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Ultimate in luxury, sport at Frankfurt auto show

Automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Ferrari, Abarth, Audi, Maserati, Aston Martin, and Rolls-Royce unveil a slew of very expensive cars at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG'
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG's retro design evokes the 300 SL. CNET

With all the very expensive new cars being unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show, you would think the economy never went into recession. It did, and yet here they are, a parade of new automotive objects of lust from the likes of Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, and Rolls-Royce. Some emphasize sport, some luxury, but all have way more of each than your standard economy sedan.

Leading the parade is the spectacular new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, a monster of a supercar with retro styling evoking the gull-winged 300 SL. Porsche shows off a couple of 911s, the styling only slightly updated but big improvement where it counts: in the engine, transmission, and suspension. Ferrari comes up with a replacement for the F430, managing to improve on that already fantastic supercar. And then there's Abarth, which offers up a tribute to Ferrari in the form of a heavily modified Fiat 500.

A number of convertibles follow, the tops chopped off of an Audi R8, Lamborghini Reventon, and Maserati GranTurismo. And finally, a couple of stately sedans from Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce take the floor.