Preparations are under way for IAA 2023, which kicks off tomorrow (4 September)
Europe’s biggest motor show returns with big unveilings from BMW, Mercedes, Renault and more
The biennial Munich motor show returns on Tuesday 5 September, and it’s shaping up to be one of the busiest and most important European automotive events in recent memory.
Germany’s biggest car makers will reveal their latest innovations in front of their home audience, and a raft of other huge European names are primed with crucial new concepts and long-awaited production cars.
BMW has confirmed it will show a new concept previewing the Neue Klasse electric cars due in dealerships from 2025, plus its new range of Protection vehicles.
Never one to be overshadowed, Mercedes-Benz will showcase a new concept hinting at a C-Class-sized entry-level EV, due on sale next year.
Tesla will also be present – a rarity for the American brand, which typically showcases new products in tightly controlled media events.
The newest technological developments will also be on show, with autonomous-driving firm Mobileye confirmed to be among the exhibitors, alongside tier-one suppliers such as Bosch, Continental and ZF.
Here’s our guide to everything on display at the 2023 Munich motor show:
Audi Q6 E-tron
Audi’s overhauled electric SUV will set the tone for a wide-reaching rethink of the German firm’s interior designs, adopting a ‘human-centric’ arrangement that majors on digital functionality and ease of use.
Due on sale in February, the new Q6 is the first car to ride on the new PPE EV platform, opening up new packaging possibilities and introducing a new electronic architecture which allows for a near-total rethink of Audi’s digital interfaces.
Inside, the redesign includes an 11.9in driver display and 14.5in central infotainment screen housed in a curved wraparound panel on top of the dashboard, as well as an optional augmented reality head-up display.
Read the full story: 2023 Audi Q6 E-tron to lead brand’s interior design rethink
New Chinese brand Avatr, a collaboration between car maker Changan and smartphone giant Huawei, will begin its European launch at Munich.
The brand is expected to show the 11 SUV (above), which was displayed at the Shanghai motor show, and it may provide further details on the 12 saloon, which was recently leaked via local patent filings.
The leaked details revealed that the car will be 5020mm long, 1999mm wide and 1460mm tall (roughly the same size as a Tesla Model S) and be available with two electric powertrains: a single-motor set-up sending 308bhp to the rear wheels, and a four-wheel-drive dual-motor variant with 570bhp. Its batteries have yet to be detailed, but the 11 is available with 90kWh and 116kWh packs capable of recharging at rates of up to 240kW.
BMW Neue Klasse concept
This is the future of BMW. Seriously.
Munich’s sharp new Vision Neue Klasse concept completely rewrites the rulebook, previewing the totally overhauled styling, radical interior rethink, futuristic (but realistic) infotainment functionality and highly advanced drivetrain tech that will be hallmarks of BMW’s next-generation electric cars.
The brand says it does not preview any one production car, but rather an entire range of saloons and SUVs due to start landing in dealerships from 2025 – though it’s safe to assume the next-generation 3 Series, set to be the first of these new EVs, will be a particularly close match for the Neue Klasse concept.
BMW’s focus is firmly on the future, but designers acknowledge the continued influence of past successes, including the legendary E30 3 Series, whose angular silhouette heavily inspires this latest concept, and the 2001 E65-generation BMW 7 Series – the first car to use BMW’s iDrive infotainment platform, which will enter its ninth generation for the Neue Klasse cars.
BMW 5 Series
The 5 Series will make its public debut at this year’s Munich motor show, as the firm showcases the model’s plug-in future.
The highly anticipated eighth-generation model, which will go on sale in October, will be sold in 520i guise, with the latest version of BMW’s familiar turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot mild-hybrid petrol engine.
Plug-in 530e and 550e xDrive plug-in hybrids will also arrive in the UK by the second quarter of 2024, with rear-wheel-drive 530e cars producing 299bhp and the four-wheel-drive 550e xDrive producing 489bhp.
