Media days for the 67th Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) have come and gone, leaving a large field of stunning, brand-new concept cars in their wake. From smooth, sexy SUVs and estates, to self-driving electric cars, to autonomous flying taxis, IAA is showing the world what the near and very distant futures of mobility will look like. One thing's for sure – they won't be boring.
We've looked at a number of major Frankfurt concept debuts, including the fully autonomous Audi Aicon and the retro-futuristic Honda Urban EV. A few other highlights that caught our attention as we scurried around the show:
The revived Borgward is not yet a name that pops immediately to mind when we start thinking of must-visit auto show booths. However, its Isabella Concept was one of two or three IAA 2017 debuts that put a sharp, unplanned turn in our step, immediately drawing us in for a closer look.
The car brings back a classic Borgward nameplate and gives it a curvaceous, futuristic look. Borgward says the Isabella was designed under the principle "impressions of flow" and will influence the brand's design DNA. It will also influence our future lists of automaker names that pop to mind when visiting auto shows.
Like a number of automakers, Renault focused on electric power and autonomy in designing its Frankfurt concept. It went a couple of steps beyond the norm, however, in closely matching car and home. And it brought the concept house right along with it to Frankfurt.
Renault imagines the Symbioz car working closely with the house, its autonomous interior layout providing a comfortable extra room at home and its battery sharing energy with the home grid. Renault gets extra points for going beyond the basic electric visions being put out by every other automaker, but it loses points for putting a structural barrier with limited occupancy between us and its concept car – we still don't know what the rear and other side look like up close.
Volocopter, the electric self-flying taxi
OK, the Volocopter 2X on display in front of Daimler's large hall isn't exactly a concept car, but it was one of the most impressive eye catchers of the show. Daimler recently became one of a number of investors in the autonomous VTOL air taxi startup, and the Volocopter 2X parked outside its Frankfurt hall helped to pull the crowds in. The impressive 2X features an all-electric powertrain with 18 rotors, lightweight composite construction and an array of nine lithium-ion batteries. Hopping aboard a helicopter and soaring over bumper-to-bumper traffic from one end of the city to the other seems as ideal as future mobility can get, short of teleportation.
Those three create but a small tip of a large iceberg. Jump to the photo gallery to see all the other concept car highlights from Frankfurt.