2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – Lotus Evora, 124 Racer and Exige Cup 260

Lotus displayed their new Evora type 124 Endurance Racer, destined to be a factory entry in a few key endurance races over the next year. Continuing the racing theme: there was a special trackday type version of the Exige called the Cup 260. This is a 2010 update from previous models. With very strong rumours […]

Lotus displayed their new Evora type 124 Endurance Racer, destined to be a factory entry in a few key endurance races over the next year. Continuing the racing theme: there was a special trackday type version of the Exige called the Cup 260. This is a 2010 update from previous models.

Lotus Evora type 124 Endurance Racer

Lotus Evora type 124 Endurance Racer


Lotus Evora

Lotus Evora


Lotus Evora first customer delivery at Hethel factory

Lotus Evora first customer delivery at Hethel factory

With very strong rumours that Lotus will re-enter Formula 1 motor racing next season, with Malaysian backing, it’s good to see them pushing the race versions of their cars out to the general public. The memory of Lotus founder and enthusiastic race designer Colin Chapman’s racing heritage is still alive in the minds of car enthusiasts.

The standard Evora is now in full production and deliveries have started. Here’s a photo of the first customer car to be handed over at the Hethel factory in Norfolk, UK at the beginning of September 2009.

[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – Tesla Model S and Roadster Sport

Tesla S all electric car: we’d like to call this the first showing of the new model S, however a closer peak at the show car reveals it is exactly that and no more, as doors were fixed shut, interior a mock up and the “chrome” finishing strips around windows etc were cracking under the […]

Tesla S all-electric saloon

Tesla S all-electric saloon


Tesla S all electric car: we’d like to call this the first showing of the new model S, however a closer peak at the show car reveals it is exactly that and no more, as doors were fixed shut, interior a mock up and the “chrome” finishing strips around windows etc were cracking under the heat of the show’s spotlights. Still, it’s not scheduled to come out the factory doors ’till 2011, so the cake’s got time to bake. It is at least an elegant and realistic shape that has a great chance of breaking into the mainstream if it can pull off it’s range and power goals at an affordable price. Their website announces $50,000 price tag, 300 mile range, unnecessarily fast acceleration, and sufficiently high top speed. Remarkably there’s room for 5 adults + 2 kids, as well as a front and back trunk.

Tesla Roadster Sport

Tesla Roadster Sport


Next to it, a fetching yellow Roadster Sport, that is available now, is a useful reminder that the future model S is a realistic proposition; even if the Roadster’s price compared to a petrol engined Elise makes you gasp. Remember how expensive a large Plasma screen TV was 10 years ago? And now? The 700th electric Roadster was delivered at the Frankfurt show to a German law student.

[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – BMW Vision

BMW’s impressive, indoor-track dominated hall featured the Vision hybrid concept car. Adrian van Hooydonk’s design rotated on display as Efficient Dynamics liveried cars from BMW’s lineup sailed past. How cool to have your own track to display and drive right in the exhibition hall ! As we moved over to the Mini stand we could […]

BMW Vision hybrid concept leads the pack on the track

BMW Vision hybrid concept leads the pack on the track

BMW’s impressive, indoor-track dominated hall featured the Vision hybrid concept car. Adrian van Hooydonk’s design rotated on display as Efficient Dynamics liveried cars from BMW’s lineup sailed past. How cool to have your own track to display and drive right in the exhibition hall ! As we moved over to the Mini stand we could hear some tasteful V8 sounds emanating from above us, proving that there was more to BMW’s display than showing their efforts to control emission outputs and improve efficiency.

BMW Vision hybrid concept

BMW Vision hybrid concept


At the heart of their future eco-plans lies the hybrid chassis that the Vision’s aggressive yet svelte bodywork was draped over. Does this mark a swing away from BMW’s plans for hydrogen fuelled cars? Remember the 7 series hydrogen that was being produced on a limited trial basis. Certainly, the whole eco-car movement has pushed towards hybrids and pure electrics, rather than hydrogen, unless in fuel celled cars. Fuel density and transport problems are mostly responsible, and the convenience of converting existing engine technology which was already looking cynical.

We like the principles enshrined in BMW’s philosophy: eco-cars that retain performance and driving pleasure by cutting down weight, and kinetic and aerodynamic losses. But we do question the weight penalty of carrying around a turbodiesel as well as electric motors. This is still intermediate technology to make the all-important range acceptable to ordinary car users. Lose the combustion engine and it’s electric generator and think how much weight you could save. The world still needs a more efficient battery, despite recent advances.