Both of the new plug-in hybrid models benefit from a new gearbox-mounted electric motor developing up to 194bhp and up to 332lb ft of torque.
These models represent the final ever combustion-powered 5 Series models, so make sure you give them a visit if you’re at the show.
BMW 7 Series and i7 Protection
The BMW 7 Series will gain a Protection model, which will be available both with a petrol and electric powertrain. It continues BMW’s streak of armoured vehicle production, with protective glass, a stronger chassis and bodywork capable of protecting against explosives.
It’s the most recent Protection model to come from the firm since the BMW X5 Protection, first revealed in 2019.
It features protective glass rated VPAM 10 – the highest level of protection for civilian protection vehicles – and it’s VR9-rated, meaning it can hold off ballistic attacks from weapons travelling up to speeds of 820 metres per second.
It also offers PAS 300 blast resistance, plus a self-sealing fuel tank to prevent loss of fuel.
Electric i7 cars get 536bhp and 549lb ft of torque from two electric motors, but increased weight raises its 0-62mph sprint from 4.7sec to 9.0sec. Top speed is limited to 99mph.
The 7 Series Protection, meanwhile, is equipped with a 4.4-litre V8 mild-hybrid petrol engine with 522bhp and 553lb ft. Its 0-62mph sprint increased from 4.2 sec to 6.6sec.
BYD is set to detail the next stage of its European expansion, hoping that it can double its global sales volume from the nearly two million units recorded last year.
The Chinese EV giant has already launched the Atto 3 crossover, Han saloon and Tang SUV in various European markets and will soon follow those with the Dolphin hatchback (pictured above) and the Seal saloon.
Cupra’s concept for a range-topping two-seat electric GT has so far been shown only digitally, but it’s set to enter the physical world on the Spanish brand’s stand at Munich.
Its most radical design to date, the DarkRebel could become a production model based on the Volkswagen Group’s new PPE platform, but such a car is likely years away – certainly arriving after the Cupra Tavascan (below) and the marque’s Volkswagen ID 2 sibling, the Raval.
Read the full story: Cupra DarkRebel concept hints at all-electric halo sports car
Launched with the tagline “the brand’s dream comes true”, the Tavascan is designed to strengthen Cupra’s success after its breakaway from the Seat mothership. It sports a large grille, a distinctive three-triangle light signature, by a raked roofline with a boot-width rear light bar.
Building on Cupra’s sporty credentials, the electric SUV will offer a 335bhp, 501lb ft, dual-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain offered alongside a 282bhp single-motor system. Power is drawn from the same 82kWh (77kWh usable) battery as in the Volkswagen ID 5, which is good for 341 miles of range in its most economical form.
Read the full story: 2024 Cupra Tavascan revealed with 335bhp and 341-mile range
LG Electronics will showcase how in-car entertainment is set to change over the coming years, promising to take “Life’s Good on the road”. The company announced in July that it was transitioning into becoming a ‘smart life solution company’, with ambitions to become a top-tier supplier for the mobility industry.
Magna is one of the car industry’s biggest suppliers, offering contract manufacturing, powertrains, seating systems and much more besides. This year, it’s set to showcase an integrated system for electrification, active safety systems and enhanced connectivity. It’ll also reveal a new software package with predictive functions for energy energy management, independent of the powertrain. Given Magna’s influence over the industry, it’s a safe bet that at least one system it shows at Munich will make it into your next car, so it’s well worth paying attention.
Mercedes-Benz CLA concept
The concept CLA Class has been unveiled just over a year before a lightly altered production version of the all-new saloon is planned to head into UK showrooms as a hi-tech replacement for today’s Mercedes CLA.
It draws on learnings from the futuristic Vision EQXX concept unveiled last year, which was capable of driving the 747 miles between Stuttgart and Goodwod on a single charge. According to Mercedes, it specifically informed the “ultra-efficient” powertrain in the CLA concept, which touts a range of 466 miles alongside a 536bhp AMG variant planned in the years to come.
