A new title, a new focus and a new location for Germany’s largest auto show have been announced for Munich. Formerly known as the Frankfurt IAA (International Automobile Exposition), which has been held every two years in Frankfurt since 1952, it is now known as IAA Mobility 2021. A showcase for Germany’s automotive industry, the focus is on electrification and alternative transportation, with many of Munich’s most interesting concepts and future production cars being electric vehicles.
After Covid-19, IAA Mobility’s focus shifted, resulting in fewer automakers exhibiting, but a slew of new companies that would never have attended an auto show before.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E stands in for the American auto industry, Polestar (but not Volvo), and a variety of Chinese automakers are represented at IAA Mobility 2021. There were plenty of mobility companies in attendance, along with automotive suppliers such as Bosch Automotive, software companies, and a slew of high-end bicycle manufacturers.
There are two reasons why the attendance at IAA Mobility 2021 may be lower than it was last year, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Though there are still concerns about Covid-19, some climate change protestors greeted the show by calling for a faster end to the sale of diesel and gasoline cars. First-day protesters from Greenpeace shut down several roads and announced plans to disrupt the show later in the week.
A sunny and warm week at the Munich Auto Show didn’t stop automakers from showing off their latest creations. Here are 10 of the best. A large exhibition centre on the outskirts of town, as well as several pop-up locations downtown, are hosting IAA Mobility through Sunday, September 12.
Volkswagen ID.Life Crossover
As a result of the Volkswagen ID Life electric crossover, VW’s ID series has shrunk from its previous size. The ID.Life concept for a future subcompact production vehicle, which will be smaller than both the ID.4 compact crossover and the ID.3 hatchback, which isn’t sold in the United States of America. The 57.0-kWh battery coupled to a 231-hp electric motor will power the ID Life, which VW claims will go up to 249 miles on the European WLTP cycle (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure). Assuming that the ID Life is sold in the United States, be prepared for 225 miles based on WLTP estimates. Even though the ID Life’s range isn’t comparable to that of a Tesla, it’s an urban runabout the size of a Hyundai Venue. With a translucent grille, built-in projector for the headlights and a steering wheel with the top third cut off, the concept car has a lot going for it. In terms of the idea. However, VW hasn’t commented on the ID Life’s chances of being sold in the United States.
Audi Grandsphere Concept
The Audi Grandsphere has been one of the cars to look out at the IAA Mobility 2021, Munich. Audi describes the Grandsphere as “a private jet for the road”. A sleek, low-profile vehicle larger than the Audi Skysphere, which made its premiere at Pebble Beach Concours / Monterey Car Week in August. Audy will also debut a third design concept next year called “Audi Urbansphere”. With a steering wheel that retracts into a wraparound dashboard, Grandsphere is also Audi’s vision of autonomous operation (meaning full self-driving on some roads such as interstates, but conventional operation in less controlled environs). Information is projected onto the dashboard, and an eye-tracker detects what the driver is looking at. No buttons or screens are seen on the dashboard, which is flat and without any buttons or controls. In 2025 or 2026, a production version may be ready.
Smart Concept #1
Small, cute, and expensive Smart city cars may be familiar to U.S. car buyers, although Smart has offered larger vehicles in Europe since 2003, with electrified versions hitting the market this year. In the U.S., Smart is no longer available, but the Concept #1 has brought Smart back to the forefront in Europe. This new Smart, a joint venture between Daimler and China’s Geely (parent company of Volvo and Polestar), will be built in China, use only electric power, and be Smart’s largest vehicle ever. A 12.8-inch touchscreen and a round, almost Lucid-like styling are among its specs. “The highest level of dynamic handling” is another claim made by the automaker. Selling it in the U.S. would require re-establishing sales of Smart (which ended in 2019) and overcoming the 25 percent tariff placed on Chinese-built cars by the Trump Administration, which is still in effect.
BMW i Vision Circular Concept
It is BMW’s long-term vision of what BMWs might look like in 2040. In terms of size, this subcompact hatchback is a hair larger than BMW’s current i3 electric vehicle. Yes, it’s small, but the electric motor and battery pack take up very little space. A solid-state battery, for example, is 100 percent recyclable, so “circular” refers to its life cycle. Rather than glueing on the BMW logo, they have etched into the metal. The construction industry uses quick-release fasteners, cords and press studs in place of bonded or riveted components in order to simplify recycling. As early as 2025, BWW’s Neue Klasse (New Class) EV lineup could feature some of the concept”s features. This is a reference to the sporty cars that reinvented a bankrupt BMW in the 1960s following a near-death experience in 1959. Their international success paved the way for BMW’s international expansion over the next 30 years, and the German automaker hopes to achieve similar success in reinventing itself with an all-electric lineup.
