By: Sam Bisby
The Frankfurt international motor show will be soon upon us, opening its doors on September 14 to the thousands of visitors that adorn its halls every two years. The show will be graced with the appearance of pretty much every manufacturer you could think of, with each marque offering a selection of their newest vehicles for the viewing public to witness first hand.
One problem with events such as the Frankfurt motor show, however, is the collection of concept cars on display. As wonderful a spectacle as they are, the actual chances of their production are minimal; therefore, those attending the show to get a good feel for what their next car might be, could very well be left a little dazed by such models lacking any real value to the buyer in question.
To take comfort as a potential car buyer, here are five examples of new real world models that will be making their bows at the Frankfurt motor show, new cars that you will be actually be able to drive away in just a few months:
The Japanese manufacturer is going through somewhat of a design revolution in 2013, and the brand new Mazda 6 has already drawn plaudits worldwide, not just for its sharp new lines, but also thanks to being a very capable package to compete with the big names.
With the 3, Mazda have followed the same philosophy of mixing striking design with highly advanced vehicle dynamics. This third-generation model boasts superior build quality and top of the range technology, as well as more space to work with and is one of the largest cars in its class. Highlighting the improvement on equipment, the new Mazda 3 offers an enhancement of the Human-Machine Display (HMI), which harbours the Active Driving Display, a new head-up display and newly designed rotary commander enabling the safe implementation of infotainment functions.
Buyers in the UK will be able to choose from three petrol engines and one turbocharged diesel unit, with the entry-level 1.5-litre petrol producing 98bhp, while returning a generous 55.4mpg on the EU combined cycle and emitting just 119g/km of CO2.
The new Mazda 3 will be available to order from January 2014.
Vauxhall Insignia VXR SuperSport
In orchestration with the updated regular Insignia, Vauxhall are also rolling out the second-generation of its hot version of the popular family saloon. The new Vauxhall Insignia VXR SuperSport will offer a whopping 321bhp from a turbocharged V6, enabling the car to hit 60mph from standstill in just 5.9sec – for under £30,000.
Around 60 per cent of the components under the body have been replaced or revised to be more efficient and effective, while further modifications under the skin will bring improved handling.
The order book for the Insignia VXR SuperSports is already open.
Going after an upmarket approach to their new generation of cars, Peugeot’s new 308 is part of the French manufacturer’s efforts to rein in an additional area of the market, and follows the likes of the RCZ to challenge its upper-class rivals.
The new 308 has much bolder design cues than its predecessors, whilst also harnessing lightweight materials and other dynamics to aid efficiency. Peugeot’s recent 207 looks to have heavily influenced its big sister and there are also design references to the sensational Onyx concept car.
The 308’s interior follows suit, with a much plusher cockpit environment. A hot ‘R’ version is also anticipated to appear at Frankfurt this month, alongside a whole host of other models.
Expect the new 308 to be hitting UK shores in January next year.
Seat Leon ST
For the first time in its history, Seat will offer customers an estate version of its Leon hatchback. Titled the ST, this is the third in the all-new Leon line-up, following on from the three-door SC and the usual five-door hatchback.
Although the Leon ST shares the same platform as the five-door hatchback, the car is extended by 270mm and boasts a 587 litre boot with the seats up and a massive 1,470 litres with them down.
Those after efficiency will be after the 1.6-litre turbodiesel model which combines a decent 108bhp with the frugality of 85.6mpg and 88g/km of CO2 – that last figure meaning free road tax, by the way.
Again, the Leon ST will be available to order in the UK come January 2014.
Like its Korean compatriot Hyundai, Kia has been going through an upsurge in popularity, thanks in a major part to its new take on car design. One car that Kia has always raised eyebrows is the Soul, and the eccentric hatchback has returned for its second incarnation.
The Soul was a fun looking car when it first came out and that element remains, but at the same time the second- generation comes across as more mature, as well as offering a fresher design and looks more SUV than hatchback this time around.
An improved chassis and ride ensure a more driver-focussed experience, while a larger cabin and boot brings added practicality.
Costing from around £13,000, the Kia Soul is expected to hit the UK early next year.
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