of producing just 89 g/km of carbon dioxide (four-seat model; New European Drive Cycle, combined), down from 95 g/km on the outgoing model (a 6.3 per cent reduction). Upgrades to the engine include a new exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head, and a new cooling system with shut-off valve, reducing the time it takes the engine to warm-up from a cold start. A new two-stage oil pump also reduces mechanical friction.

The mid-range 1.25-litre MPI produces peak power of 62kW, and 122Nm of torque. Picanto models with this engine will emit 104 g/km of CO2 on the combined cycle, compared with 106 g/km for the existing Picanto. For its application in the new Picanto, Kia engineers have optimized the valve timing of the engine’s dual CVVT (continuously-variable valve timing) system, and have also adopted a similar new cooling system and shut-off valve to the 1.0-litre MPI engine. New low-friction coated piston rings also help to reduce cylinder friction for greater efficiency.

The 1.0-litre T-GDI engine, available in the Picanto for the first time, produces 74kW and 172Nm torque, the highest power and torque outputs ever offered in Kia’s A-segment model. The engine features a single-scroll turbocharger for instant acceleration, as well as an integrated exhaust manifold, and a high-pressure (200 bar) fuel supply. Laser-drilled injectors deliver precise quantities of fuel into the cylinders to accurately control combustion, delivering instantaneous accelerative responses and contributing to the engine’s high efficiency and low fuel consumption.

Refinement

Refinement has been dramatically improved in the new Picanto, with a range of modifications designed to further isolate the cabin from vibrations and noise from the road, wind and the engine. The result is a car that offers the quietest cabin of any A-segment model, both at idle and at a steady cruise.

New refinement measures adopted for the latest Picanto include a new soundproofing panel beneath the dashboard and in the floor of the cabin, while expandable sound-absorbent foam has been applied to lower sections of the A- and B-pillars. Beneath the bonnet, a new sound-absorbent engine cover and reshaped air intake help to isolate engine noise from the cabin. The structure of the engine mounts has also been revised to counteract engine vibrations. Furthermore, the windscreen wipers have been lowered by 6mm to reduce the level of wind ‘roar’ generated at the base of the windscreen

As a result of these upgrades, the new Picanto produces a quietest-in-class 39 dB of noise at idle – 3 dB less than the current A-segment leader – and 68 dB at a steady cruise.

Technology

Buyers of the new Kia Picanto will have access to some of the most advanced infotainment and convenience technologies available in the A-segment, while still enjoying the same high value for money expected of a Kia vehicle.

The large, ‘floating’ 7.0-inch HMI touchscreen at the centre of the dashboard houses a navigation system with 3D map, and is available with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ for full smartphone integration. A rear-view parking camera with dynamic guidelines is also on offer to buyers who want an additional level of assurance when completing parking manoeuvres. An optional wireless smartphone charger and USB port, located at the base of the centre console, ensure drivers can keep mobile devices charged on the move.

Safety and body

The new Picanto is the safest A-segment car Kia has ever made, featuring double the proportion of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) compared to the outgoing model and a selection of active safety technologies.

With a stronger body than ever before, 44 per cent of the new Picanto’s bodyshell is cast in AHSS (up from 22 per cent), reducing body-in-white weight by 23kg while improving tensile strength by 12 per cent. The new, stronger steel has been used to reinforce the floor pan, roof rails and engine bay, as well as the A- and B-pillars, strengthening the core structure of the car. The new bodyshell also uses more than eight times the quantity of structural adhesive found in the outgoing model (67 metres of joins throughout the structure are now reinforced with the adhesive). Overall, static torsional stiffness has been improved by 32 per cent.

The stronger, lighter body is supported by six standard airbags (front, front side and curtain airbags), and an optional knee airbag, as well as a range of active safety features. These include standard Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to ensure stability under braking and cornering, detecting a loss in traction and using ESC to help the driver keep the car on course.

In addition, the new Picanto will be available with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)* – a key technology adopted to enhance safety in the predominantly city and urban environments in which the majority of customers drive their Picanto. An indirect Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is also available.

On-sale

Maintaining the value for money and high quality that has made the current-generation Picanto so popular, the all-new Picanto will be sold as standard with Kia’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty when it goes on-sale across Europe from the start of Q2 2017.

