A peep under the sheets at Frankfurt

The Swindon-built Honda Civic Tourer

September and an odd numbered year.

That means only one thing (and not just an autumn that’s full of mists and mellow fruitfulness, although I suspect we’ll get that too).

No, I’m talking about the Frankfurt Motor Show.

This pantheon to the German motoring industry is just enormous. Massive. Gargantuan.

If you ever consider going, take blister plasters, a compass, and let your family know where you’re off to – you might end up missing in action somewhere between Halls 4 and 5. Oh, and get your shoes re-heeled when you’re back home.

Despite all that, Frankfurt is hugely important. Because this is where we see the new cars that will be featuring on your next company car choice lists.

Frankfurt is hugely important. Because this is where we see the new cars that will be featuring on your next company car choice lists.

I’ve had a quick look under the covers to give you an idea of what we might be seeing. And so far, the overwhelming theme seems to be estate cars.

As it’s the German industry spotlight event, we’ll start with British built first.

The Swindon-built Honda Civic Tourer makes its debut. The guys as Honda tell me it’s really sleek in the metal. It features rear adaptive damping, a first in this class, plus there’s Honda’s brilliant 1.6 diesel that has a distinct distaste for filling stations.

Then there’s the Ford S-MAX Concept. Although, judging by the pictures I’ve seen, this ‘Concept’ is pretty much the real deal. As before, it features seven seats (the last two occasional) but there’s more practicality and greater usability. Bound to be a hit.

While on the subject of MPVs, also revealed will be the big version of Citroen’s stylish new C4 Picasso – the Grand version, a full-size MPV.

Back to more traditional estates, and Volvo is updating its V60 estate car (along with the S60 saloon and XC60 SUV) with its new Drive-E range of four-cylinder engines which includes the option of an eight-speed auto. Expect the V60 to emit just 102g/km CO2 – and Swedish design detail interior updates, too.

Finally, there’s a completely bonkers estate car – but one we’d all like to drive.
I’m talking about the 170mph Vauxhall. Yup, that’s the one.

0-60mph in 6.1 seconds, the revised four-wheel drive Insignia VXR SuperSport will make its debut at Frankfurt. If you’re fast enough to catch one.

I’ll let you know my pick of the show next time – when the covers have finally come off.