The Auto 2023 international motor show is coming to Ķīpsala on 28–30 April, with a number of exciting Baltic premieres of new vehicles. While the car industry is moving rapidly towards full electrification, many of the new models at the show will still come with the classic rumble of the internal combustion engine.
Modena to Ķīpsala
A truly exclusive debut at Auto 2023 will be the sporty new-generation Maserati GranTurismo vehicle, which saw its world premiere just recently. The Modena thoroughbred sports coupe is a four-seater with a V6 biturbo petrol engine and up to 550 horsepower under the bonnet, depending on the variant.
In addition, the GranTurismo is also available in a 100% electric version, delivering an impressive 760 hp. With Maserati also committed to switching to full electric by 2030, the new GranTurismo is one of its last internal combustion models. Maserati will also be showcasing the Grecale SUV, including the Trofeo, its most powerful 530 hp version.
Koreans join the leaders in electric mobility
South Korean companies Kia and Hyundai are now among the leaders in EV tech, offering in their models an 800-volt system that other car manufacturers can only include in models with a six-figure price tag. Hyundai’s latest electric vehicle, the Ioniq 6, will debut at Auto 2023.
The design of the Hyundai Ioniq 6, unlike the already familiar Ioniq 5, has the streamlined look of a sports car. This model also features an 800 V architecture for ultra-fast battery charging: from 10 to 80 percent in just 18 minutes. And a full battery is enough to travel as far as 600 kilometres.
Two French model premieres
Renault has expanded its range with the new Austral SUV. It is the company’s first model built using the third-generation CMF-CD platform, with the latest 4Control Advanced four-wheel steering system. The drive uses the lightweight 48-volt hybrid technology.
Another French model to make its debut at the show is the Citroën C4 X. It combines the outline of an SUV and a fastback, offering an alternative to the otherwise typical hatchbacks and SUVs. The new C4 X is positioned between the C4 model and the flagship C5 X. The vehicle is available in internal combustion variants, and as a 100% electric version, the e-C4 X.
Japanese pickups leaving, Korean pickups coming to replace them
In Europe, you have always been able to count the number of models available in the pickup segment on the fingers of one hand. A few previously popular Japanese pickups left Europe in the last couple of years, but this niche will not stay empty. The Musso from the South Korean SsangYong brand will make its debut in Latvia, and will be on display at Auto 2023. This pickup comes with a 202 hp diesel engine, at a fairly affordable price, filling the vacuum left by the lower-priced Japanese pickups, and becoming a good alternative to German and American competitors.
Premium car segment goes electric, too
The Audi e-tron was the German manufacturer’s first mass-produced electric car, debuting back in 2018. An upgraded version of it, the Q8 e-tron, will be at this year’s show. The vehicle is also available in a more dynamic sportback body style. The upgraded electric SUV features an optimised powertrain, better aerodynamics, more charging efficiency and battery capacity, and a range increased to up to 600 kilometres.
Another new German feature is the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, only available with a 100% electric drive, including the Cargo commercial vehicle variant. It has won broad acclaim for its design, including in the Latvian Car of the Year competition. The ID.Buzz is the conceptual successor to the legendary ‘hippy van’, with which it shares a number of design features, replacing the Sharan which is to leave the VW range.
Electric drive can also be different
We are used to electric mobility involving only hybrid and 100% electric vehicles, but Nissan has introduced a solution that is different from those of other carmakers, combining the best of both worlds. Its new e-Power technology, available in the Qashqai and X-Trail models, which will come to Auto 2023, makes it possible to use the electric drive without having to charge the battery. The necessary power is produced by an internal combustion engine, which does not drive the wheels and only functions as a power generator. As a result, the car is powered by an electric motor, and the battery need not be recharged from an external source at all, instead consuming petrol from the fuel tank; this means less time refuelling, and is more accessible in terms of infrastructure than electric charging.
New versions of familiar models
In addition to the premieres of all-new models at the show, there will be new variants of familiar models, including the Opel Astra, which has a plug-in hybrid version (PHEV) with a range of up to 70 kilometres in electric-only mode. The new sporty 150 hp Cupra Leon Sportstourer will also come to the show, while the Cupra Formentor will also be available in the ultra-powerful 390 hp VZ5 version, both will be available for sale in Latvia in rather limited numbers. The Škoda brand will have an original approach to its booth, with a new logo and redesigned brand colours. Alongside its other models, which will be displayed in the sporty Sportline or luxury Laurin & Klement versions, the shows guests will also be introduced to the Škoda Enyaq Coupe iV, the official car of the coming Ice Hockey World Championship in Latvia.
Various other electric vehicle brands, including Tesla, will be at the show, as part of the electric mobility booths. In addition to cars, there will also be many commercial vehicles. For example, Ford Trucks Latvia will present one of the latest trucks on the Latvian market: the Ford F-MAX. There will also be new products from Otokar, MAN, Iveco Bus, Foton, and Cenntro.
On 29 and 30 April, the show’s guests will get to discover the latest vehicles with the car expert and journalist Normunds Avotiņš.
The Auto Mechanics section of Auto 2023 will offer the latest that this field has to offer, with tyres, wheels, care products, devices and equipment for professionals, etc. The Auto Exotica section will showcase rare and unusual cars, powerful and tuned sports cars, classic and retro cars.
The Auto motor show is organised by the BT 1 International Exhibition Company.
Auto 2023 is supported by the Motointegrator.lv vehicle service search platform, a free database where you can look up a workshop to do scheduled maintenance or unexpected repairs for you, read unbiased reviews, compare prices, and book an appointment online.
For more details, visit: www.balticmotorshow.com
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28–29 April, 10:00–19:00
30 April, 10:00–17:00