IAA Mobility 2021: Germany’s new auto show to focus on electric autonomous vehicles and mobility

The IHS Markit team has outlined some expectations for IAA
Mobility 2021 in Munich (7 September) and offers the following
analysis and commentary ahead of the show.

  • Implications: Germany’s industry showcase will
    begin a new life in Munich away from its old site in Frankfurt when
    the IAA Mobility show gets underway on Tuesday.
  • Outlook: The show is supposed to be a new
    concept that moves away from the traditional static motor show to
    giving practical demonstrations of new technology, but a wide range
    of exciting new electric and autonomous vehicle concepts will also
    be on show.

The IAA Mobility motor show will get underway in Munich on
Tuesday (7 September) and Germany’s industry showcase moves from
its traditional Frankfurt location. Reflecting the immense changes
the automotive industry is currently undergoing, the show’s
organizers have looked to create a new concept that is more
dynamic, with an emphasis on practical demonstrations of technology
rather than just the traditional static displays of vehicles.

Audi will show the Grandsphere, the second of
its three future-orientated autonomous battery electric vehicle
(BEV) concepts that will help define the technology landscape and
the styling of the brand’s future. The Grandsphere follows the
August unveiling of the Skysphere sports car concept and hints at
what Audi’s future range-topping luxury sedan will look like in
terms of the eventual replacement for the A8. The car boasts
dramatic, elegant and angular styling that is aimed at creating the
feel of a ‘private jet for the road’. Its 5.35-m length helps
emphasis the car’s dramatic styling, which is dominated by an
aggressive front end and a large rear overhang; it will also have
Level 4 autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, which will stow all
screens and controls when being operated in this fashion for a
clean and luxurious cabin environment. In addition, a 120kw/h
battery pack will give the concept a range of over 750km.

BMW will unveil an exciting new concept vehicle
that places an massive emphasis on recyclability at the event which
is being hosted in its home town. The company has teased the i
Vision Circular concept car, which will be 100% recyclable and
“embodies the company’s claim to be the most sustainable
manufacturer for individual premium mobility.” BMW will also be
offering passenger demonstrations of the new iX5 hydrogen fuel cell
prototype vehicle. Visitors can be driven in the iX5 Hydrogen along
the Blue Lane that connects the main exhibition grounds with other
exhibition venues in Munich city centre. A small series of the BMW
iX5 Hydrogen prototypes, developed using the ICE X5 as the base
vehicle, will be used for demonstration and testing purposes from
the end of next year.

Dacia will show a new five- or seven-seat
model, known as the Jogger, later this week. The model will have a
live online reveal today (3 September) before being shown at the
IAA. The company said, “The Dacia Jogger is the best companion for
(large) families. Versatile, it goes with all family members in
their daily adventures and their trips in the nature. With the
pragmatic spirit that characterises it, Dacia offers a vehicle that
allows its customers to enjoy the simple pleasures in life with
friends and family in complete freedom”. Although the brand has
given no further details, Reuters reports that this new nameplate
has been designed to replace three vehicles – the Logan MCV estate,
and the light commercial vehicle (LCV)-based Dokker and Lodgy.

Mercedes-Benz will show a new concept for a BEV
version of the G-Class in Munich. Mercedes-Benz announced plans to
electrify its iconic G-Class sport utility vehicle (SUV) last year
and the EQG concept will point towards a production vehicle that is
set to go on sale in 2024, according to an Autocar report.
Mercedes-Benz’s designers will retain the ICE G-Class’s distinctive
‘two-box’ silhouette, although it will be updated, while the
interior will use the latest display technology and design language
as debuted on the recently launched EQS concept. A new one-piece
front grille will be the biggest visual differentiator over the
ICE-powered car, while new wheel designs and light graphics front
and rear will combine with a revamped rear end will help to
distinguish the EQG from the G-Class.

Porsche has said it will launch a
‘future-orientated concept’ at the show in Munich. The sports car
and performance SUV manufacturer posted a single image on Twitter
of a complex LED headlight design, saying that the company is
“looking to the future” with the “world premiere of a
future-oriented concept study”. The company is thought to be
developing a BEV sports sedan that will drop into the range below
the Taycan, which would be a natural rival to the Tesla Model 3 and
the new BMW i4, although it is also possible that the concept with
preview something more radical.

