Motors

The show-stoppers we'll be driving in 2016

The Frankfurt motor show, held this month, is to the car industry what the Argos Christmas catalogue is to toy-makers - a one-stop-shop packed with the newest, shiniest and most high-tech products they want us to feature in our letters to Santa Claus. Here are 10 exhibits which caught the eye of William Scholes - from real-world family cars to out-of-this-world luxury barges - and which will soon be escaping from the show stand to Ireland's roads

Jaguar F-Pace (2016)

SPACE, GRACE AND F-PACE: Even Jaguar couldn't resist the inevitability of adding a crossover to its range.

Called the F-Pace - a daft name - it arrives next year and shares oily bits with the company's excellent new XE sports saloon.

These sorts of vehicles - in theory a hybrid of estate car practicality, saloon driving dynamics and SUV attitude - are big business right now.

German rivals BMW and Audi own a large part of the market at which the F-Type is targeted but Land Rover, Jaguar's sister company, is also a dominant player, particularly with its Range Rover Evoque model.

Jaguar hopes to put clear water between the F-Pace and anything with a Range Rover or Land Rover badge by majoring on sports car dynamics.

But the big question remains, do people really want to drive a jacked-up Jaguar?

SULTAN OF BLING: As if to underline the point that crossovers and SUVs are essential to any self-respecting manufacturer's line-up in the 21st century's second decade, here comes Bentley's first effort, the improbably-named Bentayga.

Resplendent at Frankfurt in gold paintwork - perhaps to emphasise the bling with which the brand has become synonymous - the Bentayga is a visually challenging testament to conspicuous excess.

It is a towering technical achievement, however.

You can seat seven sumo wrestlers in your Bentayga, if you so wish, speed to 187mph - yes, that's 187mph - and zip from 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds.

The engine is Bentley's mighty W12 6.0-litre twin-turbo, pumping out 600bhp and 664lb/ft of torque.

A lot of aluminium has found its way into the Bentley's construction, though even at its slimmest, the Bentayga weighs only a sack of spuds less than 2.5 tonnes.

It isn't a 'proper' off-roader in the mould of a Range Rover, though its four-wheel-drive system promises decent ability and 50cm wading depth - enough to make short work of most owners' moats.

Naturally, the interior trim is a monument to ridiculous extravagance. Prices start at £160,000.

A NEW DAWN: This is more like it. Even Rolls-Royce, maker of the world's finest automobiles, has an SUV in the pipeline - can you believe it? - but until it arrives, it will continue to craft cars like this.

Called the Dawn, it is a full four-seater drop-top, a sort of Corniche for the dot-com generation.

Rolls-Royce says it is quietest convertible ever made. There are circus big tops made with less canvas than the Dawn's folding roof, but even so it takes a mere 22 seconds to raise or lower it, a feat which can be achieved on the move at up to 32mph.

Powered by the same 6.6-litre V12 twin-turbo found in the Wraith saloon, the Dawn weighs more than 2.5 tonnes and will have a price tag comfortably in excess of £250,000.

LONG-LASTING BOND: Is there a cooler car company than Aston Martin? I don't think so, and the British brand used Frankfurt to confirm that the replacement for the exquisite DB9 grand tourer will be called the DB11.

You wouldn't have needed to be 007 to work that was the most likely name for the new car, however.

The DB10 badge has been reserved for James Bond's latest wheels in the upcoming 007 movie Spectre; its styling is thought to be more than a heavy hint at how the DB11's haute couture bodywork will look.

There is still some life left in the long-serving DB9 though, with a stunning GT Bond Edition yours for around £165,000.

Only 150 are being built to celebrate an association between Aston Martin and Bond that goes back more than 50 years.

Owners don't get an ejector seat or revolving number plates - not as standard, anyway - but they do get a 6.0-litre V12 engine, 'Spectre silver' paint, sterling silver Aston Martin badges, subtle '007 Bond Edition' badging, 10-spoke gloss black diamond-turned 20-inch alloy wheels and sprinklings of aluminium and carbon fibre.

That fabulous engine generates 540bhp and 457lb/ft, which is enough to accelerate the DB9 GT Bond Edition from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 183mph.

Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer - the company's M, if you like - said: "Aston Martin and James Bond are intrinsically linked in the minds of many of our enthusiasts and, indeed, owners, worldwide.

