Thursday Snippets – Frankfurt and non

The Frankfurt Motor Show is on again. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes because the Frankfurt Motor Show is like a small city unto itself. I’m quite sure it’s bigger than the central business district here in Hobart.

When I visited Frankfurt, in 2009, there were nine display halls. Each hall was massive. Some contain multiple brands but some were ‘owned’ by single carmaking groups. Mercedes Benz had their own hall. Volkswagen group had their own hall, except it didn’t include Audi, which had another pavilion all to itself. BMW had its own hall.

Jalopnik has a good article that provides some perspective as to the sheer size of these halls and you can imagine for yourself the amount of money that manufacturers spend on them. Rumour had it that Mercedes spent in the order of 30million EUR and that was back in 2009. Who knows how much Audi spent building an inverted city inside theirs, complete with mirrored ceiling.



To the cars from Frankfurt, then…..

Autoblog do a good listing of the stuff they cover. I have to say that in looking through it, I haven’t been particularly inspired. Maybe I’m going off new cars all together.

Things that interested me (sort of, for both good and bad reasons), include the following:

Has there ever been a more dull looking 300hp hot hatch? The VW Golf R.


Anything to do with the Mercedes AMG CLA45 is interesting. This is a racing version.

MB CLA45 AMG-Frankfurt

I think I’ll mark this down as THE most interesting car at Frankfurt (for me). The new BMW i8. This is no longer a concept, which is what makes it so fascinating. This is a real-deal production car capable of a sub 4.5 second sprint with 94mpg economy in day-to-day driving.

I don’t know why but I find this much more interesting than a Tesla.

BMW i8 Frankfurt

Here’s one in something other than car-show-white

BMW i8

And check out the launch video, with the car in black:

1963 must have been a good year.

It’s the Porsche 911’s 50th birthday. It’s the Lancia Fulvia’s 50th birthday. It’s also the Abarth 595’s 50th birthday, so Fiat are celebrating at Frankfurt with an Anniversary edition of their popular retro-baby.

This Anniversary edition gets more grunt, special transmission, custom wheels, bigger brakes, an enhanced soundtrack and improved trim.


I’m still trying to get my head around this Volvo Coupe concept. It seems so wrong but somehow also feels quite right.

Volvo – stop messing with my head!!!


There is no conflict with the Porsche 918 Spyder. This is pure beauty mixed with absolute, uncompromising technical brutality.


And yes, I’ll also post the video of it setting a new production car lap record of The Ring.

I’ve seen a lot of people get excited about this Jaguar crossover thing. It’s called the Jaguar C-X17 and I’m not excited.

Another big luxury SUV. I’m sure it will ride beautifully and cosset its occupants in the utmost comfort. But does the world need another luxury carmaker tapping the crossover market? Really?

Big deal.




Lambo beauty

We did a number of polls earlier about the most iconic cars from various countries. The one significant car country we didn’t cover was Italy. The reason: too intimidating. There are simply too many beautiful Italian cars to cope with. It’d blow up my poll software. My mind would melt. You just can’t assemble that much automotive beauty in one place without a permit and a hazmat suit.

The Lamborghini Miura is a case in point. This video takes a little while to get going and doesn’t reach the heights that it could, but it’s still pretty darn good. It tells the story of a guy who had one 40 years ago as a rich young Playboy, and the guy who became one of Lamborghini’s greatest test drivers.

Ferrari Insanity

This video has done the rounds of the web all week. If you haven’t seen it yet, set aside 20 minutes and watch it now.

This is Chris Harris from /Drive wringing the necks of both the Ferrari F40 and F50. Both the video and the cars are amazing in every way.


A wonderful article from Hemmings observing first-hand the madness of the typical classic car owner.

Volvo P1800

“What’s it like to own a $10,000 car? Find out for $3,995.”

Fantastic brochure and advertising images for the Volvo P1800.

Short. Worth a read.



You may also like


  1. Kia’s compact SUV concept at Frankfurt reminds quite a lot of Saab’s 9-3X Crossover Coupe concept.
    It’s a pity that GM strangled that one like so many of Saab’s good ideas. The 9-3X CC would have been ahead of it’s time and could’ve captured a whole new market for Saab.

    If the Kia hits production it’ll most like be toned down on the interior and exterior. Sadly it’ll loose the gull wing doors too.

    Speaking of Kia’s, I’m planning a test drive in a Pro_cee’d GT when it arrives down under early next year.

  2. The Volvo Coupe looks like the spawn of a P1800S and a current generation Chevrolet Camaro. Blech.

    I’d love to see the BMW i8 in their Atlantik blue color.