The new Kia Rio will make its world debut on September 29 in Paris, at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile. The Rio is the Korean manufacturer’s global best-selling model, with more than 473,000 sold around the world in 2015, accounting for 16 per cent of Kia’s annual sales. Now entering its fourth generation, the new Rio will offer B-segment buyers a compelling package, with an attractive new design, high practicality and convenience, class-first safety technology, new connectivity features and more engaging ride and handling.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, commented: “The Rio is an important car for Kia, as our best-selling model worldwide. The B-segment is one of the most hotly-contested areas of the new car market, and the third-generation Rio helped introduce more people to the Kia brand than ever before.

“As a gateway to the brand, the Rio has typically offered an attractive design, low running costs and a practical nature. It’s for these reasons that the current model has sold in record numbers around the world. The new model will build on these key strengths, with higher desirability, a more enjoyable drive and the most advanced safety features in its class.”

Designed and engineered to meet the needs and desires of a wider range of buyers, the new Rio will play an increasingly important role in the Kia model line-up.

The B-segment is the largest market segment in the European new car market, and Kia anticipates that the new Rio will attract over 100,000 buyers in its first full year on-sale. This will place the Rio alongside Kia’s best-selling models in Europe, the Sportage and cee’d. The new Rio will be manufactured at Kia’s Sohari manufacturing facility in Korea, and will go on sale globally during the first quarter of 2017.

Exterior design

The Rio’s progressive new exterior and interior design was led by Kia’s design centres in Germany and California, in close collaboration with the company’s domestic design base in Namyang, Korea. The appearance of the new Rio is defined by straight lines and smooth surfacing, giving the car a distinctive new look and more mature character than its predecessor.

At the front, the Rio wears the latest evolution of Kia’s ‘tiger-nose’ grille, now thinner in height and wider across the front of the car, with a gloss black grille cover. The grille is integrated with the newly-designed bi-function headlamps, more sculpted for a sharper look, and featuring a new U-shaped LED light signature. The Rio’s front fog lamp surrounds are moved outwards and upwards in the front bumper compared to their position on the third-generation model, adding greater visual width to the front of the car for a stronger overall look. The longer bonnet features bracket-shaped creases that run down from the base of the A-pillars to the grille and headlamps.

In profile, the fourth-generation Rio’s lengthened, more balanced stance is achieved with a long bonnet and longer front overhang, a 10 mm longer wheelbase (up to 2,580 mm), a thinner, more upright C-pillar, and a shorter rear overhang. Overall, the new car is 15 mm longer than its predecessor, at 4,065 mm in length, and 5 mm lower (now 1,450 mm tall). Straight, clearly-defined lines run down the full length of the car’s shoulder and along its doors, further stretching the appearance of the car for a more confident look.

The rear section of the Rio is now more upright, with a near-vertical rear windscreen and a shorter overhang. The straight line that runs from the grille, through the headlamps and along the top of the doors, continues around the back of the car, paired with thinner, more sculpted rear lamps, which now feature a new arrow-shaped LED light signature. Like the wider-looking ‘face’ of the car, the rear design of the new Rio gives the car a stronger overall appearance.

When the new Rio goes on sale across Europe, it will be available in a choice of eight exterior colours and a choice of three aluminium alloy wheel designs, ranging from 15-inch to 17-inch in diameter. The Rio will be sold as a five door model in Europe.

Interior design

The new Kia Rio features a modern new cabin, with more sculptural forms and a more ergonomic layout than its predecessor. The interior has also been designed to accommodate the Rio’s new range of technologies.

Like the exterior, straight lines running the width of the dashboard characterize the shape of the interior, giving the cabin a wider appearance and increasing the sense of space for occupants. As well as long, lateral lines that govern the shape of the dashboard, horizontal vents further add to the visual width of the cabin, replacing the vertical vents of the third-generation model. Gloss black trim lines the central section of the dashboard.

The dashboard itself is now angled towards the driver, a layout which provides the car with a sportier, more driver-focused design and a more premium character. At the centre of the dashboard is a new infotainment system, a ‘floating’ HMI (human-machine interface) available with a 5.0-inch high-resolution touchscreen. Below, the driver-oriented centre console features fewer buttons, with more ergonomic, concave switches and rotator dials below to control the heating and ventilation.

