Top 5 of everything at the Frankfurt motor show

Published: 16 September 2009

The top trends at Frankfurt motor show 2009

1. Carbonfibre. From the tub in the oddball Volkswagen L1 to the wing mirrors of the Mercedes SLS, the glossy black woven stuff, both real and fake, is everywhere.

2. LED Lights. Impossibly white and bright, no glitzy concept or top-end German model is complete without a liberal sprinkling of the blinding lights. Visual aggression aplenty.

3. Dodgy metallic hues. White is so passé if the number of eye-searingly ugly metallic limes, brown and greens are anything to go by. Especially chez Audi and BMW.

4. Green messages. Woe betide if your stand isn’t dripping with electric and hybrid production and concept cars. Unless you’re Brabus, of course.

5. Glamour Girls. The automotive world is going down the tubes, but what does that matter when your stand is thronged with skinny models in provocative schoolgirl uniforms. Heh Fiat?

The top 5 concept cars at Frankfurt motor show 2009

1. Mazda MX-5 Superlight. You just know this pared-back screenless roadster will be a complete riot at any speed. Build it Mazda, but give it the 2.0-litre lump and six-speed ‘box.

2. Mini Roadster. Sorry sceptics on the comments board of CAR Online. A slick two-seater with Cooper S punch is bound to be a surefire hit. Good news for the Oxford plant, too.

3. Fiat 695 Tributo. Dodgy Modenese connotations aside, we can’t think of anything wrong with a 180bhp 500 with paddle shift and an aggression overload.

4. BMW Vision EfficientDynamics. Tyre-smoking pace, supercar looks and immaculate green credentials. What’s not to like?

5. Citroen Revolte. Small, idiosyncratic and desirable, the Revolte embodies everything Citroen should be. Name suffered a bit in translation… 

The top 5 show stands at Frankfurt motor show 2009

1. Mercedes-Benz. Chock full of superb classics, advanced hybrids and interactive displays. Brand indoctrination guaranteed. A must-visit.

2. BMW. Scalectrix on a vast scale, with people on the inside and real cars whizzing around a banked oval encircling the entire stand. Absolutely brilliant.

3. Rolls-Royce. Calm, opulent and by invitation only. Wonderful – just like their cars.

4. Ferrari. Plenty of 458 Italias, gorgeous models and the inescapable whiff of power and money.

5. Brabus. The rare opportunity to see some of the most overpowered cars standing still. Enough horsepower to light up all of Frankfurt.

The top 5 meaningless logos at Frankfurt motor show 2009

1. Mini: ‘Eat up the road. Not the environment’. Greenwash marketing at its best.

2. Opel: ‘We live cars’. With all the anticipated jobs cuts post Magna buy-out, we think there will be quite a few ex-Opel and Vauxhall employees living in their Astras.

3. Hyundai: ‘Inspiring the future’. To do what, exactly? Buy a Tucson? We think not.

4. Porsche: ‘Efficiency means power’. Tell that to diesel Cayenne drivers.

5. Lancia: ‘It takes all the winning you can do to keep in the same place’. How a quote from children’s classic Through the Looking Glass has any relevance to the truly unattractive Lancia model on the stand is beyond us. 

The top 5 electric cars at Frankfurt motor show 2009

1. Audi R8 e-Tron. A 313bhp leccy R8 supercar that will hit sixty in 4.8 seconds and has a range of 150 miles? Yes please!

2. Renault Zoe ZE. Chunky, armadillo-inspired hatch with cool butterfly doors and zero emissions arrives here in 2012.

3. Peugeot BB1. A proper show surprise, and rear-wheel drive to boot. Not convinced it’s very production relevant, mind.

4. Mercedes SLS Electric. AMG’s green credentials rocketed when this was unveiled. The way we want our electric cars to look and perform.

5. BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept. Okay, it’s not a full electric car, but we love its cool looks and even cooler technology.

The top 5 facts about the Frankfurt motor show 2009

1. Number of halls: 11.

2. Total floor space: 170,000 square metres.
 
3. Number of press conferences: 71

4. Number of attending media: 135,000

5. Number of exhibitor stands: 700.

The top 5 things you’re least likely to hear a car maker boss say at Frankfurt

1. ‘Forget driving pleasure: transport in future is doomed, I tell you.’

2. ‘We’ve only done this battery car cos marketing told us to.’
 
3. ‘I really like the sludge pond greeny-brown on certain BMWs and Audis.’

4. ‘This show should really be a bit bigger. I mean, come on!’

5. ‘Sod the CO2, let’s go and make rampant bhp together.’

 

By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars

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