  3. That BMW looks really really good in black. Kind of apples and oranges trying to compare it with the Tesla though. In normal day to day travel the Tesla Model S will beat the BMW from stoplight to stoplight. And it will do this while having room enough for 7 people and groceries. The BMW would probably win on the track due to the reduced performance that comes from hotfooting a Tesla too long. Still I’d take the Tesla waaaay before the BMW. At least for my needs.

  4. The Volvo P1800 has always been one of my favourites, but that new Volvo coupé concept just looks too heavy.

  5. ‘Why you must be nuts to own a classic car’ article was very entertaining.
    Maybe it’s just best to follow your heart when it comes to cars and remember to ask Mrs. Swade “-Can we afford this?”, ones in a while 😉

  6. (Re: BMW i8) “I don’t know why but I find this much more interesting than a Tesla.”

    Agree completely. It doesn’t look like a 4-wheel Jelly Bean either.

    The Tesla S looks too much like a Jaguar XJ, which isn’t very inspiring either. I have several of both in the area where I live…hard to tell them apart when seeing them on the road.

    No doubt about what the i8 is, however.

    So tell us Steven…with multiple pics of the i8 in this post…might we see one of THESE as the next set of wheels in the Wade fleet? Hmmm? 😉

    And you do know that the Porsche 918 gets better fuel mileage than a Prius…don’t you? So that is another selling point to Mrs. Wade, in case you want to go that route.

    “But Honey…you said you wanted a fuel efficient car.” 🙂

  7. The i8 is the first well-proportioned BMW since the early 90s. It looks better in the walkaround videos that I’ve seen than it does in stills (most taken from a high angle). I especially like the treatment of the rear fenders.
    That BMW promo video shows that the company hasn’t totally given-up on poor taste. Flashing “carbon fibre” with some girl dancing around in mock ecstasy? This isn’t some poseur bicycle, it’s a car that costs almost as much as a house. They need to look beyond the d-bag market on this one.

    The Volvo is great. It’s about time that they picked-up where the Bertone Volvo coupés left-off. Volvo needs a shot of brand identity, and this will help a lot. Right now, their brand story in the US is “we used to lease a lot of SUVs, but no one wants those anymore; we sold wagons before that, but now we can’t be bothered.”

    Actually, I think the big story this year is brand identity. BMW, Volvo and Cadillac get it. Jaguar and Hyundai don’t. Citroën has a good shot at establishing a new identity with their Cactus. I’m not sure if Renault’s “Initiale Paris” is a success, but that’s probably a moot point because they fired the exec who championed it.

  8. I can’t see properly, but it looks as if the BMW has some kind of winglets á là Saab Phoenix. Who did the design on the i8?

  9. The BMW costs a hell of a lot more than the Telsa, so its really not comparing like with like. Saying that its a cool looking car. The Telsa, when you see one on the road, oozes presence. Its not as bland as its pictures make out (which might be the flaw of looking at this show, in person tells a different story to photos. Its a shame you couldn’t go this year)

  10. The BM is certainly true to form. It evokes much of their design history from the last thirty plus years into possibly the best looking car on the planet today. The car seems to sit in the M1’s shadow, with a nod to the 80s. The M1 was one of the best cars of all time in its day and iconic on so many levels. The standard design DNA is all over the i8 and its surfaces actually flow properly. Something that would make Chris Bungle rather envious. It is both stunning and clever, pretty and fast….and it proves the edict, that ‘a car needs to actually LOOK good’. It is almost irrelevant that it is powered by electric drive.
    ‘Not that there is anything wrong with that….’ to quote a bard from the 1990a

  11. Love the i8, excited to see it in due course. Also like the Tesla S for that matter.

    The Jag crossover is awful. They have not pulled it off in quite the same way that Porsche managed to with the Cayenne.

    I like the Volvo, but then if I could get a good condition P1800 I would……

  12. Been to the Frankfurt Motor Show on Saturday and here are some of my own impressions:
    BMW: I have to agree, the i8 looks really hot. The i3 on the other hand looks rather cheap, especially the interior. Reminds me of Fiat Panda.
    VW: I agree with you on the Golf R, too. When standing in front of it (besides the small but obvious letter R) one cannot say whether it is a 1,6 TDI or an R. But the biggest disapointment for me is a Golf Plus – it’s probably the dullest car on the show.
    Audi: same old same old. The quattro did not impress me design-wise.
    Volvo: I hope they don’t follow their concept. Their current line looks much better.
    PSA: thumbs up. The red Wild rubis looks fabulous, the C4 Picasso is a jackpot and the new 308 is much better in real life than on pictures.
    Mazda brought many 3’s. They were all occupied and rightfully so. Great design.
    Nissan: their Friend-me concept looks great.