At the International Motor Show in Germany, Mercedes and BMW presented their new products
The International Automobile Exhibition has opened in Munich. We tell you about the main premieres and novelties that will be able to get to Russia only by parallel import
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The IAA exhibition has been held intermittently in Germany since 1897, and during this time it has become one of the main car shows in the world and the main European auto show. Until recently, there were four such car dealerships. In winter, local American novelties were presented in Detroit, numerous sports cars and concepts gathered in Geneva in the spring, and the Paris Motor Show and the IAA in Frankfurt, held every two years, alternated in autumn.
However, the coronavirus pandemic, and then the subsequent growth of the Chinese auto industry, changed the Frankfurt Motor Show IAA beyond recognition. To begin with, it is now being held in Munich. Many car brands ignore it from now on, preferring to hold online presentations or take their exhibits to exhibitions in China. And those who remained filled the stands almost exclusively with electric vehicles. But Mercedes, BMW, Opel, Volkswagen and Renault, which joined them, did not leave visitors without novelties. The IAA Motor Show in Munich will open to the public on the morning of September 5, but journalists were called on the 4th. We talk about the main premieres and events.
In terms of electric mobility, the German car industry has lagged behind Tesla and the rapidly developing Chinese. But systematically preparing a new generation of electric cars, which should become the best in the world.
For Mercedes, this is a new family on a platform called MMA. It is important to note that until now Mercedes simply did not have a “trolley” for compact electric cars, or rather it will not be for more than a year. The cars themselves are in the line, but these are to a certain extent rough alterations from gasoline models to electric traction: EQA and EQB.
Mercedes-Benz Concept CLA Class (Photo: Mercedes-Benz)
A four-door CLA coupe was brought to Munich, which from now on will be an electric car. And with a power reserve of as much as 750 kilometers! There are no other details, the serial version will appear at the end of 2024. On the same chassis, they will make another station wagon and a couple of crossovers. And one of them — here’s a surprise — by design will be a reduced copy of the brutal G-Class.
BMW used the IAA-2023 platform to present its vision of the electric future with the Neue Klasse concept. This is a very ambitious name, considering that this was the name of a family of cars produced in 1962–1975, with which BMW emerged from the crisis and laid the foundation for its modern well-being.
BMW Vision Neue Klasse (Photo: BMW)
Like Mercedes, BMW has been trying for a long time to make cars with electric and gasoline engines on the same platform, yielding the market to newcomers like the same Tesla. Neue Klasse, which will become serial in 2025, should change this trend.
So far, this is an electric car concept with no clear characteristics. But its creators have already solved one problem. The fact is that the trademark of Bavarian cars is a characteristic front grille, which in Russia is called “nostrils”, and in Europe “kidneys”. But an electric car does not need such a grille due to the absence of an engine radiator behind it. And in the Neue Klasse, headlights were made in the shape of nostrils!
BMW Vision Neue Klasse (Photo:BMW)
Volkswagen also turned to the past, recalling the abbreviation GTI. So 48 years ago they called a modification of the Golf model, which became one of the first charged hatchbacks. We owe this class of cars not only to the first films of the Fast and Furious franchise, but also to the disappearance of compact and relatively cheap sports cars in Europe, which with the advent of the Golf GTI and its analogues died out like mammoths.
Volkswagen brought the ID. GTI concept to Munich, created on the basis of the future budget electric car ID.2. The latter will appear in 2025 and will cost at least 25 thousand. A “charged” electric car sounds strange, but it is exactly the sporty and boosted version of the ID.2. The characteristics are not disclosed yet, but the car has already been promised a serial future.
Volkswagen ID.GTI Concept (Photo: Volkswagen)
Finally, Opel also showed the prototype of the German electric car of the future. However, not quite German. The fact is that Opel has been part of the Stellantis concern for some time, which unites as many as 14 car brands in Europe and North America. Peugeot, however, dominates this conglomerate.
So, Stellantis is preparing four new electric platforms for all its brands at once by about 2025. This is a chassis for compact cars, for medium-sized passenger cars and crossovers, for premium brands such as Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Chrysler, as well as the fourth, frame, for American Ram pickups.
Opel Experimental Concept (Photo: Opel)
And in Munich, the Opel Experimental concept is being blown away for a medium-sized platform. As befits a concept, you need to look at it, but no more. But its serial incarnation promises many hundreds of horsepower and a power reserve of at least 650 kilometers.
What you can buy now
All the above-mentioned machines, although they will receive a serial incarnation, but not yet soon. But you can buy something in Europe (and, consequently, bring it to Russia through bypass channels) right now.
So, Opel Astra Sport Tourer Electric, the world premiere of which took place in Munich, is the living embodiment of the fact that so far European electric cars created on the basis of gasoline cars have not reached perfection. Of the advantages — this is the only fully electric serial electric car with a station wagon body today.
Opel Astra Sports Tourer Electric (Photo: Opel)
Cons — with a power reserve of 413 kilometers and a power of 156 hp at a price under €42 thousand in Europe, it is difficult to surprise buyers, given that the same Tesla Model 3 in Germany costs only a thousand euros more expensive. Don’t want such an Opel? Wait for the serial implementation of the Experimental concept.
BMW has revealed the new Mini Cooper and Countryman. And these are also electric cars. The small hatchback will now have only an electric drive with a capacity of 184 or 218 hp and a power reserve of 305 or 402 km. City cars, but light by the standards of electric cars.
Mini Countryman SE ALL4 (Photo: Mini)
The Countryman crossover will be given versions with internal combustion engines, but so far only the electric version has been shown. 204 or 313 hp to choose from, and in the second case the car will be with all-wheel drive. Depending on the battery version, the power reserve ranges from 433 or 462 km.
From the French, only Renault came to the Germans at the exhibition this time. But they brought a new generation of the Scenic model, which suddenly turned out to be an electric car as well.
Despite the appearance resembling a crossover, the new Scenic remained a minivan, and with a huge wheelbase of 2785 mm. This allows you to comfortably accommodate five passengers and more than 500 liters of luggage inside.
Renault Scenic E-Tech (Photo: Renault)
The car is even ready for long-distance travel, though rather in relatively compact France, and not on the Ufa- Khabarovsk route. The power reserve on a single charge already varies from 420 to 620 kilometers, which is not bad, given the possibility of fast charging in about an hour’s stop for lunch.
The only thing that confuses is that there is no alternative front-wheel drive and a maximum power of 225 hp. You can’t call a quick Scenic.
There is still gasoline in the gas tanks
After reading the list of novelties of the German auto show, you may get the impression that the electric world has won. It is, but not quite. Two world premieres of iconic cars with internal combustion engines, which consume fossil fuels, were held in Munich.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain (Photo: Mercedes-Benz)
The first of them is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain. Off-road version of the E-Class station wagon from Mercedes. A car that was not in high demand in the previous generation, but still gathered a certain number of fans. Ideal for those who do not want to sacrifice the comfort, economy and controllability of a passenger car in favor of a crossover, but who need increased cross-country ability and who do not trust electric cars.
What’s the same, all-wheel drive, luxury interior, air suspension and three powerplants to choose from: a 197-horsepower diesel, a 313-horsepower hybrid and a 381-horsepower gasoline modification. Of course, all with a machine gun.
Volkswagen Passat Variant (Photo: Volkswagen)
The second novelty is even more significant for Europe. This is the new Volkswagen Passat, or rather its version with a station wagon body. It offers a traditionally wide range of engines, including gasoline two-liter turbo engines with 204 and 265 hp, three turbodiesels with a capacity of 122, 150 and 193 hp, as well as hybrid units with a capacity of 150, 204 and 272 hp.