Renault Group’s Mobilize business will show its
new Limo BEV sedan, designed to be used by ride hailing services as
a taxi and private-hire vehicle. The four-door vehicle has been
developed in conjunction with Renault Group’s Chinese partner
Jiangling Motors Group (JMCG). It is said to measure 4.67m long
with a 2.75m wheelbase; 1.83m wide; and 1.47m tall, with a design
that has a short bonnet and plunging roofline. The interior has an
easy to clean satin finish, leather-effect upholstery, while the
dashboard benefits from a 10.25-inch instrument panel and 12.3-inch
central infotainment touchscreen. It also offers passengers in the
rear seats 288mm of legroom, with enough space for three people,
two USB ports and volume control knobs, adjustable air vents and
booklights. The car has a 411-litre boot. The electric motor
develops 110kW and 220Nm of torque giving it the ability to
accelerate to 100km/h in 9.6 seconds and a top speed of
140km/h.

SEAT’s Cupra brand is planning to show the
UrbanRebel BEV concept, which is a “radical interpretation of an
urban electric performance car.” The concept is based on the “MEB
short” platform, and it is 4,080 mm long, 1,795 mm wide, and 1,444
mm tall. The brand highlighted a range of key design details. These
include the shark-nose front end, which also benefits from a
triangular headlight signature, while a wrap-around window graphic
gives the effect of a floating roof. Inspired by motor racing, the
concept features an electric motor that provides 250 kW of
continuous power and peak power of 320 kW. It is said to be able to
accelerate to 100 km per hour in just 3.2 seconds.

Volkswagen (VW) will reveal a “near-production”
version of the ID.5 GTX coupé SUV at the IAA. Ahead of the reveal,
VW confirmed the MEB platform, and says it “wows with its elegant
design and powerful dual engine four-wheel drive.” The ID.5 GTX
will be a fully connected vehicle, capable of over-the-air (OTA)
updates and fitted with Car2X technology for communication with
other vehicles and infrastructure. The ID.5 GTX has IQ.Light LED
matrix headlights, for a “likeable” look that includes a light
strip which tapers toward the VW logo and is combined with
honeycomb elements on either side. GTX is VW’s modern sporty brand,
as in the past it had GTI, GTD and GTE. The ID.5 has a motor on
each axle with a lithium-ion battery and projected range of 497 km.
VW also confirmed that the ID.5 GTX will arrive toward the end of
2022, with the ID.5 standard model being revealed in late 2021 or
early 2022, with first deliveries due in the first quarter of
2022..

Outlook and Implications

As motor shows were postponed en masse as a result of the
pandemic last year, it was decided last year that September’s IAA
(Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung) motor show event should move
from its traditional base of Frankfurt to Munich and take on a
brand new and dynamic format. The show’s organizers, the VDA,
wanted to create a show that put the industry’s shift towards
mobility provision at the forefront while moving away from the
traditional static, range display motor show, with the VDA focusing
on “innovations, not on complete product ranges.” Instead of room
for a full model line, there will be room for conferences, press
slots and networking. The exhibition’s inner grounds and the inner
city will be connected by a test track, called Blue Lane; visitors
will be able to experience new forms of mobility and low-emission
powertrain technologies. Finally, there will be an Open Space aimed
at the general public and business-to-consumer networking. However,
while this attempt at introducing a new concept for an automotive
show is laudable and necessary, the creativity applied by both the
VDA and the OEMs attending will be key to the success of this and
future editions. While traditional motor shows have seen falling
attendances in recent years, both in terms of OEMs and visitor
numbers, it is hard to base a show entirely around demonstrations
and the somewhat nebulous concept of ‘mobility’. There will still
be an element of seeing and touching physical vehicles that
attendees will want to engage with. There is an excellent range of
concepts on display from Audi’s space-age ultra-premium Grandsphere
to mass mobility taxi concepts, with AV technology and
electrification being common themes.


Posted 03 September 2021 by Tim Urquhart, Principal Analyst – AutoIntelligence, Automotive, IHS Markit

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