[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – Rolls Royce Ghost

First impressions of the new Rolls Royce Ghost in a sort of aubergine and silver colour scheme revolving on the Rolls stand were not good. Lighting and colour conspired to turn it into a shrunken Phantom without the presence. The matching interior didn’t help. An invite to come backstage to view a subtle metallic blue […]

Rolls Royce Ghost

Rolls Royce Ghost

Rowan Atkinson on Rolls Stand

Rowan Atkinson on Rolls Stand

First impressions of the new Rolls Royce Ghost in a sort of aubergine and silver colour scheme revolving on the Rolls stand were not good. Lighting and colour conspired to turn it into a shrunken Phantom without the presence. The matching interior didn’t help. An invite to come backstage to view a subtle metallic blue Ghost with a creamier interior made a better impression. We couldn’t help noticing car-nut Rowan Atkinson taking more than a passing interest. I wonder what colour Mr Bean would specify?!

Move on several hours and millimeters of shoe leather and we found ourselves staring at a white Ghost parked out the back of the show. Was this the same car we had balked at earlier? It looked stunning even if the adjective elegant didn’t come to mind. Certainly, it looked self-assertive, and lit up the drab exterior of the exhibition hall.

[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – Mini Coupe and Roadster Concept

Concept is probably a misnomer as these Minis are slated for production at BMW’s mini plant in Oxford. Revealed at the Frankfurt Show, the coupe had been leaked to the press ahead of the show, but the convertible was the promised second surprise. Both are likely to be fitted with the 1.6 litre turbo Cooper […]

Mini Coupe and Roadster Concept

Mini Coupe and Roadster Concept

Concept is probably a misnomer as these Minis are slated for production at BMW’s mini plant in Oxford. Revealed at the Frankfurt Show, the coupe had been leaked to the press ahead of the show, but the convertible was the promised second surprise. Both are likely to be fitted with the 1.6 litre turbo Cooper engine, adding to the 1.5 million Minis that have already rolled off the Oxford production line, in this, Mini’s 50th anniversary year. A small caveat; production versions are likely to include less radical screen and roofline profile’s, and as always, more realistic rubber and wheel clearance.

[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – in the pink!

The Frankfurt Show is well and truly over, but we find ourselves with a lot unpublished material that we are sure, as car fans, you’ll want to see. So read on! Firstly on on the Mansory stand, there’s a pink, totally outrageous, modified Bentley coupe. Just why would you want to do this to a […]

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show

The Frankfurt Show is well and truly over, but we find ourselves with a lot unpublished material that we are sure, as car fans, you’ll want to see. So read on! Firstly on on the Mansory stand, there’s a pink, totally outrageous, modified Bentley coupe. Just why would you want to do this to a beautiful car, even if you have way too much money?! Answer: you wouldn’t but it sure gets some attention. Maybe we looked at the other stars on their stand as a result.
Pink Bentley

Pink Bentley Vitesse Rose by Mansory

If you thought carbon fibre-everywhere was yesterday’s theme, then look further along their stand where an Aston and a Bugatti lurk in proud assertion of the breed. At least the dark weave of the carbon cloth gives an unexpected understatement to the conversions. Naturally there are deep performance tweaks to supplement the cult clothing. But this is a fashion show…and bespoke clothing doesn’t come cheap.

Cyrus Aston Martin (DB9) by Mansory

Cyrus Aston Martin (DB9) by Mansory

Carbon bodied Bugatti Veyron

Carbon and chrome bodied Bugatti Veyron Linea Vincero

Mansory’s carbon and chrome Bugatti Veyron, by contrast is pretty tasteful. Veyron’s are not subtle, and plenty of factory cars look more outrageous than this example. We’ll take this one and leave the matt pink Bentley thanks.

Tagged with:
 

2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – Mad Motors!

A motor Show would be nothing without a few mad motors balking at corporate styling shyness. The Hamann stand seemed to epitomise aftermarket tuning with a sense of humour. Where else will you see a BMW X6 with zebra stripes, a Lambo painted to resemble an F16 fighter jet, a McMerc SLR decked out with […]

Hamann's Volcano Mercedes McLaren SLR

Hamann's Volcano Mercedes McLaren SLR


A motor Show would be nothing without a few mad motors balking at corporate styling shyness. The Hamann stand seemed to epitomise aftermarket tuning with a sense of humour. Where else will you see a BMW X6 with zebra stripes, a Lambo painted to resemble an F16 fighter jet, a McMerc SLR decked out with more carbon appendages than a formula 1 racer? We need bonkers motors to stop us sinking into the straight-jacket of corporate-safe styling. OK, so your average punter’s not going to sink their hard-earned cash into one of these vegas-on-wheels mascots, but a petro-cash-rich-car-nut might just get the humour and steer some dosh Hamann’s way.
Hamann's message to the world