The new Rio is available with a choice of black or grey cloth seat upholstery, or with black or grey artificial leather. A ‘Red Pack’ for the Rio gives buyers black with red artificial leather-trimmed seats. New technologies further boost the appeal of the Rio’s cabin. Designed to improve comfort and convenience for owners, the new model is available with keyless entry and ignition, heated seats and steering wheel, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, and automatic headlamps. The new model is also available with Automatic Cruise Control, with a speed limiter, and Rear Park Assist with a rear view camera (see ‘Safety’ for more information on the Rio’s new safety systems).

Practicality

The Rio will have the most spacious cabin and one of the highest cargo capacities (325 litres) of any car in its class when it goes on sale, with practicality a key focus for the Rio’s development and engineering teams.

The Rio’s 10 mm-longer wheelbase and 15mm-longer body contribute to larger cabin and cargo dimensions. Leg room grows to 1,120 mm in the front and 770 mm in the rear, while the new model offers more shoulder room than most other cars in its class – 1,375 mm in the front and 1,355 in the rear. Despite the new Rio being 5 mm shorter in height than the outgoing model, front and rear headroom (1,021 mm and 966 mm respectively) are among the best in the B-segment.

These improvements to space in the cabin have been achieved with a series of changes to the Rio’s packaging. These include re-profiled door trims, the adoption of new headlining materials, and changes to the shape of the dashboard, as well as more significant changes to the bodyshell of the Rio – such as the longer wheelbase.

Furthermore, thinner C-pillars – reduced in width by 87 mm – and relocated door mirrors (moved up to the base of the A-pillar) help minimise the size of the driver’s blind spots and improve all-round visibility. A lower window line around the cabin and new quarterlights at the tail end of the rear doors also give the driver and passengers a better view out.

The Rio’s cabin offers more storage space than before. At the base of the centre console is an open double storage tray for mobile devices and other small items, and the overhead console includes an area to store sunglasses. The glove compartment is also a single-box shape.

The new Rio has bottle holders in every door (to accommodate 1.5-litre bottles in the front and 0.5-litre bottles in the rear of the car) and two larger cupholders in the front. The doors also feature closed-bottom storage holes in the door handles, useful for small items such as a phone or coins. An optional armrest is available, adding further storage capacity to the cabin.

Luggage capacity has also increased by 37 litres to 325 litres (VDA; +13 per cent), among the best in class. This extra space has been achieved in spite of the Rio’s rear overhang being shortened by 15 mm to 655 mm, a key element of the car’s new design. The new Rio features a split-level boot floor, which enables owners to change the height of the boot floor to fit items under the floor to prevent objects rolling around, or to keep them out of sight. The Rio is fitted as standard with split-folding rear seats and a tyre mobility kit under the boot floor. Buyers can specify an optional spare wheel.

The fuel tank, which is located under the rear bench, is 45 litres in size, two litres larger than the earlier model.

Powertrains

The new Kia Rio will be powered by a range of petrol and diesel engines when it goes on sale in 2017, each offering high efficiency and willing acceleration.

An increasing customer appetite for downsized, turbocharged engines has led to the adoption of Kia’s latest three-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbo gasoline direct injection) engines. The lightweight and compact new engine was introduced for the first time in the upgraded Kia cee’d in 2015 and is expected to account for the majority of Rio sales when the new model goes on sale. As well as offering high efficiency and low emissions, the lightweight nature of the new T-GDI engines benefit the Rio’s keen front-end handling, with less mass and inertia for the car to work against under cornering.

Customers ordering their Rio with the 1.0-litre T-GDI engine can choose between 100 or 120 ps power outputs. The 73kW (100ps) engine produces peak power at 4,500 rpm and 172 Nm torque from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm .The higher-powered 88kW (120 ps) engine produces the same torque output across the same band of engine speeds, while power is accessible at a higher 6,000 rpm peak. Now in the latter stages of testing and development, both engines are expected to deliver sub-100 g/km CO2 emissions (NEDC, combined). The Rio’s Idle Stop & Go (ISG) system will see emissions reduced even further, pending homologation.

Alongside the 1.0-litre T-GDI, the Kia Rio is offered with naturally-aspirated 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre MPI (multi-point injection) petrol engines. The 62kW (84 ps) 1.25-litre engine produces its peak power at 6,000 rpm and 122 Nm torque at 4,000 rpm; the 1.4-litre produces 73kW (100 ps)at 6,000 rpm and 132 Nm torque at 4,000 rpm. Pending final homologation tests, both engines are expected to deliver CO2 emissions of under 120 g/km.

