Welcome to the fast show

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Current page

181

Current page

182

Current page

183

Current page

184

Current page

185

Current page

186

Current page

187

Current page

188

Current page

189

Current page

190

Current page

191

Current page

192

Current page

193

Current page

194

Current page

195

Current page

196

The Germans were out in force at Frankfurt, but reborn TVR also made its presence felt with the help of Gordon Murray

The Frankfurt Motor Show was not so much stolen by the unveiling of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE hypercar as ram-raided and taken hostage. For lovers of interesting cars it could have been mistaken for the only show in town – which is why we have done a technical deep dive into its complexities, starting on page 118. But while this was a quieter Frankfurt than most, the mad Merc was far from the only point of interest.

Bentley, for instance, chose Frankfurt to reveal its most important car of the last 14 years. Or, perhaps without the usual avalanche of important product at its home show, the VW board decided as much for its subsidiary. In any event, the new Continental GT appeared to strike the right chord with showgoers, who welcomed its more attractive shape, slight (80kg) weight drop and spectacular interior.

I still don’t buy into the brand’s insistence on having large inner headlights and smaller outer units (a nod to the way it was done on Bentleys of the 1920s, as if anyone cares), but the rest is very fluently executed. And the way the cabin marries state-of-the-art digital technology and huge high-definition screens with traditional wood and leather materials is something I have yet to see done better elsewhere.

It has a 6-litre, twin-turbo W12 engine and permanent four-wheel drive, which makes it seem remarkably similar to the last car when it was launched in 2003. It is anything but: the engine is descended from the old unit but actually entirely new and the new four-wheel-drive system has an infinitely variable front to rear split. It also runs through an eight-speed double-clutch gearbox, the first Bentley not to use a torque converter automatic since the 1950s. In its ‘Dynamic’ driving mode it limits front axle torque to just 17 per cent and, I am assured, drifts beautifully as a result. The last one only ever understeered.

The new engine develops 626bhp and pushes the car to 207mph – and remember this is just the start: with ‘Speed’ and other more sporting versions to come, power outputs far above 700bhp can be expected and, thanks to the size and modernity of the engine, easily achieved. However the next Continental GT we’ll see will likely be the V8-powered GT3 racer that should make its debut with the works team early next year.

The other luxury VW brands were conspicuously quiet at Frankfurt. Audi broke the habit of a decade, however, and unveiled a new R8 that directs power to its rear wheels alone. The deletion of the front driveshafts saves 50kg and should result in a more focused, better balanced car, albeit at the cost of on-paper performance – traction issues means the 0-62mph time increases from 3.2 to 3.6sec.

Just 999 cars will be made in coupé and convertible formats, the closed car retailing for £110,000 when deliveries begin early next year, representing a saving of £13,350 over the most affordable all-wheel-drive R8.

Porsche of course had the new Cayenne at the show, but as regulars may already have seen I’ve driven and reviewed the car, so we can hardly call that news. However, the unveiling of a new ‘Touring’ specification for the GT3 undoubtedly is.

Fans of old 911s will remember the fabled 1973 2.7 Carrera RS was sold in ‘Lightweight’ and ‘Touring’ specifications and this appears to be a return to that philosophy. The new car is mechanically identical to a standard GT3 with a manual gearbox, but trades the vast rear wing for something far more subtle. Inside, the Alcantara cabin has been replaced by leather. Customers unlikely to be knocked out by this news will be those who paid wildly over the odds for last year’s limited-edition 911R, because the Touring appears to be a production version of this car in all but name. Whether it will have any effect on the hitherto extraordinary residual values of the 911R remains to be seen.

Ferrari took the chance to show its all-new Portofino – a hard-top convertible replacement for the successful California T. There is, of course, a further development of its 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8, which means the cheapest, least powerful Ferrari now has no fewer than 592bhp and a top speed a single mile per hour short of 200mph. It is also a much better looking car with a cleaner shape adding both prettiness and presence.

But the real news lies unseen in the car’s brand-new structure which, while still all aluminium, has been rationalised and simplified. The total number of components in the chassis has fallen from 200 to about 120 and in the A-pillars from 21 to just two. The result is a car that’s 80kg lighter yet 35 per cent torsionally more rigid than before. The Portofino also follows the recent adoption of electric power steering by the 812 Superfast flagship and finally gets the electronically controlled differential other Ferraris have enjoyed for years. UK deliveries of the car are not expected until next summer.

TVR RIDES AGAIN

For those who missed the Goodwood Revival, TVR is back in business. It was at the West Sussex event that the company decided to unveil its all-new Griffith, a two-door, rear-drive, manual transmission 5-litre V8 powered coupé engineered and designed for TVR by Gordon Murray’s company. Deliveries are expected to take place from 2019, with cars being built in a factory in the Welsh valleys (TVR hopes to have the keys in the second quarter of next year).

The motor, based on that of a Ford Mustang but breathed on by Cosworth, develops 500bhp, enough says TVR to push the Griffith to more than 200mph while light weight comes courtesy of Murray’s innovative iStream production process, featuring a spaceframe chassis to which structural carbon fibre panels are attached before the body – also made from carbon – is added. One result is that the car is said to weigh just 1250kg, making it far lighter than the likes of the Porsche 911 GT3 or McLaren 570S.

Initial production will extend to 500 cars priced at £90,000. Thereafter cheaper and more expensive versions will become available. The hope is that annual production will in time stabilise at about 2000 units.

STOP-START TRAFFIC

Away from the Frankfurt Show, Bugatti staged its own publicity stunt by inviting Juan Pablo Montoya to climb into its 1500bhp Chiron hypercar and see how long it took to accelerate from rest to 400kph (249mph) and back to a halt again.

The answer is 42 seconds, with just over half a minute required to reach 249mph and 10sec flat to lose it.

Next up is an attempt on its own homologated road car top-speed record, held by the 1200bhp Veyron Supersport at 268mph. With a further 300bhp under the driver’s foot, something over 280mph could be possible.