Frankfurt Motor Show – Full Picture Gallery
We’re told there are 30 per cent fewer exhibitors at Frankfurt this year but, with 82 world premieres on the opening press day, it was no damp squib.
True, many of these were ‘unveilings’ in name alone, as we’d already seen – and admired – pictures of such delicacies as the Ferrari 458 Italia, Maserati GranCabrio and new ‘Gullwing’, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
Keeping their cards closer to their chests were MINI, with its new Roadster concept and Audi – which not only presented an open-topped version of its awe-inspiring V10 R8 but also (a genuine surprise, this one) the high-performance electric-drive e-tron concept. Then there was Abarth, which launched a pocket rocket in the shape of the 180HP Abarth 695 ‘Tributo Ferrari’. And at last, here in the metal at Frankfurt, is the long-awaited Aston Martin Rapide four-door sportscar in its production form. Plus many, many more, from the Lamborghini Reventón Roadster (just 20 will be built) to the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics.
But back to that Audi e-tron. Four electric motors drive the four wheels, making this concept a true Quattro. It’s propelled by 313HP (or should we start talking in kW – it is, after all an electric car – in which case there are 230 of them) with maximum torque of 3319lb ft. No, that isn’t a typographical error, it’s just that ‘maximum’ torque in the electric world isn’t really comparable with the planet where fossil-fuelled cars live. What matters is that 0-62mph is dispatched in 4.8 seconds and we’re promised a range of ‘approximately’ 248 kilometres. (But not ‘approximately’ 250 kilometres.)
No one was even guessing when the e-tron might become a production reality but, of course, it’s far more than simply a prototype Audi; it’s an entire dynamic package which could lead the way in electric cars for the whole VAG group. And, perhaps, Porsche.
The show might be smaller, but it’s no less of a benchmark for the future of the industry. A future that’s perhaps a little brighter than we feared. Do enjoy browsing the gallery…
Scenes from Frankfurt 2009
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