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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – day1 – Porsche GT3 RS

On the Porsche stand, the main car in the spotlight is the new Convertible 911 Turbo and its sister Coupe. Behind those is the ungainly new Panamera, but our attention was grabbed by the 911 GT3 RS, which really sets the pulse racing. Racing of course is the idea, as GT3′s tend to be a [...]

On the Porsche stand, the main car in the spotlight is the new Convertible 911 Turbo and its sister Coupe. Behind those is the ungainly new Panamera, but our attention was grabbed by the 911 GT3 RS, which really sets the pulse racing. Racing of course is the idea, as GT3′s tend to be a bit harsh for everyday driving, but serve up some of the best driving experiences around, especially for trackdays.

Porsche GT3 RS

Porsche GT3 RS

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2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – day1 – Ferrari 458

Yellowwheels is live at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. And so is most of the world’s motoring press! So rather than boring you with every conceivable newness, we’ll follow our hearts and bring you the stuff that really makes your palette salivate! Day 1 Undoubtedly our first day’s scouting and filming, found us gravitating towards [...]

Yellowwheels is live at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. And so is most of the world’s motoring press! So rather than boring you with every conceivable newness, we’ll follow our hearts and bring you the stuff that really makes your palette salivate!

Day 1
Undoubtedly our first day’s scouting and filming, found us gravitating towards Ferrari’s 458. Whilst its not it’s not as spectacular as an Enzo, it’s an important departure from the 430 and 360 that preceded it. The press photos that were circulating all over the web shortly before Frankfurt, left not a lot to be guessed at, but there’s no substitute for seeing a car in the flesh, albeit in the artificial situation of a motor show. In profile the waspish side slices hinted at the proportions of a Zonda, the nose felt slightly Renault like, but the rear was unmistakably Ferrari Enzo, F430. Banks of LED lights run vertically down to projector main beams on the nose. Inside it’s again Enzo/430/F1 evolution, with prominent central rev counter ruling all before you.

Ferrari 456 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Elegant or just exciting? it’s certainly captivated us. Here’s a gallery of images so you can judge for yourself

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New Porsche 911 Turbo coming to Frankfurt Show

If we told you there’s yet another new version of the Porsche 911 Turbo being launched at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, you wouldn’t exactly be surprised, or ecstatic. Porsche’s history with the 911, is one of gradual incremental increase’s in power, refinement and handling. But the package has remained so compelling over the years, that [...]

Porsche 911 Turbo

Porsche 911 Turbo


If we told you there’s yet another new version of the Porsche 911 Turbo being launched at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, you wouldn’t exactly be surprised, or ecstatic. Porsche’s history with the 911, is one of gradual incremental increase’s in power, refinement and handling. But the package has remained so compelling over the years, that this, seventh iteration is welcome news and just what the converted will lap up. Those expecting radical news will have to do with the fact that the engine has had a complete revamp. In fact it’s completely new; a first in the 35 year history of the beast.

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