It brings a fresh new look for Mercedes, with round LED headlights inspired by the brand’s three-pointed-star logo, a progression of the teardrop profile initially presented on the EQS and EQE saloons, and the latest-generation MBUX Hyperscreen.
Read the full story: Mercedes CLA concept previews 466-mile EV saloon for 2025
Mercedes E-Class All Terrain
The latest in a series of jacked up, off road-ready Mercedes estates builds on the latest E-Class with more rugged exterior styling, additional ride height, unique interior elements and a revised range of drivetrains, including a new petrol-electric plug-in hybrid system that is claimed to provide it with an electric range of up to 63 miles on the WLTP test cycle.
At 4950mm in length, 1904mm in width and 1497mm in height, the new car is 17mm longer and 33mm wider [but no taller] than its predecessor, which was produced between 2017 and 2023.
UK sales have not yet been confirmed, however left-hand-drive cars are due in Europe from early next year.
Read the full story: New Mercedes E-Class All Terrain: off-road estate gets 62-mile PHEV
Mini Cooper Electric
Mini has unveiled its next-generation electric hatch and, unlike the outgoing model, it’s now based on a bespoke EV platform. Two specifications will be available, with the entry point being the Cooper E.
Priced from £30,000, it features a 181bhp motor on the front axle and a 40.7kWh battery, giving it a range of 190 miles. The £34,500 Cooper SE takes it up a notch with a 215bhp motor – enough for a 0-62mph sprint time of 6.7sec – and a 54.2kWh battery, giving a range of 250 miles.
Both cars will offer various Mini Experience modes that bring their own displays and powertrain characteristics, including a new Go-Kart Mode.
Read the full story: Electric Mini Cooper reborn with radical interior and 250-mile range
Joining the Cooper is the new Mini Countryman, which has grown to take on the likes of the Audi Q3. Twinned with the BMW iX1, it’s available with petrol, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric powertrains.
The range is initially topped by the Electric SE All4 with 309bhp. A sporting John Cooper Works (JCW) model will also be available, which gets 296bhp and 295lb ft of torque for a 0-62mph time of 5.4sec.
Prices start at £28,500 for the petrol-engined Countryman C, rising to £33,900 for the S, £39,900 for the JCW and £41,500 for the Electric E and culminating at £46,600 for the Electric SE. UK deliveries will start next February.
Read the full story: Mini Countryman grows and gains electric option for 2024
Porsche Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid
This plug-in hybrid Cayenne is set to be the most powerful non-electric Porsche on sale, with a staggering 729bhp and 700lb ft of torque from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine, mated to a powerful electric motor.
A 25.9kWh battery, positioned under the boot, offers electric-only range of around 51 miles, while Porsche also claims a 0-62mph sprint as quick as 3.6sec on range-topping models.
We’re expecting the Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid to make a full public debut at the Munich motor show, where the Lamborghini Urus rival will also show off its updated interior.
It gains track-oriented gadgets, microfibre headlining and steering wheel, a drive mode selector switch and sports seats.
Read the full story: Porsche Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid is firm’s most powerful ICE car
The Renaulution will be televised, as the new Scenic will be unveiled at Munich. The celebrated family hauler will return as an electric SUV to rival the Tesla Model Y, bringing a futuristic angular design and a focus on sustainability.
The French firm may also provide further information on the production iteration of the Renault 5, its long-awaited electric supermini that leans on retro cues in a bid to charm the masses.
Prototypes are currently in the final testing phase, ahead of production beginning in 2024.
Read the full story: Electric Renault Scenic to arrive on 4 September
Smart has confirmed its largest model yet will make a public debut at Munich before it’s expected to go on sale in Europe in early 2024.
Styled with a strong focus on aerodynamics, its design is influenced in part by the Mercedes-Benz EQ range, with a smooth front fascia, slim headlights with a “shark nose” familiar from the smaller #1.