For even lower emissions, the new Rio will also be sold with a 1.4-litre diesel engine, producing either 52kW or 66kW (70 or 90 ps). Regardless of power output, the 1.4-litre diesel engine will be capable of producing the lowest CO2 emissions levels in the Rio line-up – Kia engineers are targeting CO2 emissions under 90 g/km, with ISG.

All engines apply power to the front wheels, either through a five-speed manual transmission for 1.25-litre and 73kW (100 ps) 1.0-litre T-GDI petrol engines; or a six-speed manual transmission for the 1.4-litre petrol engine, the higher-output 88kW (120 ps) 1.0-litre T-GDI engine, and both 1.4-litre diesel engines.

Safety

The new Rio will be one of the safest cars in its class when it goes on sale, available with a package of Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The new Rio is built on high-strength steel body and features a wide array of passive safety equipment – the car is engineered to meet the most demanding crash safety test criteria around the world.

Targeting a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating when fitted with optional ADAS technology, the Rio will be the first car in the B-segment to feature Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian recognition. The Rio’s AEB system uses a long-range radar detection system to detect potential collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians and helps bring the car to a halt*. AEB is paired with a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), which alerts the driver if they stray out of their lane on the road without the use of indicators.

The bodyshell of the new Rio is made up of a significant proportion of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). The extensive use of AHSS in the body of the Rio is part of a wider effort by Kia to achieve a 5 per cent reduction in the average weight of new car bodies by 2020 when compared to 2014, while enabling greater safety and security. 51 per cent of the new Rio’s body is made out of strong, light AHSS, compared to 33 per cent in the third-generation model.

The higher application of AHSS has strengthened the passenger cabin ‘cell’ for greater occupant safety and more effective distribution of impact forces. The stronger steel has been used to reinforce the A- and B-pillars, as well as side sills, roof structure, engine bay and floor pan.

The new Rio is fitted with six airbags throughout the cabin, as well as ISOFIX child-seat tether and anchor points for front and rear passenger seats.

Driving

As well as being incredibly safe to drive, the new Rio seeks to build on the level of driver engagement offered by the third-generation model. Kia’s chassis development teams have sought to introduce greater driving appeal, with more agile and immediate handling, while improving ride comfort. The Rio sits on fully-independent MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear axle.

The development of a stiffer bodyshell gave R&D teams the freedom to develop a more compliant suspension system. The new Rio benefits from a revised spring and damper set-up than the outgoing model, improving the car’s compliance and comfort at all speeds, while facilitating the car’s more enjoyable, engaging handling characteristics.

Compared to the third-generation model, the modifications to the Rio’s chassis include: more rigid front suspension struts and cross member and a raised rear torsion beam for high-speed stability; the adoption of new vertical rear shock absorbers and front shock absorbers with pre-loaded linear valve technology, both resulting in more linear handling and suspension response over broken road surfaces; and a repositioned power steering gearbox, to enable greater ‘on-centre’ feel through the steering wheel. The changes to the chassis are designed to endow the Rio with more immediate handling responses and improve the level of confidence that the driver has behind the wheel.

On top of the new package of ADAS technologies, the new Rio is fitted as standard with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC). VSM ensures stability under braking and cornering, detecting a loss in traction and using ESC to help the driver keep the car on course.

Connectivity

At the centre of the dashboard is the new infotainment system, housing Kia’s latest HMI (human-machine interface). The new Rio is available with a ‘floating’ 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, paired with a six-speaker audio system. Buyers can also specify a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system. Android Auto™ or Apple CarPlay™ will be available.

The new Rio will offer buyers access to Kia’s Connected Services, powered by TomTom®. This new connectivity package offers drivers a wide range of up-to-date information, including live traffic updates**, speed camera locations and alerts**, local point-of-interest search and weather forecasts. Available in cars equipped with navigation Kia’s Connected Services will be available free of charge for European buyers for seven years after the car’s purchase.

The Rio’s Android Auto™ system is designed to work with Android phones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher. Available from launch, Android Auto™ connects to the user’s phone and lets them access smartphone apps and functions through the in-car infotainment system, such as voice-guided Google Maps navigation, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition. Android Auto™ also lets users stream music from Google Play Music™ and other services.

