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Discovery SVX, BMW X7... Top bakkies, SUVs at #Frankfurtmotorshow

2017-09-14 11:20

Lance Branquinho

Image: AFP / Martin Meissner

Germany - Bakkies and SUV were once the outcasts at car shows, this year, they were amongs the main features at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Land Rover revealed a new variant of its Discovery, the V6-powered SVX, tailored to tackle the great outdoors. BMW expands its SUV offering with the reveal of its X7.

In terms of bakkies, Ford debuted its Ranger Black edition and Toyota celebrates its iconic Toyota with a new limited edition at the show.

Here’s what the big reveals actually mean:

VW Amarok Ultimate

Taking the new X-Class quite seriously, VW has shown its upgraded V6 Amarok at the Frankfurt auto show. "Upgraded, V6, but they only launched it the other day?" Indeed. 

Beyond the 19" Milford alloys, chrome surface trim highlights, LED running lights and exceptionally yellow lacquer, the Aventura Exclusive Amarok has boosted some addition power and torque form VW’s 3-litre V6 turbodiesel. VW is claiming the new V6 will be good for 190kW, very tidily countering the ascendance of Mercedes-Benz’s X-Cass V6, which makes 190kW too.

Land Rover Discovery SVX

The great British off-road brand is suffering from Mini syndrome, by launching derivatives of its most esteemed models which nobody really asked for but some might really enjoy. 

New Discovery SVX is just such a car, adding a supercharged V8 to the one Land Rover which is made for Safari work, instead of street racing. We can understand all those Ranger Rover Sport and other SVR models but this one? It’s a 5-litre 386kW supercharged V8 in a curiously place... 

Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell

The theme at Frankfurt 2017 was electrification, but Mercedes-Benz has a slightly different view of where the electricity to power your future vehicle should source from onboard. 

Hydrogen has fallen out of favour with the automotive industry, but Mercedes believes that generating electricity from a hydrogen fuel cell, instead of a lithium-ion battery pack, is the superior execution of zero emissions motoring. Its GLC F-Cell concept is powered by an entirely capable 147Kw electric motor and with 4.4kg of hydrogen onboard, the claimed endurance is 437km. Best of all? The only waste product is water vapour.

We suspect GLC F-Cell could be massively popular with Cape Town residents when it becomes available in 2019. 

Toyota Hilux Incredible 

Five decades of getting stuff done. That is what Toyota’s Hilux has been up to since its launch in the late 1960s.

To celebrate its invincible legacy Toyota’s built a special edition Invincible 50 (surprise, surprise), with all those bits of kit Hilux owners ordinarily have to source themselves – aftermarket. 

Beyond the graphics, you’ll notice bolder wheel arch mouldings, 18" alloys (rolling BF Goodrich tyres) and a sweeping roll bar on the back, shading the custom toolbox which sits right up against the cab. Inside? A leather trimmed handbrake. Because it’s a tool, not a fashion accessory. 

                                                                        Image: AP / Martin Meissner

Toyota Prado

The junior Land Cruiser has been refreshed with new headlights (shaped to reduce the risk of damage off-road), bonnet and fenders. Most notable is certainly the new grille, which features five distinct vertical slat groupings. 

Inside the redesign has been even more comprehensive with a new centre-stack featuring upgraded infotainment, improved switchgear, evolved instrument binnacle and dials. Autonomy was a theme at this year’s Frankfurt auto show and new Prado has pedestrian detection programmed into its emergency brake assist function. South African Land Cruiser fans can expect new Prado at local dealerships before the end of this year. 


                                                                  Image: AP / Martin Meissner


Perhaps the most controversial vehicle revealed at the IAA 2017, was BMW’s vision of its future. A gigantic SUV, X7 iPerformance is a six-seater with the largest cabin BMW’s engineers have ever spaced. 

A plug-in hybrid, X7’s bloating of the characteristic BMW kidneys has perhaps shown the limits of this renowned styling detail. The logic behind a mammoth SUV is simple: America. BMW does not possess a counter to the Mercedes GLS and when the production version of X7 goes on sale in 2019, its purpose will be to siphon off some of those large SUV sales. 

Ford Ranger Black

The only American auto brand which bothered coming all the way to Frankfurt, Ford’s bakkie display was perhaps a bit overshadowed by what it had announced just before the show; confirmation of the new Ranger Raptor high-performance double-cab bakkie. 

As such the Frankfurt show Ranger, the brand’s new ‘black’ limited edition, wasn’t quite the news it would ordinarily have been. Featuring dechromed styling, with the dominant theme being ‘black’ (surprise, surprise), the production run for Ranger black will be only 2500. With Wildtrak and new FX4 Rangers already being desirable limited-edition versions of the popular double-cab bakkie in South Africa, we suspect it won’t come down all the way south, to us. 

Chery TX

Chinese car brand are usually noticeable by their absence at European auto shows because the quality and safety requirements of the world’s oldest car market precludes them from entering. 

Chery is keen on changing this perception with the reality of a true premium SUV. It’s called the Exeed TX and about the size of a Rav4, it’s a Chinese plug-in hybrid SUV boasting a lot of German design and engineering input. 

The claims for Exeed are impressive, 0-100kph in 6 seconds, a 124 157m. Allegedly charges to full capacity in a mere four hours too, from a humble 220v household power source. Inside the infotainment system and its touchscreen interface are supplied by Bosch, Exceed’s entire electronics architecture is the work of Continental automotive and the chassis was modelled by Benteler. 

German detailing, Chinese pricing. Could Chery be on to its first truly competitive global car? We’ll have to wait for the production version to see. 

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Read more on:    land rover  |  bmw  |  frankfurt motor show  |  germany  |  4x4  |  off-road  |  bakkies  |  suv

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