RAC Cars News


How Britain Plans To Wow Frankfurt

By raccars Published

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The International Motor Show Germany, better known as the Frankfurt Motor Show, opens its doors on 17th September and is set to be packed with exciting new metal. However, surely no other nation will be displaying its automotive prowess more impressively at the event than Britain. Among the cars wowing the crowd will be those designed, engineered and built in the UK, by historic British marques and vehicles made by foreign brands, which are taking advantage of the skilled British workforce to manufacture in the UK.

The Frankfurt event has become one of the most important motor shows in the automotive calendar and the world's auto press, along with the car buying public, will be paying a lot of attention to what it has to say about future directions in design and technology, as showcased by both major manufacturers and niche brands. Car makers spend a lot of resources making sure their stands wow the crowds and a number of the industry's most important new car debuts take place at Frankfurt.

This year, for British cars, it's all about luxury SUVs. Two of the most anticipated new cars of recent years will be competing for public attention next week, as the Jaguar F-Pace and Bentley Bentayga are revealed for the first time in the flesh, so to speak. Bentley has rammed its version with superlatives - fastest and most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive etc. Marketing guff aside, the Bentayga appears to be an impressive piece of kit. Bentley purists may argue with the concept of the brand making an SUV in the first place, and its looks are likely to divide opinion, but there's no doubt that the Bentayga is bringing new levels of performance and opulence to an already well populated segment.

However, public opinion is more likely to favour the more affordable, but still spectacular, Jaguar F-Pace. It seems Jag can't put a foot wrong lately and, unlike the Bentley, its SUV concept met with huge approval from the outset. Both spacious and sporty, it brings a new level of practicality to the Jaguar nameplate, which should go a long way towards seeing Jaguar achieve its ambition to join the mainstream - albeit on a premium scale.

The new Rolls-Royce Dawn is another example of how Britain excels at hand crafted luxury. Finished with all the brand's usual exquisite attention to detail and fine craftsmanship, the Dawn is not only supremely cosseting for a passenger, it's also designed to be a pleasure to drive. The four seater convertible is powered by a V12 6.6 litre turbo unit also used in the Ghost model. It will cost about £250,000, for which you will be receiving not only the ultimate in historic luxury motoring but also the finest modern technology, from one of the most famous automotive brands in the world.

But Frankfurt does have some more mainstream fare to offer. The Mini Clubman is another car to wave its British flag proudly - Mini may be owned by a German company, but its cars are built in Oxford and, BMW parentage aside, it has always been a thoroughly British affair. The previous Clubman received a mixed reception but the new generation is more conventional and spacious and is likely to sell well in the UK and abroad.

Along with traditionally British names, foreign cars which wear a 'made in Britain' label looking to drum up business in Frankfurt include the next generation Astra. While the version on show in Germany will wear an Opel badge, most of the development and engineering was carried out in the UK and the Astra will be built in Cheshire.

The updated Nissan Leaf will be attempting to convince still sceptical consumers that all electric cars are a practical option with extra range - it may have a Japanese name, but it's British built, much like the latest Toyota Auris, being introduced at Frankfurt.

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