Apple CarPlay™, for iPhone 5 or newer, will enable full Siri voice control to manage the phone’s various functions and apps, including navigation via Apple Maps, calls and text dictation. Apple CarPlay™ also supports other audio apps that the user may have downloaded to their iPhone – such as music streaming or audiobook services.

The Kia Rio will be the first car in the B-segment to be equipped with USB ports in both the front and rear of the cabin, enabling users to physically connect a mobile device to the Rio’s infotainment system, and recharge batteries on the move.

On sale: New Rio arrives in Europe in early 2017 

The all-new Kia Rio will go on sale across Europe in the first quarter of 2017, with the company’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty as standard.

*Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is an assistance system and does not relieve the driver from his/her responsibility to safely operate the vehicle at any time. The driver still has to adapt his/her driving behaviour to his/her personal driving capabilities, to the legal requirements and to the overall road and traffic conditions. AEBS is not designed to drive the vehicle autonomously. 
**Legal restrictions to these services may apply depending on country usage

Jaguar will celebrate its exciting future and rich, 80-year heritage at the 2015 Frankfurt IAA, with a dramatic reveal of the all-new Jaguar F-PACE. The Jaguar F-PACE will be the first ever performance crossover from the famous British luxury and sports car marque. The stunning new F-PACE, which will be available to view on the Jaguar stand throughout the show (17 - 27 September), is previewed with the release of an exclusive image and film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqvbP-uxGIw&feature=youtu.be

 Camouflaged prototypes have already been seen proving the all-new F-PACE’s everyday usability and exceptional ride and handling by supporting Team Sky on the Tour de France, enduring more than a quarter of a million miles of extreme testing at JLR test centres Dubai and Northern Sweden, and tackling some of the most challenging roads in world. This is a performance crossover designed for those who love driving. The world-first reveal moment planned for Jaguar’s first performance crossover will showcase the agility and lightweight credentials of this all-new model. A film capturing all the action will be available at www.jaguar.com from 20:15hrs CEST. Social media users tracking the event live will see updates online using the hashtag #FPACE

Kevin Stride, Jaguar Land Rover Vehicle Line Director: “2015 is Jaguar’s 80th anniversary and it has been a monumental year of transformation for the brand. First, with the introduction of the innovative Jaguar XE and followed closely by the class-leading all-new XF. Today is a proud moment for Jaguar as we launch the F-PACE, our first performance crossover.”

The all-new Jaguar F-PACE will be joined on the Frankfurt show stand by a trio of new Jaguar products – the enhanced 2016 Jaguar XJ and the all-new XF, which will both be available to view in retailers across Europe from September, along with the award-winning new Jaguar XE. The 2016 Jaguar F-TYPE range, which now includes All-Wheel Drive and manual transmission options in Coupé and Convertible body styles, will also star at the show. Full details of the all-new Jaguar F-PACE, including technical data and pricing will be confirmed on press day at the Frankfurt IAA – 15 September at 10:30hrs CEST.

The all-new Jaguar F-PACE will go on sale worldwide from 2016.

The world premiere of the first ever Infiniti Q30 premium active compact is scheduled at this year’s International Motor Show at Frankfurt. The uniquely expressive exterior of the new Q30 creates a visual dynamism for the newest premium compact in the segment. In similar fashion, the interior of the Q30 takes the expressive forms and curves and turns them into an individuality that embraces the driver and passengers.

Infiniti interior designers have selected highest quality materials and processes to create a premium modern ambiance. One tactile detail is the Dinamica suedelike material from Italy. Used increasingly in the high-fashion industry, it now lines the roof and support pillars of the Q30 cabin.

Driver and passenger seating have been constructed for enhanced comfort and support with an elevated hip-point, aiding the in-control sense that combines well with Q30’s sharp dynamics on city streets or country roads.

“Q30’s sculpted exterior and asymmetric cabin design are unmistakably Infiniti,” says President of Infiniti, Roland Krueger. “With the Q30, we are entering a new segment for Infiniti and broadening the offer to our customers. This vehicle is a vital part of our strategy to be a top tier global manufacturer of premium cars.”

The Infiniti Q30 will be officially unveiled at Infiniti’s press conference in Frankfurt at 10:15am CET on September 15th.