"In the run-up to the launch of the new film, Spectre, which sees Bond behind the wheel of the DB10, we are very happy to be able to celebrate the partnership with this superb limited edition DB9 GT collector's item."

ELECTRIC AVENUE: Audi says this sleek crossover, called the E-tron quattro concept, gives a "foretaste" of an all-electric production model due in 2018.

A range of 310 miles on one charge, all-wheel-steering and four-wheel-drive and bleeding-edge aerodynamics are among the highlights.

Size-wise, the production model is likely to fit between the Q5 and Q7 - expect it to wear a Q6 badge - while the styling of the concept is thought to be very close to what will eventually appear in showrooms.

SACRILEGE?: Even Porsche isn't immune from the rush to downsized, turbocharged petrol engines.

The latest 911 Carrera gets flat-six engines of 3.0-litre capacity with twin-turbos - until now non-turbo'd 3.4-litre and, on the S model, 3.8-litre engines were standard fare.

Porsche says the new unit offers more power, "considerably" more torque and better fuel consumption. The S model gets its power boost over the regular Carrera thanks to tweaked turbos and a different exhaust.

The new turbo Carrera produces 365bhp and 332lb/ft, with fuel consumption from 38.2mpg, a top speed of 183mph, a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds and costs from £76,412; the Carrera S's figures are 414bhp, 369lb/ft, 36.7mpg, 191mph, 3.9 seconds and £85,857.

The question is whether the extra power and torque comes at the expense of the 911's historically razor-sharp throttle response, something which turbocharging traditionally has a tendency to numb...

SURE-FIRE HIT: The current Sportage crossover was Kia's break-out model, its chunky styling blasting the Korean brand from the humdrum mainstream towards genuine desirability - nice to look, good to drive, reliable and value for money, it's no wonder the Sportage has become such a success.

For the difficult follow-up, Kia has produced this. In silhouette the Sportage is still a smart looker but the front looks fussier than before.

Kia promises the Sportage gets the company's most refined and high quality cabin to date, as well as the latest infotainment systems and in-car connectivity.

Front- and four-wheel-drive transmissions will still be offered, together with a mix of petrol and diesel engines.

Expect to see plenty of the new Sportage on Northern Ireland's roads after it goes on sale towards the end of the year.

RENAULT REBORN: Superb RenaultSport models aside, the current Renault Megane is one of the most ordinary cars on sale today.

Scoot forward, then, this, the reborn-for-2016 Megane.

Lower and considerably wider, it is a whole lot more eye-catching than the outgoing car.

The wheelbase is a little longer, which benefits interior space, and the front and rear overhangs have been shrunk, giving the Megane a more purposeful stance.

The large front headlamps and LED taillamps are stand-out design features.

Underneath the skin, the new Megane shares much with the Nissan Pulsar - not a wholly bad thing, but not likely to get enthusiastic drivers terribly excited.

A RenaultSport model should hopefully sort that out.

ICONIC: The Volkswagen Golf GTI is a Drive favourite thanks to its sharp handling, get-up-and-go nature and sheer usability.

It's one of the best do-it-all cars money can buy, which means this über-Golf, called the GTI Clubsport, should be very special indeed.

The Clubsport is a sort of 40th birthday present to the GTI - yes, the VW hot hatch has been around that long - so it is only right that it gets some extra gifts over and above its lesser brethren.

That's why it gets the most powerful engine yet fitted to a GTI - all 286bhp of it - a beefier bodykit, fabulous sports seats, an Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel and rather tasty alloy wheels.

A standard GTI costs around £27,500 and the even hairier four-wheel-drive R starts at £30,000, so expect the Clubsport to be priced somewhere in between.

LESS BORING: The current Volkswagen Tiguan is distinguished only by how boring it is, so this new version won't have to try very hard to be more interesting.

As is the Volkswagen Group way these days, it is spun off the same platform that sees action under everything from the Golf and Seat Leon to Audi TT and Skoda Octavia.

This is good news, promising a dizzying range of engines and transmissions, improved efficiency, upgraded tech and more space for passengers.

More interesting is the Tiguan GTE that Volkswagen also showed at Frankfurt.

It is a plug-in hybrid, blending an 85kw electric motor with a 130bhp engine for a 30-mile electric range.

A neat feature is a solar panel on the roof - VW says it should generate enough electricity in a year to allow the Tiguan to travel about 600 miles.

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