Mini Booth
2013 Frankfurt Autoshow Highlights
2013 Frankfurt Autoshow Highlights. Click image to enlarge

Preview and photos by Jacob Black and Michael Bettencourt

Jacob Black’s Excellent Frankfurt Adventure
The 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show is, in a word, fun. In some other words it is epic, awesome, and if you’re of that age – fully sick! These are some of your writer’s favourite bits, distilled into digestible bite-size pieces. Consider this a kind of “Frankfurt Motor Show ice-cream sampler”.

The Mini booth
From a virtual spray gun, with which you can paint a car, to a chrome first-generation Mini Cooper to the two-story tube slide, the Mini stand was balls-out fun. Appropriate really. There was also a neat little JCW convertible in black and red.

Drive a BMW i3 indoors
BMW wanted a little test track for the i3 at the show, so they built one. The circuit snaked through the hall over the heads of punters touring the BMW hall with two i3s doing rapid but silent loops indoors. Try doing that with an internal combustion engine.

Volvo Concept Coupé
I got stuck in this car and still love it. It is gorgeous. The interior features are detailed, well thought out and wonderfully original. There is nothing else in the show quite like this future-facing homage to the P1800. You’ll enjoy the hand-woven carpet inside the cabin and the natural ash trim. As for how I got stuck in it, the Concept Coupé has cool electric doors, which got jammed when over-eager photographers kept yanking on it while it was opening. So when they shut it to give me the full wrap-around effect of the interior – we couldn’t open it again. Best 15 minutes I’ve ever spent stuck in something.

2013 Frankfurt Autoshow Highlights2013 Frankfurt Autoshow Highlights2013 Frankfurt Autoshow Highlights
2013 Frankfurt Autoshow Highlights. Click image to enlarge

Renault’s “Whacky Cabin” Olympics
Speaking of interesting interiors, Renault decided to bring its warped sense of humour to bear on the concept cars it displayed in Frankfurt. From a backlit marshmallow seat that looks like something from a futuristic massage parlour to an inexplicable floating-string seat, Renault got its avant garde on in a big way.

2013 Frankfurt Autoshow Highlights
2013 Frankfurt Autoshow Highlights. Click image to enlarge

Vignale (Fusion) Wagon
A little closer to the realm of reality was the Ford Vignale. There were two on display and one was an intriguing wagon. The Vignale and the Fusion are essentially the same rig, so maybe, if we’re really, really good Santa might one day bring us the wagon version.

Volvo Pedestrian Detection and Avoidance System
People who enjoy seeing themselves on screens loved this stand. It demonstrated Volvo’s pedestrian detection system and projected the results onto a wall behind the display cars. It was a neat piece of tech that claims to brake when it recognizes that an oblivious pedestrian with an iPod is about to walk out in front of you.

Connect with