Frankfurt Motor Show 2019: Highlights and Predictions

The Frankfurt Motor Show has closed its doors for another year, but it’s certainly left a lot to get excited about. From a steady stream of new car launches to glimpses of the future as the industry teased new concepts. Here’s a look at the highlights from Germany’s most talked about motoring show:

Key motor trends highlighted

The rise and rise of electric motors
In the first quarter of 2019, the registration of electric vehicles (EVs) increased by 41%.1 So it comes as little surprise that EV motors have dominated over petrol and diesel at Frankfurt this year.

Here are a few to look out for…

  • Honda E: First unveiled at Frankfurt back in 2017 as the Urban EV concept, the miniature size and retro throwback vibes of the Honda E were an immediate hit among car enthusiasts.
    Two years later and the finished car is as fun and characterful as promised. Fully electric, this lovable motor will make the perfect city car, with a battery range of 136 miles.2
  • Mercedes EQS: Already with an SUV and electric people carrier under its belt, Mercedes is now launching a luxury saloon car. Powered by a 100kWh lithium-ion battery, the EQC has a range of more than 435 miles.
    With the ability to reach 80% charge capacity in just 20 minutes, the EQC launch is expected to rival the electric Jaguar XJ and Tesla Model S when it goes on sale in 2021.3
  • Volkswagen ID.3: With their all-electric family hatchback, Volkswagen promises to make e-mobility affordable for everyday driving. The ID.3 will arrive with three different battery sizes, with the top spec model offering a range of up to 342 miles.4
    The strong competitor in the family-friendly electric market, the ID.3 attempts to win customers over with its ‘winking feature’, fluttering its eyelids at its owner as they approach.4
  • SUVs: Holding the top spot as the leading segment for car sales, SUV and crossovers are the most popular cars on the road, a trend that doesn’t seem set to change anytime soon.5 

Let’s have a look at what the industry has in the pipeline…

  • SEAT Tarraco PHEV: This 7-seater SUV from SEAT will be available as a plug-in hybrid offering around 30-miles of zero-emission driving when fully charged. Powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, a 13kWh battery and 113bhp electric motor, on release in 2020, the PHEV will become the most powerful model in the Tarraco range.6
  • Cupra Tavascan: Previous SUV models from Cupra (sister brand of SEAT) have included the Ateca sports and Formentor plug-in hybrid sports. However, Cupra is taking the SUV yet another step ahead, with this fully electric model. Striking in shape with signature sharp LED-headlights, the Tavascan will have a driving range of up to 279 miles. The car is expected to go on sale toward the middle of 2020.7
  • Land Rover Defender: Perhaps the most talked about car of the week was the return of the Land Rover Defender – in hybrid form. Having ceased production of the Defender back in 2016, there was little to suggest that Land Rover would return to its roots. Two new Defender models, the 7-seater Defender 110 and up to 6-seater Defender 90, are available to order immediately and can be driven away from next spring.8

Getting premium

EV trends continued into the performance car categories at Frankfurt this year, with technology proving electric can go just as fast as diesel.

  • Lamborghini Sian: Lamborghini’s first hybrid motor, the Sian is a limited edition model, blending the Aventador’s platform and engine with a 48-volt electric motor, producing 808bhp. Living up to its name (Sian meaning, ‘flash of lightning’), this model marks Lamborghini’s fastest car ever, claiming a 0-62mph in less than 2.8 seconds and top speeds exceeding 217mph.9
  • Porsche Taycan: Yet another EV first is the Porsche Taycan, built on a brand-new electric platform known as J1. Powered by a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 93.4kWh, Porsche claims a range of up to 279 miles. While the Taycan is said to reach 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds, the car’s top speed is limited at 161mph by its electric make-up.10

Concept cars

Always a highlight, while many of the concept cars shown at Frankfurt won’t ever reach production, it’s always a great way to see what direction manufacturers dream of moving into in the future.

Here are two favourites from this year’s show…

  • Audi AI:TRAIL: Fourth in Audi’s AI concepts is an electric, autonomous off-road vehicle, which if nothing else, looks really cool. Each of its 22-inch wheels is powered by its own electric control, giving the driver full control.
    The AI Trail offers level 4-grade autonomy, making it capable of driverless motoring in certain situations such as in towns or on motorways. Battery range on normal road surfaces comes between 250 and 300 miles, however off-road this is limited to 155 miles.11
  • Hyundai 45: Hyundai’s electric debut, the 45 concept is an SUV with a slick, minimalist exterior to make it stand out from those who have beat it to the market. What’s really exciting about this model however, is the interior.
    The Hyundai 45 is fully autonomous, allowing Hyundai to take a laid-back approach to the interior. Inside, the car is fitted out with sustainable materials such a wood and recycled wool, giving it a real domestic feel. Interior controls are touch sensitive (for the most part) and side mirrors have been replaced by cameras.12

Looking to the future

From this full range of new and concept vehicles, we can see a number of trends emerging for the motoring market. From autonomous driving, to touch-screen interiors and EV technology for all types of vehicle, motoring is taking a firm step away from petrol and into the future.

Autonomous driving is probably the most exciting and most controversial of the rising motoring trends, with concerns over safety and cyber-attacks among public concerns.13 

According to research, over half of UK citizens would not feel safe in a self-driving car.14 So, how long until driverless technology becomes a reality on UK roads?

It could actually be a lot sooner than you think. The UK Government has already committed to having autonomous cars on the road by 2021, with the UK market for connected and automated vehicles expect to be worth £52 billion by 2035.15

“So many of these trends seem futuristic to us right now, but the reality of things like self-driving cars and in-car entertainment systems, really isn’t so far away.

The real challenge will come when these technologies take hold of the mass market. It’s only then that we’ll begin to see how issues of safety and crime will play out in the real world and challenge us as insurers to adapt.”

– Edward Dunphy, Account Executive at Jelf

Insurance advice

No matter what car you drive, you should make sure you have the right insurance. We share your passion for cars and understand the importance of protecting them. Why not let one of our experts arrange the right cover for your motor portfolio.




  1. best-selling-cars.com/electric
  2. autoexpress.co.uk/honda-e-electric
  3. carbuyer.co.uk/news/mercedes-eqs-electric
  4. autoexpress.co.uk/volkswagen-id3-electric-car
  5. carsalesbase.com/global-car-sales-2018
  6. uk.motor1.com/news/seat-tarraco-fr-phev
  7. autoexpress.co.uk/new-cupra-tavascan
  8. autoexpress.co.uk/land-rover/defender/
  9. autoexpress.co.uk/new-lamborghini-sian
  10. autoexpress.co.uk/porsche/taycan/
  11. autoexpress.co.uk/audi-aitrail
  12. autoexpress.co.uk/hyundai/107696/new-hyundai-45
  13. ukdefencejournal.org.uk/autonomous-vehicles/
  14. bbc.co.uk/news/technology