Live updates from the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show
There are few SUVs more famous than the Land Rover Defender, the classic off-roader.
Now the British carmaker is hoping to extend the Defender's illustrious 70-year run with an all-new version unveiled Tuesday at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
It retains the Defender's famous boxy shape, but with more modern lines and new technology. Like a Jeep Wrangler, the Defender is built to withstand serious off-road use --even though many buyers will rarely take it beyond the suburbs.
The new Defender rides 0.8 inches (2 cm) higher off the road than other Land Rover models and offers a camera system that allows drivers to see what's passing underneath the front wheels
In addition to its rugged off-road credentials, it offers luxuries such as a 10-inch (25 cm) touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, systems that allow drivers to interact with their phones while driving.
It will initially be offered in the Land Rover 110 range with seating options for up to 7 people. A smaller Land Rover Defender 90 will be available later. Prices for the larger model will start at just under $50,000 when it goes on sale in the Spring.
The ID.3 is the first fully electric car to go into production from Volkswagen's "ID family." It will be sold in Europe starting this spring.
Opel was sold by GM to France's Groupe PSA two years ago as the American automaker exited the European market. But it took Opel until Tuesday for it to unveil its first new cars since the change in ownership.
The German automaker, which General Motors (GM) sold along with Britain's Vauxhall Motors, debuted new gas and electric versions of the Corsa at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It also unveiled a new version of the Astra and the Grandland X plug-in hybrid.
Opel had been part of GM since the 1920s, but it had lost money for the last 16 years as part of the US automaker. PSA, which makes Peugeot and Citroen cars, has turned things around pretty quickly. Both Opel and Vauxhall are now making money again.
Bentley is truly making them the old fashioned way. In fact, a dozen people will be able to buy a brand new, freshly built 1929 "Blower" Bentley.
The 12 cars, built by Bentley's Mulliner customization division, will be copies of four original supercharged Bentley race cars from the 1920s.
The original cars were modified by Sir Tim Birkin, one of the renowned "Bentley Boys" racing drivers of the 1920s. The cars are commonly known as "Blower" Bentleys because "blower" is a slang term for a supercharger, a mechanical device that increases power by pumping air into the engine. Those four original race cars, which have 240 horsepower 16-cylinder engines, are considered the most valuable Bentleys in the world today.
To make the new copies, Bentley will completely disassemble the one original "Blower" Bentley the company still owns and digitally scan all the parts so exact copies can be made. New tools and manufacturing techniques, as well as original 1920s-era tools, will be used to make new parts. It will take Bentley about two years to build the cars, the company said. Prices will be negotiated individually with buyers but will, presumably, be very, very high.
After unveiling a new brand identity and logo, Volkswagen revealed a new electric car to go along with it.
The ID.3, a compact hatchback, is the first in a planned family of ID electric cars from the automaker. It's roughly the size of a Golf on the outside, but with a shorter hood — since there's no engine — and a larger, roomier passenger area.
At the event in Frankfurt, Germany, VW executives spoke a lot about how the ID.3 needs to represent Volkswagen's return to its early days as a likable maker of fun cars like the Beetle. So designers gave the ID.3 a gently smiling "face" up front, with headlights that will turn on and flutter like eyes as the driver approaches. The brake and gas pedals are also decorated with pause and play icons like an MP3 player. VW also promises it will be fun to drive, but we'll have to see about that later.
The base car will start at under €30,000 euros. The first cars will be delivered to customers in Europe in the spring.
Volkswagen unveiled a “new” logo Monday evening that looks a lot like its previous logo, just more stark and two-dimensional.
The new logo comes as the company, badly tarred by the emissions cheating scandal, tries to reposition itself as a more likable, eco-friendly automaker. The unveiling comes during a Volkswagen Group event being held in Germany the night before the start of the Frankfurt Motor Show.
“The new brand design marks the start of the new era for Volkswagen,” says Jürgen Stackmann, the VW head of marketing and sales. “Now is the right time to make the new attitude of our brand visible to the outside world.”
Also during the event was the official unveiling of the Volkswagen ID.3, the brand's first car designed from the start to be electric. Volkswagen's earlier electric cars, the e-Up! and e-Golf, were built on platforms made for petrol and diesel cars.
Some of Bugatti's best customers will soon be given the chance to own a car that can go over 300 miles an hour, assuming they can find somewhere safe to go that fast.
Not long after announcing that a modified Bugatti Chiron prototype had hit nearly 305 miles (490 km) an hour on a test track. Bugatti told some of its best customers that it would make a similar version of the car for them to buy. Bugatti says it is the first production auto manufacturer to make a car that has exceeded 300 miles per hour.
Only 30 of the cars will be made. The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ will cost $3.9 million. That's less than $1 million more than the standard Bugatti Chiron, which costs about $3.2 million. It's also much less than some of the brand's recent limited edition models, such as the Divo, which costs $6 million, and the Centodieci, which goes for $9 million. Then there was the one-off La Voiture Noire, which costs almost $19 million, including taxes.
The 16-cylinder engine in the Super Sport 300+, although largely the same as the one in the Chiron, is tuned to produce 1600 horsepower, 100 more than the base car. To optimize aerodynamics, the Super Sport 300+ has a longer body than the standard Chiron. The exhaust pipes have also been repositioned to improve air flow past the back of the car.
The slump in India is getting worse. Car sales plunged 41% in August compared to the same month last year, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. That's the biggest monthly drop in two decades, and a tenth straight month of declines.
India had been a bright spot for carmakers until recently, with annual sales of passenger vehicles rising by about 33% over the past five years.
Before the slump hit, India was predicted to overtake Germany and Japan to become the world's third largest car market by 2020 — behind only China and the United States.
But the country's biggest carmakers are now struggling. New safety and emission regulations have driven up prices, troubles at India's consumer finance providers have hit lending, and a broader economic slowdown has made people reluctant to spend on big items.
Maruti Suzuki, India's biggest carmaker, suspended production at two of its main plants on Saturday and Monday.
Read more about the downturn in India's car industry here.
Volkswagen hasn’t even unveiled the new ID.3, the brand’s new mass-market electric car, but all 30,000 of the special “First Edition” models have already been spoken for. VW has been accepting €1,000 refundable reservations since May. Prices for the cars will start at less than €40,000. At least initially, the ID.3 is only being offered in Europe.
Volkswagen has said the new ID.3 will look sort of like a Golf on the outside, but will have the roominess of a Passat on the inside. After years of concept cars, we’ll finally get a look at the car all these people have already agreed to buy at the Frankfurt Motor Show.