This month's Frankfurt Motor Show may be short on exciting new models but we can expect plenty in the way of debate about the future of diesel after the "Dieselgate" affair, self-driving technology and alternative energy sources for the future. As the big German manufacturers, including Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen, offer cash discounts for older diesel cars across Europe the industry is expected to make some very firm statements about its future.

Here's a preview of what new cars are being shown.

One of the first examples about the way things are going will be the Audi A8, the world's first level three autonomous driving car.

The new Audi A8.

Level three means the car can have full autonomy at pre-set speeds. In the case of the A8 the technology can be set to control its own steering, braking and acceleration up to 60 KPH. This means that in many average driving situations the car can drive itself. Of course, the system can be overridden but it is a big step nearer full autonomous driving. The technology for fully automated driving is well advanced at this stage.

Mercedes will showcase the S-Class coupe.

The Mercedes S-Class coupe.

This is one for the premier league players and others for whom budget is not a concern and fuel consumption something that just causes inconvenience stopping to fill it. It has a 4.7 litre  V8 engine and pumps out 370 horse power.

On the budget scale, Dacia will be showing the new Duster - a car that upended prejudices against low cost SUV's. Its bargain basement prices were sniffed at by some but not by budget-conscious Irish motorists who have taken to it in droves.

Dacia's new Duster range.

The latest Duster has had its exterior and interior revised and this times features LED daytime running lights in three sections. To make the cabin more spacious the windscreen has been moved forward and the cabin has been upgraded to give it a more quality feel - one thing that is badly needed in Dacia cars.

Jaguar is expected to unveil the new E-Pace.

Jaguar's new compact SUV - the E-Pace. 

The E-Pace is a five-seater compact SUV. The only engines confirmed at the moment are petrol and big ones at that. It is expected to be launched next year so there will likely be a more modest diesel offering rather than the 246 and 296 horse power versions due to go on sale in the US.

The ultimate surfer's transport from Citroen.

Citroen continues its laid-back surfing and outdoorsy theme with the latest co-operative effort involving Rip Curl. This is a compact camping car that - for the moment - remains a promotional concept but if the reaction is positive enough you just might see it in full production.

Volkswagen's fourth SUV comes in the shape of the strangely-named T-Roc and this is VW's first compact SUV. 

Volkswagen's new compact SUV - the T-Roc - goes on sale in Ireland later this year.

The car goes on sale in Ireland in December for the 2018 market. It comes in below the Tiguan but promises to have a generous load capacity. The images suggest a wide front and a slightly coupe profile as the roof sweeps back.

Volkswagen also has the new Polo on show.

The new Polo.

The range of engine options will  65 horse power to 150. There will be a choice of four petrol and two diesel engines, all equipped as standard with start/stop system and regenerative braking mode. Every engine with a power output of 90 PS or above can be combined with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG).

Kia will be offering a glimpse of the future of Cee'd range with a concept car.

Kia's concept car shows how the Cee'd range will develop.

There are no details available about the car but you can expect to see it replicated in the future as an alternative fuel car with autonomous driving features.

MINI will be showing its new all-electric model.

The all-electric MINI.

BMW is fast moving towards electric cars and the electric version of the MINI is an example of what will be sold alongside conventionally-powered cars in the near future. The BMW group is hedging its bets in relation to electric cars, saying it will meet the demand for both electric and diesel as the market dictates and says it will be able to ramp up production accordingly.

BMW itself is showing a new version of the i3 with a 170 horse power electric engine.

BMW's latest i3 electric car.

The range for the new i3 is aid to be up to 200 kilometres in everyday use. The acceleration time from 0 to 100 KPH is just 7.3 seconds but top speed is limited to 150 KPH.

For Opel the big launch will be the Grandland X, another joint venture with Peugeot, which now owns Opel. 

Opel's new SUV - the Grandland X.

It's another entrant into the ever-growing SUV market and Opel says it will have very up to date technology and space for five passengers and luggage.