Mercedes-iconic Benz’s square-rigged off-roader, the G-Class, is going electric. For off-road driving, it will have the same rugged suspension—independent up front, solid axle at the back—but with some modern EV tricks added. There are four electric motors in total, one for each of the four wheels, according to Mercedes. As a result, G-class already impressive off-road capabilities would be greatly enhanced. They’re all there: boxy greenhouse, big spare-tire carrier on the rear gate (now square in shape and actually for storage, including charging cable), and big door handles and side trims on the sides. As far as the concept is concerned, the grille has blue elements that are illuminated, while the Mercedes star is also illuminated, and the grille surround as well as the two-round headlamps have white borders that are illuminated. Most likely, the price will be in line with the current G-Class, which starts at around $130,000.
Porsche Mission R
Another ‘eye turner ‘at the IAA Mobility 2021 was the Porsche Mission R. The Porsche Mission R racer is perfect for the Porsche fanatic who is also a racer, as it takes them into the world of electric racing. Mission R has 671 horsepower in racing mode and 1073 horsepower in qualifying mode, Porsche claims. 0-100 kph takes 2.5 seconds. Powered by a 90-kWh battery, the car can race for 30 to 45 minutes, according to the automaker. From 5 to 80 percent, a 900-volt charger at the track is all it takes for the Mission to recharge. But Porsche says a customer-available racer could be ready by 2026. In addition to incorporating a carbon fibre safety cage into the car’s structure, the Mission R offers a glimpse into the future of racing design. Porsche has a long history of building customer race cars, with more than 4,000 built over the years.
Electrification wasn’t the only theme at every Munich premiere. Due to Renault’s ownership since 1999 of Dacia, it has become a part of a global alliance that accounts for one out of every nine-car sales worldwide. With a solid reputation for affordable but functional cars and crossovers in international markets, Dacia is the alliance’s budget brand. Three-row seating is available, but it will be tight in the back and a roof rack may be necessary for family travel. Even though the Dacia Jogger is a big car by Dacia standards, it’s not a big car by American ones. As a result of this, small SUVs with off-road capability and even tiny third rows are in high demand in the United States. It’s unlikely this Jogger will travel by your house because even well-known companies like Fiat have a hard time establishing a presence here.
Mercedes EQB Electric SUV
Electric vehicles continue to be produced by Mercedes-Benz. There was an EQB showcased at the IAA Mobility 2021, Munich. For those who recognise it from previous models, the EQB is a fully electrified GLB-Class crossover. Mercedes-EQB Benz’s is likely to be the first and most affordable electric vehicle to hit the market when it debuts in Munich, even if it’s not the most far-out of the debuts. With 184 inches of length and the option of adding a third row, it will be similar to the GLB in size and functionality (max passenger height for row three, Mercedes says: 5-foot-4). The all-wheel-drive EQBs will be followed by a front-wheel-drive EQB and a long-range EQB. There were four Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+ sedans on exhibit, as well as a Mercedes-Maybach concept car, at the event. EQG concept also on show (based on the G-Class off-roader).
Mini Vision Urbanaut
Even though Mini is a British brand, BMW owns it and thus this new 2020 EV concept. Although Mini hasn’t confirmed it, it appears that the Urbanaut is headed for production this year. There are sofa-style seats in the Urbanaut’s interior and a steering wheel that disappears when it is driven autonomously, at least in the concept. “Immediately identifiable as a Mini,” Mini claims, despite the fact that it looks more like a Star Trek shuttlecraft or a Toyota Previa from the early 1990s than any existing Mini Cooper today. When owners find that even the Countryman can’t hold what they want to take on their adventures, Urbanaut could provide Mini dealers with a larger vehicle to sell. Mini would likely have to give up its higher-level self-driving ambitions and scent dispensers in order to bring the Urbanaut to market, but with its sleek looks, it could be a fun, offbeat addition to the Mini line. For their part, Mini fans love “quirky”.
BMW i4 sedan
It will have a 300-mile range and a starting price of somewhat over $55,000. A rear-wheel-drive, 335-horsepower i4 M50 is also available, as well as an eDrive40 with 5.7-second acceleration to 60 mph and a 300-mile range (536 horsepower, zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, all-wheel drive, and range up to 240 miles). Die ersten Lieferungen sollen in 2022 in the first part of the year erfolgen.