Hamann's message to the world

click through to the next page to see more photos of Hamann’s radical rides!
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – Audi E-Tron

The Frankfurt Motor show, promised to be launch venue for a whole host of electric vehicles. Most notable for its boldness and mainstream manufacturer pedigree was the Audi e-tron. It is however only a concept car, whilst Tesla, for instance has already delivered a fair few Roadsters. What’s special about the e-tron though, is the […]

Audi e-tron

Audi e-tron

The Frankfurt Motor show, promised to be launch venue for a whole host of electric vehicles. Most notable for its boldness and mainstream manufacturer pedigree was the Audi e-tron. It is however only a concept car, whilst Tesla, for instance has already delivered a fair few Roadsters. What’s special about the e-tron though, is the complete thoroughness and integration of numerous systems, to create a future-electric car that intelligently reacts to its immediate environment and dynamics.

The car adapts its cooling vents to suit its motor temperature: closed flaps reduce wind-resistance. The four electric motors, two forward, and two aft of the cockpit, assure perfect weight distribution, and allow adjustable traction to suit road conditions. This is true Quattro territory. Furthermore, a heat pump ( a first in an electric car Audi say ) transfers otherwise wasted energy to cabin heating in cold weather. There is of course the now mandatory regenerative braking energy system. Power is lithium-ion, nothing new, but promises outstanding performance, with sub 5 second to 60mph acceleration and 124mph top speed.

Audi e-tron

Audi e-tron

Our initial visual impressions were a bit negative. It’s lineage, as an R8 evolution are clear, but the execution is strangely retro. It must be the multi spoke wheels and vents that hark back to old racing vented drum brakes, or pseudo-luxury barges. The Austin Vanden Plas type alloys springs to mind, yikes! Maybe we are too used to panel gaps and production reality margins to accept such a smooth seamless car. maybe also, we expect a more hunky, horny vehicle when we know its heritage is the awesome and adrenaline filled shape of the R8. Remember the slick Audi RSQ from the i-Robot film ? That exuded combined power and mystique. Judge for yourself with these images

[Gallery not found]

Click through to the next page to get the Audi’s full details and spec
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – day2 – Maserati GranCabrio

Yippee a fab looking four seater convertible ! Having criticized the lack of retractable hardtops in the previous, Audi R8 news item, we wandered into the next hall and found ourselves eating our words, as the Maserati GranCabrio had it’s roof up, windows down and top totty draped across one of four full size seats. […]

Maserati GranCabrio

Maserati GranCabrio


Maserati GranCabrio interior + model

Maserati GranCabrio interior + model


Yippee a fab looking four seater convertible ! Having criticized the lack of retractable hardtops in the previous, Audi R8 news item, we wandered into the next hall and found ourselves eating our words, as the Maserati GranCabrio had it’s roof up, windows down and top totty draped across one of four full size seats. An avalanche of dress spilled out of the drivers seat – canvas of sorts, of course! Now the sales pitch of having a canvas top is to store the garderobe of a supermodel in the cavernous trunk. But look here at the reality: a Volvo C70 beats it hands down for USEABLE boot space, despite its retractable roof. We stand by our words, if a Ferrari California can have one, why can’t others?
Maserati GranCabrio boot

Maserati GranCabrio boot

See ROOF IN ACTION and more info on the next page
(more…)

 

2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – day2 – Audi R8 Spyder

Audi R8 Spyder: is this what the R8 should have been all along? We think not. The coupe’s distinctive midship styling panel ( side blades ) set it apart, and losing in it in the convertible dilutes the model and image. It’s softer, more rounded, less controversial and consequently more ordinary. But we’ll let it […]

Audi R8 Spyder

Audi R8 Spyder

Audi R8 Spyder: is this what the R8 should have been all along? We think not. The coupe’s distinctive midship styling panel ( side blades ) set it apart, and losing in it in the convertible dilutes the model and image. It’s softer, more rounded, less controversial and consequently more ordinary. But we’ll let it off, as it’s mostly spectacular, and undoubtedly will be the hot ride in “New Porsche Beach ” ( nickname for super-wealthy LA suburb )

Additionally, we think that with all the progress made in automotive engineering recently, manufacturers should have been able to come up with a lightweight retractable hardtop that doesn’t spoil the lines or consume all the boot space. The R8 Spyder looks elegant with canvas top raised, but the security and longevity of a solid roof is invaluable. Audi is not alone; we can aim this critisism at most supercar manufacturers. Thinking of parking your pride and joy on dodgy territory ? The solidity of your roof will hugely influence your decision on which toy you’ll pluck out of the garage.
[Gallery not found]
Read on for more info
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...