Behind the scenes at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2011 -- day 1
The 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show is in full swing. Manufacturers are churning out new cars, journalists are writing about them and punters are salivating over the prospect of driving them in 2011 and beyond, but what's it really like at the show? Read on and we'll fill you in.
The event kicked off with a bang courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover, whose complimentary breakfast champagne and eggs Benedict caused something of a media scrum. Its cars weren't bad either. We heard more than a few hacks saying positive things about the C-X16 concept, DC100 and DC100 Sport, though there's every chance they were a totally boozed up by the time the covers came off the cars.
Aston Martin, positioned adjacent to Jaguar Land Rover, seemed a bit quiet. DBS Carbon Edition and Zagato aside, it didn't really have an awful lot of new metal on show. That said, we did at least get to sit in its incredibly rare One-77 hypercar. It turns out its seats are in fact wipe clean, which came as an enormous relief, we don't mind telling you.
Elsewhere, it was motorshow business as usual. More manufacturers than ever are turning to electric, hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles, while others are creating lighter cars with smaller engines and better power-to-weight ratios in an attempt to boost efficiency, placate mother mother nature, and avoid getting stung by EU emissions regulations -- yadda yadda yadda.
Far more interesting were the imaginative and, at times, bonkers techniques manufacturers employed to get journos and very important punters onto their stands. Mercedes-Benz had a small cafe-style setup doling out free food and drink, which went down a treat. The boys and girls carrying the trays of food could barely make it out of the kitchen before the lunch bunch pounced and devoured everything in sight.
Volkswagen, meanwhile, had dancing girls cavorting either side of a DJ, which seemed a bit surreal given the fact nobody else was dancing. Lamborghini resorted to its tried and tested tactic of employing Armani models to pose next to its cars and Seat had what can only be described as an all-out rave -- minus the rave. They did, however, have DJs, an open bar, finger foods and girls swaying back and forth ten feet in the air pretending to be tulips.
Yes, it's as weird and as wonderful as it sounds, so we encourage you to have a gander through our picture gallery to get a taste of what's going on here in Frankfurt. Don't venture to far when you're done, though, because we'll have more updates from the show floor in two shakes of a Lambo's tailpipe.
The DC100 Sport, and the eggs Benedict, were the biggest surprises on JLR's stand.
Here's a hot model. And a hot model.
The next-gen Defender went down a treat.
As did this bloke giving out bubbly.
Audi had an indoor rollercoaster thing, minus the coaster, plus some cars.
Here's a blinged out Smart electric car.
The One-77 is one of our favourite cars ever, but not in brown.
Seat had a DJ slammin' down the choonage.
Food -- Merc-style. Six of these and you'd have half a meal.
Mercedes was hella busy.
Not sure what this was about. We took another picture of this guy from the front, but we can't publish that image on a family-friendly Web site.
The distinctly pop art Veyron L'or Blanc
Seat's 'rave' in full sway.
There weren't many people on Porsche's stand. They were all on the adjacent Lambo stand looking at models or on the Seat stand quaffing bubbly.
Speaking of which, here's a lady handing out canapes.
This smashed up Porsche still looked stunning.
Dancers doing their thang.
We're not sure that number plate is very PC.
A lady, acting as a tulip, prepares to slap a small child on the Seat stand.
We hope you're happy with yourself. Oh, you are?
Bet they feel silly.
The show is truly international.
We saw this outside. It's not a car... but it looks cool. You're welcome.