The 65th Frankfurt Auto Show will kick off next Tuesday with a media preview and run until Sept. 22. The world's oldest motor show, it began in 1897 and focuses more on cutting-edge technology, where Germany is a leader, than design.
This year's show will put the spotlight on green and compact cars. Germany's Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Korea's Hyundai and Kia, and Japan's Toyota are planning to showcase hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, and hydrogen fuel cell cars.
◆ Eco Cars
BMW's electric i3 has been attracting plenty of hype since it was unveiled to the press in New York, London, and Beijing at the end of July. The Frankfurt Auto Show will be the first place where the general public can take a closer look.
BMW will also exhibit the 4 Series Coupe and X5, which will hit the Korean market in October and November.
Volkswagen will feature the e-Golf and e-Up!, which are 100 percent powered by electricity.
The industry expects eco-friendly cars to dominate the car market for the next 10 years or more. Small SUVs will also form part of the mainstream alongside superminis, small family and city cars.
Toyota will fill its booth with hybrid vehicles. The Japanese giant had sold over 5.5 million hybrid cars in 80 countries as of July this year. The Yaris Hybrid R, a concept which will premier in Frankfurt, is smaller than the famous Prius. Toyota aims to make 16 more hybrid models by 2015 in addition to the current 23 models.
Even Porsche will showcase a plug-in hybrid car, the 918 Spider.
Mercedes-Benz will showcase its new small SUV, GLA, while Audi will show a facelift of its luxury sedan A8.
◆ Korean Cars
Hyundai-Kia plan to display 18 cars including the IA, the follow-up model of its city car i10. Most of them are made exclusively for export.
The i10 was a popular city car first introduced in the European market in 2008. With the IA, Hyundai hopes to increase sales of its city cars and superminis.
Hyundai is also exhibiting three-door and five-door models of the i30, Veloster Turbo, and i40 for mass production, and the Tucsan powered by hydro fuel cells.
Kia will premier its new compact crossover concept car known as Niro. This is made in Kia's European design center and has unique features such as butterfly doors.
The follow-up model to the Soul will be unveiled for the first time in Frankfurt. Kia has 23 cars to display including the C'eed and Pride.