Germany’s contribution to the world of motoring has been significant and hence, when the IAA Mobility 2023 was announced, we were quite excited. Despite the country going through a phase of economic troubles, German automakers have not stopped impressing us with their exhibits. Munich was, once again, home to some of the coolest wheels we have seen this year. Be it the radical Batmobile-like offering from Cupra, the staid 2024 Tesla Model 3 or the wild off-road-themed Mercedes E-Class, the show floor in Munich was full of impressive vehicles and concepts from some of the largest auto manufacturers in the world.
Although the IAA Mobility 2023 had lots of exhibits from various manufacturers, we are going to take a look at those that truly swept us off our feet. Concept cars and platform demonstrations are easier to choose, courtesy of their dreamy designs and mind-blowing features. However, we have also handpicked some production-ready models that should keep most of you excited, whether they run on electricity or petrol. After all, these are the cars that will be gracing the showrooms near you sooner than those swanky concepts.
So without further ado, let’s check out some of the coolest cars displayed at the IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich.
The coolest cars from IAA Mobility 2023
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Other than the iconic Beetle, Volkswagen is also popular with motorists for its Golf GTI, which is arguably considered to be the first hot hatch in the world. Over the years, the Golf GTI has evolved with improvements in performance, comfort and practicality. Now, VW is ready to electrify it with the ID GTI. Showcased at the IAA Mobility 2023, the Volkswagen ID GTI will have a front-mounted electric motor for a front-wheel drive layout.
While its power and torque figures are still a hush-hush affair, the interiors of the VW ID GTI feature greater resemblance to the existing Golf GTI models, complete with two large displays, red ambient lighting and lots of storage space. The exteriors also wear a striking resemblance to previous generations of the Golf GTI and even though it’s supposed to be a sane hot hatch, we are digging those cool LED headlamps.
The Volkswagen ID GTI will be unveiled in the production guise in 2026 and will hit showrooms in early 2027.
(Image Credits: Courtesy Volkswagen)
The Audi Q6 E-Tron is supposed to be another big electric SUV from the VW group wearing fancy Audi clothes. While its performance metrics are nothing special to write about, Audi wowed the public at the IAA Mobility 2023 with its all-digital dashboard layout. The Audi Q6 E-Tron features three big displays stuck to its dashboard, with the central 14.5-inch infotainment display running an Android Automotive platform. Drivers even get to interact with a voice assistant that has…wait for it…its own digital avatar!
If that’s not enough tech for you, then consider the optional AR-based Heads-Up Display. The system projects crucial information and graphics in such a manner that the driver perceives their presence almost 600 feet ahead of the car. The best part is that the interface moves on the basis of the direction your eyes look at. The future is truly here.
(Image Credits: Courtesy Audi)
Some of the most seductive sedans come from Mercedes Benz and IAA Mobility 2023 gave us a glimpse of how they might look in the future. The Mercedes Benz Concept CLA-Class represents a compact four-door coupe-styled sedan with an electric powertrain underneath. On paper, the Concept CLA-Class offers up to 750 kilometres of range and its 800V electrical system allows up to 250kW DC fast charging, filling up a theoretical range of 400 kilometres in just 15 minutes.
On the stage, the Concept CLA-Class stunned everyone with its neo-retro looks. That massive AMG GT-inspired radiator grille, with individual LED lights, personifies opulence while the circular headlamps with the three-pointed star detailing further the car’s appeal.
(Image Credits: Courtesy Mercedes)
The BMW Neue Klasse Concept previews the future of electric sedans and SUVs wearing the BMW badge. The world was already in awe of the radical (read: controversial) design of the current-gen BMW 7 series but the Neue Klasse Concept takes it a step further. Sharp lines and angles on this boxy car take massive inspiration from the legendary E30 3-series of the past. The huge glass area in the cabin creates a sensation of airiness while the minimalist interiors present a huge departure from current BMWs.
