A few days before the doors were set to open on the Geneva Motor Show 2020, the difficult decision was made to cancel the event in line with worldwide health concerns. Whilst this was a sad time for the Show, the brands due to exhibit there were determined to go ahead with their product launches as planned. So on March 3rd, what’s officially ‘Press Day’ at the Show, press conferences were held around the world and the newest developments and technologies were showcased. Here are some of the biggest launches from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
Mercedes have already fully electrified their smart range, and by 2039 the brand has committed to their entire fleet of cars being fully CO2 neutral. The EQV and the EQA are to be the next of the electric vehicles to be released by Mercedes, but they’re also pushing massively their selection of Plug-In hybrid, and Mild Hybrid vehicles (MHEVs). In the words of Daimler CEO Ola Källenius, this is the year that they’re “taking electrification to the next level”.
MB are adding 3 new plug-ins to their line-up: the CLA Coupe, GLA and the one they showed off here, the CLA Shooting Brake 250e. They’ve added a battery to enable a 70km range of emission free driving into the new CLA Shooting Brake 250e and also one that will charge from 10-80% in just 20 minutes.
The other big star of the press conference was the new E-Class, which has gone through a plethora of changes. It now gets a new front, new grille, new bumper and new tail-lights (among many other things). AMG variants get their own signature grille and all E-Class models will also get the much sought-after MBUX system.
There was one model that BMW could not wait to rave about and that was the BMW Concept i4. The i4 is a fully electric 4-door Gran Coupe with 530 horsepower, 0-60 in 4 seconds and a claimed range of up to 600km (according to WLTP). A big rear diffuser makes for a wide, sporty appearance. BMW have taken a very minimalist approach to the interior of this car, removing a lot of the buttons and focusing everything on their new curved display.
BMW assure that no rare materials will be used in the production of the battery for the i4, and that customers will never have to compromise between driving pleasure and sustainability. They also launched the car in a colour called ‘Frozen Light Copper’, which is a little bit like a shiny beige for us, but let us know your thoughts on that one.
BMW will also be launching the iX3 later this year, which will be the brand's first fully-electric SUV and what we imagine to be harsh competition to the Mercedes-Benz EQC, Audi E-Tron or Jaguar I-Pace. There will also be plug-in hybrid variants of the X1, X2 and 3 Series Touring.
For Audi it was all about the release of the newest A3 Sportback. They have brought in some of the luxury associated with the more expensive models and introduced it to their popular hatchback. Whilst the TFSI is already a mild hybrid, Audi are now offering the A3 as a plug-in hybrid with 2 different power options. The sustainability argument is also carried on inside, with recycled materials (PET bottles) now used for the upholstery. It’s not just the Sportback that gets the updates, with a Saloon version and the sporty ‘S3’ model following soon.
The other big reveal was that of the Audi e-tron S and the e-tron S Sportback prototype. Audi are celebrating 40 years of Quattro, first launched in Geneva in 1980, so it made sense to tie the premiere in to this special anniversary (e-tron 55 Quattro pictured above). These prototypes boast Audi’s newest engineering feat. Forget dual-motors (think Tesla), now it’s all about the tri-motor. That’s right, the new e-tron S and S Sportback will feature 3 electric drive motors, and the result is one very rapid car.
* All vehicle images and car descriptions on this site are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily an accurate representation of the vehicle on offer.
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