Additional IHS Markit analysis and commentary on plans announced this week from various brands ahead of the upcoming IAA in Frankfurt are included below from Ian Fletcher and Tim Urquhart, both principal automotive analysts with IHS Markit.
Mercedes announces further details of GLC F-Cell and revised S-Class Coupé/Cabriolet
Tim Urquhart, principal automotive analyst, IHS Markit
Mercedes-Benz cars will showcase the pre-production GLC F-CELL fuel cell model at the Frankfurt Motor Show along with the revised S-Class Coupé and Cabriolets, according to a company statement. The new GLC F-CELL will combine fuel cell technology and battery technology in series; the version shown at Frankfurt is close to the production model that will eventually go on sale. Mercedes has lifted the lid on the development process of the GLC F-CELL, with the company's Fuel Cell Centre of Competence in Nabern east of Stuttgart central to the development process with the company now conducting 18 million miles of fuel cell powertrain testing with 300 prototypes. Special attention was given to the integration of safety-relevant components such as the hydrogen tanks, the gas seals and valves, and the high-voltage components in the pre-production GLC F-Cell. The hydrogen tanks are installed in the crash-protected area between the vehicle axles and are protected additionally by a sub-frame wrapped around them. In the event of a crash, additional extensive measures were implemented including a multi-stage valve system and special protective circuits for the high-voltage system. Mercedes will also show the revised S-Class Coupé and Cabriolet at Frankfurt. The S550 model of both the coupé and cabriolet have been replaced by an S560 model which has a 463-bhp version of the company's 4-litre V-8 twin-turbo gasoline (petrol) engine. The AMG S63 will now also have a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V-8 producing 603 hp. The new engine includes cylinder deactivation and also has smaller displacement but higher output than the outgoing engine, which only has 18 bhp lower output now than the range-topping Mercedes-AMG S65 coupé and convertible, which continue with the hand-built 6.0-litre V-12 twin-turbo unit. Interior modifications include new steering wheels with touch control buttons and the new widescreen instrument panel and a new array of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
In addition to the GLC F-CELL and the revised S-Class coupé/cabriolet the company will also show the forthcoming Mercedes-AMG Project ONE hypercar and a concept compact Eq electric vehicle (EV) concept. This impressive array of concepts, pre-production models and production-ready models shows that Mercedes-Benz is keeping its foot on the accelerator in terms of maintaining its position as the world's number one premium passenger car brand. The GLC F-Cell shows that Daimler are still investing heavily in fuel cell technology as being a component of the future powertrain. As one of the global proponents of the technology Daimler is committing further with what it describes as a "pre-series model" which has a 500-km range in the standard cycle and short hydrogen fueling times with locally emission-free driving.
SEAT to show Leon Cupra R
Ian Fletcher, principal automotive analyst, IHS Markit
SEAT is to show the limited edition Cupra R variant of its Leon at the IAA next week. The automaker said in a statement that this will be its most powerful vehicle ever, featuring a 310PS 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with a six-speed manual transmission, or 300PS with dual clutch transmission (DCT), helped by a new exhaust system. External features include a front bumper with large air intakes; carbon fibre detailing on the front and rear spoilers, side skirts and rear diffuser, as well as copper detailing on the wing mirrors and wheels. The interior gains further detailing in copper and carbon fibre as well as an Alcantara steering wheel and gear stick. Upgrades to the vehicles dynamics include changes to the camber on the front axle, the inclusion of Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) and Brembo brakes.
This will be the third generation of the Leon to receive the Cupra R nameplate. This is intended to be an even quicker and better handling version than the already high-performance Cupra. Unlike the previous generations, the Cupra R's production will be limited to 799 units, no doubt to add to the exclusivity of this vehicle. However, while it may help in terms of further building its brand, the automaker's key reveal at this event will be the SEAT Arona, a new crossover in the BUOYANT sub-compact space. The company will also show off its compressed natural gas (CNG)-fuelled Ibiza which will feature a 1.0-litre engine. It is said to have nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions 85% lower than diesel engines while cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 25% compared to gasoline (petrol) engines. The vehicle features three fuel tanks – one for gasoline and two for CNG, ad be able to achieve a combined range of 1,200 km, of which 390km can be achieved on CNG.
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