2011 Frankfurt Motor Show: The Highlights

By James Wong

Day One of the Frankfurt Motor Show is now behind us, so we’ve pulled together some of the highlights of the show so far.  Click past the jump to see some of our favorites from the first day.  More to come later, and even more tomorrow.  Remember to let us know if you want photos or first-person impressions of any of the new models shown by clicking on our earlier post here.

BMW 1-Series Performance Studie
The 1-Series has been officially released for quite some time now, but the Performance Studie is a preview of how good the new 1er can actually look with the right specifications. Here, it is seen with the brawny interior with an Alcantara-clad steering wheel. Lose the black-and-white contrasts and it could look pretty good indeed.

BMW 528i
The 528i has a deceptive nameplate, but what it actually is is a twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine that is good for 240bhp and 350Nm, comparing very favourably against Mercedes’s very own E250 CGI. The battle of the four-pot luxury sedans just heated up.

Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale
The President of Automobili Lamborghini, Steven Winkelmann, had a very easy-going manner when the sheets were pulled off the latest iteration of the Gallardo. It was as if everyone was almost getting used to having yet another variant of the highly successful Gallardo, which is about to be replaced soon. Nonetheless, it still cut a very sharp figure on stage, holding its own very well against the two Aventadors flanking it. Although red isn’t typically Lamborghini, it was chosen because Italian race cars are usually in that shade.  It is good for 570bhp and does the century [km/h] sprint in 3.4 secs. Only 150 will be built.

Volkswagen Up!
Volkswagen is almost certainly be on track to become the world’s biggest car manufacturer with its confirmed production of the two-door urban run-about, the Up. Although a few variants of the Up! have been presented in Frankfurt, only one has been confirmed for production for now – the two-door. I’ve had some seat time in it and it feels brilliant – simple, to the point and infinitely practical.

Porsche 911 (991)
The rather stern looking rear lights on the new 991 are about the only noticeable change in this latest generation of the 911. The car has a seemingly elongated side profile now, emphasised by the car’s wheelbase and greenhouse. Still the car to grow old with.

Renault Twingo RS (facelifted)
The Twingo just became quirkier with a new face, although the interior remains largely unchanged. There is a small boost in power although the Twingo will still be the slowest Renaultsport in the current range.

Suzuki Swift Sport
This underdog which punches way above its weight feels more mature now, yet retaining that slick gearchange feeling and compact size.

Maserati Kubang
It is promised that the Kubang will have an engine developed by an ex-Ferrari engineer and will also be built in Maranello by Ferrari. A really special engine for this SUV then, which may just boost Maserati’s sales to make it a more formidable player than ever before. Nonetheless, creating a Ferrari-type engine with a high redline and small low-rev torque does seem to work against the SUV, emphasising the fact that Maserati and SUV is a bit of an odd mix.

Beetle R Concept
Here’s a R that looks highly probably to see the light of day. The Beetle has toughened up its look this time, with sportier variants not looking out of place now.

More photos and content coming your way!


Author: James Wong

The only writer to be based in Asia, James provides a refreshingly different perspective to the automotive industry with his unique experience of living in the Far East. He is a prolific journalist who has written for several leading automotive publications in Singapore, including Torque Singapore and REV Magazine Singapore. He believes in the thrill of driving and champions for an appreciation of driving pleasure above the horsepower race. In September 2010, James relocated to the United Kingdom, London, bringing him to a whole new environment from which to start a new chapter in automotive journalism.

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  1. The Maserati Kubang is pretty sweet. I can’t believe it shares its architecture with the Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango!

  2. I’d love to see the VW Up come to America, but I suppose we’ll never see it. Just a bloated Beetle.

  3. I love the new face on the Twingo; love the BMW 528 and I’m loving all the versions of the VW Up!

  4. I think the Up is a lot more than a bloated Beetle. Or rather, a lot less. It’s a trimmed down, ultra-lightweight, ultra-efficient car. It’s the car that will spearhead VW’s next headlong goal towards efficiency.

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