Technical specifications for the #3 will arrive later, but information leaked earlier this year revealed that it’s 4400mm long, 1800mm wide and 1600mm tall with a wheelbase of 2785mm – a similar size to the Volkswagen ID 5.
Read the full story: Smart #3: firm’s largest model yet rivals Volkswagen ID 5
Tesla Model 3
Tesla revealed the facelifted Model 3 overnight on Friday 1 September. It’s safe to say, given the proximity of the Model 3’s unveiling to Monday’s show, that Tesla is likely to host its public debut on its stand at Munich.
The updated saloon, previously known by its Project Highland codename, brings a heavily revised front end that’s said to reduce drag, improving range and refinement at high speeds.
Autocar understands the new car will be £1000-£2000 more expensive than the existing Model 3, meaning the line-up is likely to open at around £44,000 and cap out at around £60,000.
It’s expected that the closely related Tesla Model Y will follow suit with a similar package of upgrades, but Tesla has given no indication of when this will be.
Read the full story: New Tesla Model 3 brings restyle, improved cabin, more range
This radical new concept is our first look at what the company’s design chief calls “Vauxhall 2.0”, previewing how the brand will evolve as it approaches all-out electrification in 2028.
An Astra-sized coupé-SUV, it places an emphasis on aerodynamic developments capable of boosting future models’ range between charges, as well as sustainable materials and futuristic interior technologies.
It won’t be shown as a Vauxhall at Munich, because the UK is the only market to receive Vauxhall-branded cars. Instead, it will wear the lightning-bolt logo and the wordmark of sibling Opel.
Read the full story: Radical EV sports coupé shows future of Vauxhall
Volkswagen ID GTI
We’d like to give you a warm welcome to the future of Volkswagen GTI, and it starts right here, right now.
The ID GTI will be the electric successor to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, both in spirit and styling. A headliner at this year’s show, the compact front-wheel-drive hot hatch is earmarked to head Volkswagen’s new entry-level electric car line-up with a front-mounted electric motor, specially tuned sport suspension, traditional GTI design elements and a price tag expected to start at around €30,000 (£26,000).
VW CEO Thomas Schäfer said the production version of the ID GTI would be revealed in 2026 and be on sale in early 2027.
Read the full story: Volkswagen ID GTI is affordable EV hot hatch for 2026
Volkswagen ID 7 GTX
Volkswagen’s answer to the Tesla Model 3 Performance will be unveiled at Munich, introducing a new dual-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain.
Autocar understands this will pair the base model’s 282bhp and 402lb ft rear motor with the front-mounted unit from the ID 4 GTX, giving a combined output of around 390bhp.
This should substantially reduce the ID 7’s 0-62mph time of around 6.0sec in Pro S guise, although it’s unlikely to match the Model 3 Performance’s 3.3sec.
The upgrade is, however, expected to bring a slight reduction to the ID 7’s 435-mile range (in 86kWh specification), to around 400 miles.
Visually, the GTX will be distinguished by gloss black accents (including the roof), tinted windows and red-contrasting trim elements – in similar fashion to the GTI line of combustion-engined VWs.
It’s expected to be priced at a significant premium compared with the regular ID 7, for which pricing is set to start around £50,000. For reference, the ID 4 GTX costs £14,020 more than the entry-level ID 4 Pure.
Read the full story: Volkswagen ID 7 GTX to be revealed in September
Volkswagen Passat Estate
This new large estate will be the only Passat variant after Volkswagen axed the saloon early last year.
Sitting atop the MQB Evo platform, it’s expected to feature a host of cleaner electrified engines, a larger boot and interior tech upgrades – much of which was developed by Skoda for the closely related new Superb.
Elsewhere inside, it will reportedly adopt VW’s latest infotainment system, with a fully digital instrument cluster measuring 10.25in, along with a 12.9in central touchscreen.
Read the full story: New Volkswagen Passat brings more space and 62 miles of EV range