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IHS Markit commentary and analysis: Frankfurt Motor Show 2017




IHS Markit analysis and commentary on plans from various brands ahead of the upcoming IAA in Frankfurt are included below from Ian Fletcher, Namrita Chow and Tim Urquhart, all principal automotive analysts with IHS Markit.

Bentley shows off new Continental GT
Ian Fletcher, principal automotive analyst, IHS Markit

Bentley has revealed details and photographs of its new Continental GT that will be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show (Germany) next month. According to a statement, the third generation of this model is a significant evolution in terms of the looks of this model, bringing it into line with the Bentayga, with a bold grille and sculpted styling. The body also features new materials and manufacturing methods, helping to save 80kg versus its predecessor. It also features 21-inch wheels and LED Matrix technology headlights as standard. The interior features a high level of luxury materials, as is expected on this type of vehicle, as well as a new digital instrument display and a 12.3-inch touchscreen that rotates into the middle of the dashboard on start-up and controls satellite navigation, media and telephone. It also offers three audio options, including one from Bang & Olufsen and another from Naim. At launch, this model will be available with the latest generation of the 6.0-litre W12 engine producing 635PS and 900Nm of torque, which is combined with a new eight-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) to all four wheels through a new active system giving variable torque split. This is said to make it capable of accelerating to 60mph in 3.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 207 mph. Supporting the dynamic capabilities of this vehicle is Bentley Dynamic Ride, which offers roll control that improves both ride comfort and precision, and works in conjunction with its air springs and electric power steering. Bentley has also confirmed that it will offer a range of personalisation options, including two technology packages: City Specification includes hands-free boot opening, pedestrian warning, traffic-sign recognition and city braking systems as well as a top-view camera, while Touring Specification pack offers adaptive cruise control with traffic-jam assist, active lane assist, a heads-up display, night vision with an infrared camera, and pre-sense braking. There is also a Mulliner Driving Specification which adds 22-inch lightweight forged alloy wheels and a more sporting appearance both inside and out.

Significance: The third-generation Bentley Continental GT replaces a vehicle that was introduced in 2011, but is closely linked to the original Continental GT launched in 2003. This new generation is a wholesale change for this model and features the Volkswagen (VW) Group's new luxury architecture, MSB. This platform is already being used by Porsche's Panamera and is also expected to be used by Bentley's Flying Spur and Porsche's forthcoming Mission E, among other models. Although a W12 engine is only available from launch, IHS Markit also expects that a 4.0-litre V8 engine with a plug-in option will be available at a later date. There will be the GTC convertible body style variant as well. IHS Markit expects global sales of both body styles to reach over 5,000 units before the end of the decade.

 

Chery to display new SUV M31T
Namrita Chow, principal automotive analyst, IHS Markit

Chinese automaker Chery Automobile has released a press release stating that it will bring "a high-quality A+ [sport utility vehicle] SUV" to the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show 2017. The model has the codename M31T and it is the first of Chery's all-new line-up aimed at developed markets. Chery states that "by unveiling this SUV model in Europe, Chery hopes to make its first step of entering Europe and America". The model is based on Chery's M3X platform and will be equipped with a 1.6T GDI and a 1.5 turbocharger intercooler (TCI) hybrid, which will meet Euro 6 emission standards, according to the automaker.

Significance: Chery's new line-up of models based on the 3.0 product matrix are the third generation of products developed by the automaker. The Chery 2.0 line-up included the Arrizo and Tiggo models launched in 2016 in China. In 2016, the Arrizo 2.0 models included the Arrizo 3 Sport, the Arrizo 5, and the Arrizo 7. The Tiggo SUV models included the Tiggo 3X, the new Tiggo 5, and the Tiggo 7. Chery has already claimed the position of top vehicle exporter from China, with its main market being Iran. Overall passenger vehicle exports from China to Iran hit 113,602 units in the first half of the year. Of this total, Chery exported 39,914 units to Iran. Chery exported a total of 62.089 units in the first half of 2017. 

 

Dacia to launch new Duster
Tim Urquhart, principal automotive analyst, IHS Markit

Dacia will launch the all-new version of its strong-selling Duster crossover at the forthcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, according to a company statement. The model has been redesigned completely, with a bold new exterior highlighted by a novel and attractive new grille design with distinctive rhomboid graphics, while the rear light treatment is equally strong, with a square design to the fitting. The new lighting design on the vehicle is also carried forward with new LED daytime running lights, which is a first on a Dacia. The windscreen has been brought forward 100mm compared with the current Duster to give a car a sleeker look and emphasise the length of the cabin to passengers, while 17-inch wheels and silver running rails complete what is a contemporary and pleasing design aimed at the lower end of the crossover market.

