Frankfurt auto show in high gear
FRANKFURT — If the automotive industry is in dire straits, you wouldn’t know it by visiting the 63rd International Motor Show.
Smiling models in tight white outfits play to the crowd as high-performance BMWs whiz around an improvised track in this Hollywood-worthy feast for the eyes.
And this is just the first display.
The biennial auto show, one of the world’s largest, begins Saturday at the Frankfurt fairgrounds.
The theme of this year’s show, open daily through Sept. 27, is "A Moving Experience."
Almost 800 exhibitors from 30 countries — including 60 carmakers — will be showing off the latest in automotive design, technology, upgrades and after-market accessories. In all, 100 vehicles will debut at the show.
"This means that we have 14 percent more world premieres of automobiles than we had at our record-breaking (show) in 2007," Matthias Wissmann, president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry, said at a news conference Wednesday.
From the American icon Ford to the exotic Lamborghini, there are cars on display for every taste and budget. Some companies are highlighting existing upgrades to current models, some touting the latest in hybrid and electric technology, while others are pushing concept cars.
Want to imagine yourself in an exotic supercar? Check out the debut of the Lamborghini Reventón Roadster, a 20-car limited production with a cool price tag of $1.6 million each.
Have a need for speed? Maybe the Pagani Roadster S, with a top speed over 214 mph, is the car for you.
If hybrid and electric innovation is your cup of tea, check out the Hyundai ix-Metro, a hybrid electric compact with an aggressive design similar to a Mini Cooper on steroids.
There’s also BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics concept car, a plug-in full hybrid with a turbodiesel engine, upward-pivoting doors and futuristic styling.
History buffs will enjoy the Mercedes-Benz display, as the world’s first automobile, an 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen is on display, along with a 1955 300 SLR.
Bring comfortable shoes, as the displays are spread out over 11 exhibition halls.
Best to plan a full day at the event, as there is plenty to see and do.
There is a children’s cinema and play area, a parallel-parking contest, an outdoor go-cart track and an area to sign up to test-drive some of the cars on display at the show.
Want to go?What: 63rd International Motor Show
Location: Frankfurt fairgrounds, Frankfurt, Germany.
When: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday through Sept. 27.
Costs: Saturday-Sunday: 15 euros; Monday through Friday, 13 euros. Some reduced rates available.