The Neue Klasse Concept will spawn a total of six models in the coming months but the first one could be an electric version of the future BMW 3 Series. Other vehicles based on the concept will be bigger or smaller, depending on the individual model’s requirement. BMW says cars based on this concept platform will have the signature BMW traits but will avoid the drawbacks of previous generation cars.
(Image Credits: Courtesy BMW)
The best way to describe the Cupra DarkRebel is to imagine a Batmobile that isn’t as stealthy. Thankfully, you don’t need to be an eccentric billionaire who goes around town fighting crime as a masked crusader to drive one of these. This is, in fact, purely a design study showing what Cupra’s design team can achieve if it were to design a two-door sports car in the future. Hence, the car doesn’t even have a functional drivetrain underneath.
That’s sad considering we’d probably be the first in line if Cupra decided to make it and put it on sale. The DarkRebel’s highlights are certainly its short rear with the massive diffuser and related aero bits. On the other hand, the aggressive front can make any Lamborghini hide in shame. Last but not least, those massive alloy wheels are simply jaw-dropping. Truly a sight to behold.
(Image Credits: Courtesy Cupra)
The 2024 Mercedes E-Class was announced as a sedate luxurious sedan for the well-heeled crowd. However, there also exists a class of Mercedes customers seeking an E-Class that can go off-road and haul luggage. The result is the new Mercedes Benz E-Class All-Terrain variant, which is essentially a station wagon version of the regular E-Class with extra cladding for off-roading. To that effect, it sits low, which is why you shouldn’t expect it to be as capable as the mighty G-Class SUVs. This is better suited for the family man or woman taking their kids to a shooting weekend off the beaten track.
Other than the usual petrol engines, Mercedes also lets you equip this car with hybrid powertrains. While not as outrageous as its predecessor with all the extra off-roading shenanigans, the All Terrain E-Class does look good doing that aforementioned off-roading.
(Image Credits: Courtesy Mercedes Benz)
The Mini Cooper is back on the stage and even though you may struggle to find the new bits (the usual issues with a Mini), the electric version is all new. From the outside, the Mini Cooper Electric looks more like a cartoon than a car, especially with its widely spaced-out headlamps and massive radiator grille. The rest of the profile is identical to the outgoing Mini Electric, save for the smartened-up rear.
The interiors, however, are lovely. With a dashboard that’s themed after the vintage Mini Cooper, the only element breaking character is the large 9.4-inch circular OLED display that runs Mini’s custom OS based on Android Automotive. The Mini Cooper E makes 181bhp and its 40.7kWh battery offers a range of up to 305 kilometres. The performance-centric Mini Cooper SE makes 215bhp and its 54.2kWh battery should be able to deliver 402 kilometres of range.
(Image Credits: Courtesy Mini)
Remember the Smart #1 compact SUV? Well, the Smart #3 comes as a bigger variant of the same, bringing more range and power to play with.
Designed by Mercedes and based on Geely architecture, the Smart #3 is a mid-size electric SUV with handsome interiors and smartly (no pun intended) designed exteriors. The single-motor variant makes 268hp, needs 5.8 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h and offers a range of 455 kilometres. The dual-motor variant makes 422hp, needs 3.7 seconds to do a 0-100 km/h acceleration run and can deliver an overall range of 435 kilometres. With its DC fast charging rated at 150 kW, the battery fills up from 10 to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes.
(Image Credits: Courtesy Smart)
The updated Tesla Model 3 was shown off to the world at the IAA Mobility 2023. The new version sees improvement in key areas, including revised exteriors with sleek headlamps and smarter bumpers that improve the drag coefficient. The cabin is now quieter with 360-degree acoustic glass for the panoramic sunroof. A new dashboard design with a large infotainment display breaks away from the minimalist theme, especially with the wraparound ambient lighting solution. Tesla has also redesigned the steering wheel to eliminate the stalk controls and put the gear selector controls on display.
Despite the upgrades, Tesla has applied a slight price hike to the Model 3’s single-motor and dual-motor variants. The new Model 3 is currently available in select markets across the globe, including Malaysia.
(Image Credits: Courtesy Tesla)
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(Hero and Featured Image Credits: Courtesy BMW)