Significance: The Duster has been an undoubted sales success for Dacia and the wider Renault Group since the launch of the first generation seven years ago, selling a total of 2 million units during that period. Full specification details, including information on the all-new cockpit design and infotainment system, and the full powertrain range, will be revealed at Frankfurt. However, given the initial press shots it looks as though Dacia has a worthy successor to the first-generation Duster on its hands, which should prove popular with existing customers as well as attracting new converts to the brand.

 

Honda to unveil Urban EV Concept
Ian Fletcher, principal automotive analyst, IHS Markit

Honda has announced that it will unveil an electric vehicle (EV) concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show (Germany). According to a statement, the vehicle known as Urban EV Concept is intended to support Honda's plan for electrification in the European market, and this will indicate the direction of a future production model. It will also show off the CR-V Hybrid Prototype, which features an electrified powertrain in the forthcoming European version of the next-generation CR-V crossover.

Significance: Given the high profile that electrified powertrains have had of late, particularly in Europe, it comes as no surprise that Honda is hoping to raise its profile through this type of alternative powertrain. Nevertheless, traditional powertrain types will remain a mainstay and this is underlined by other unveils on the automaker's stands, including the facelifted Jazz and upgraded diesel engine in the Civic.

 

Mini to show Electric Concept
Ian Fletcher, principal automotive analyst, IHS Markit

Mini has revealed details and images of the concept that will preview its forthcoming electric variant at the Frankfurt Motor Show (Germany). According to a statement, the vehicle known as Electric Concept will be shown with a three-door hatchback body style but with significant changes compared to the standard internal combustion engine (ICE) variants. These include bespoke headlights and a closed grille that improves aerodynamics and reflects how little cooling air is required by the electric drive unit, as well as a deeper front spoiler and simulated air intakes. It has also added glassfibre body mouldings on the side, new wheels, and a new diffuser.

Significance: The concept on display at the event appears to be intended as a statement of intent for this model, and Mini has not given anything away in terms of the technical specification of the powertrain. It will be built at the brand's site in Oxford (UK), and powertrain components will be supplied from sites in Germany. However, with production set to begin in 2019, IHS Markit expects this to version to have only a relatively short life before being replaced in 2022 by the next generation Mini. IHS Markit also only expects this generation to produce around 4,350 units at its peak in 2020, although this is set to rise to over 20,000 units per annum with the next generation.

 

Porsche launches new Cayenne
Tim Urquhart, principal automotive analyst, IHS Markit

Porsche has revealed the new Cayenne ahead of its official launch at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show, according to a company press release. Porsche's CEO Oliver Blume claimed at the launch ceremony that the third generation of the company's hugely successful SUV-E model is the sportiest yet in terms of its driving dynamics. He said, "Never before has it borrowed so much from the 911." The new Cayenne is built on a modified platform, while it also features an aluminium body structure and the new 48-volt electrical system which is increasingly de-rigueur among high-end German car launches. The recently debuted Audi A8 also shares this system, as OEMs look to introduce the system to support mild hybrid functions and the growing power requirements of modern premium cars in terms of extra electronic and infotainment systems. In terms of the powertrain options, there are a similar range of engines that is offered in the second generation Panamera, with the entry-level model using a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 gasoline (petrol) unit that develops 335 bhp and 332 lb/ft, taking it from 0-62 mph in 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 152mph. The Cayenne S has a 2.9-litre V6 twin-turbo unit developing 434 bhp and 405 lb/ft of torque, accelerating the S from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, while it can achieve a top speed of 165 mph. There will also be two plug-in hybrid (PHEV) options in the form of the Cayenne E-Hybrid, with output of 455 bhp, and the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid that develops 666 bhp. There will also be a range-topping Cayenne Turbo sporting a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 with more than 540 bhp. However, given the scrutiny that diesel versions of the outgoing Cayenne are currently undergoing by German regulators, Porsche has yet to officially confirm any diesel variants for the new model, although once launched they will use the same 4.0-litre diesel unit that is being used in the Panamera.

Significance: It is hard to overstate the success that the Cayenne has been for the Porsche brand since its launch in 2003. Before its original launch, there were those that said a sport utility vehicle (SUV) would dilute the Porsche brand and undermine its core customer base that saw the company as a pure performance car manufacturer. Those pundits could not have got it more wrong and Porsche can now congratulate itself for being ahead of the curve in predicting the premium and performance SUV trends. The smaller Macan has usurped it as the brand's best-selling model, but around 70% of Porsche's total sales are now SUVs. The Cayenne's peak sales year was 2013, when it posted sales of 83,000 units, and there is no doubt that the launch of the Macan has resulted in some sales cannibalisation. However, the new model will still post annual sales of 70,000–80,000 units between now and the end of the decade, according to IHS Markit estimates.

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The above article is from AutoIntelligence Daily by IHS Markit. AutoIntelligence Daily provides same-day analysis of automotive news, events and trends.​​​​​​ Get a free trial.