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Frankfurt 2009: in pictures

  1. It’s the Frankfurt show, the biggest, shiniest, most mullet-filled event in the motoring calendar. Top Gear has been trawling the show floor, armed with our trusty digital camera and an array of comedy fake business cards, to bring you the best of the action.

    Click through our giant gallery for all the cars, girls and giant Eurohair from Frankfurt. See you on the other side…

  2. First up, it’s the stunning Reventon Roadster, the convertible version of Lamborghini’s mental 661bhp, jet-fighter hypercar. Yours for a mere million quid, which we can’t help thinking is a bit of a bargain.

  3. Ooh, it’s the new Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet… and a man’s leg. That’s 493bhp of flat-six goodness - and proper paddle-shifters for the first time. On the 911, we mean. Not the man’s leg.  

  4. BMW’s diesel-hybrid VED was the concept star of the show, with M3 levels of performance alongside 75mpg and under 100g/km of CO2. It also provides a pointer to the future of BMW design in the post-Bangle era. They call it ‘layered surfacing’, and it will give you a headache if you try to figure out how it works.

  5. Audi’s E-Tron - an all-electric concept version of the R8 supercar - promised 3,319lb ft of torque. That’s about ten times the torque of the petrol-engined R8. So why does it take a yawning 4.8 seconds to hit 60mph? We need answers, Audi. 

  6. From R8 concept to R8 reality, the convertible version of the mid-engined Audi has lost the signature side-blades but gained a glitzy new fabric roof. 

  7. We know all motor shows look the same, so we thought we needed proof that we’re definitely in Germany. And here it is - a giant pretzel stand. You don’t get those in Tokyo.

  8. Eurohair! Frankfurt is legendary as a magnet for hairstyles that should have died out the early 80s, and they’ve been out in force this week.

  9. Toyota unveiled an emotional tribute to the late Michael Jackson in the shape of this, the black-and-white iQ.  

  10. It’s the Maserati GranCabrio, the gorgeous Italian four-seater cabrio, wrapped around a traditional Italian chauffeur. Obviously we’d prefer to have shown you the entire car, but our lens became accidentally and comprehensively jammed.

  11. Frankfurt wouldn’t be Frankfurt without a bewildering array of aftermarking tuning jobs. This the DBS from the infamous tuners at Mansory is rendered entirely in carbon fibre, and in spite of ourselves we actually quite like it. Sorry. Shoot us now.

  12. A Lancia model struggles to contain her excitement at the appearance of the Top Gear news team. We’ve got a special way with the ladies, we have.

  13. When we saw the first shots of the Bentley Mulsanne - the all-new replacement for the ageing Arnage - we were (how to put this?) a bit sceptical. But shorn of its dodgy gold paintjob and given a much more understated blue rinse, the Mulsanne looked rather handsome on the Frankfurt show floor.

  14. Scion - Toyota’s American yoof brand - showed us a tuned-up version of the little iQ a while ago, and now Toyota has stuck its own badge on the front of the bodykitted city car. We think it looks ace, and believe that a V6 slotted behind the front seats would suit it very nicely. Wishful thinking?

  15. Porsche’s 911 Cup racer attracted a healthy crowd of honed, uber-fit race drivers. Like the gent on the left, who’s rumoured to be offered Alonso’s vacant seat in the Renault F1 team next year. Ah… 

  16. The Fiat Punto on the right here fails to give a sense of the sheer size of these two Italian engineering experts. Each of them is comfortably over eight feet tall, and can clear small buildings in a single stride.

  17. Toyota’s new Land Cruiser found itself in unfamiliar territory, far from its natural habitat of Kenyan game reserves and war zones. Come to think of it, how good a show stand would that have made? Snipers and giraffes, that’s what the Toyota display needed.

  18. Jag’s new XJ looked far better in the metal than in the photos we’d seen before, and - following a cheeky passenger ride around the Frankfurt night - we can report that the interior is simply gorgeous. And we’re still entirely deaf after receiving a first-hand demonstration of the 1,200-watt stereo system. 1,200 watts is loud.

  19. Further Eurohair. Note cunning use of orange-tinted glasses as Alice band. Looked disturbingly like Ulrika Jonsson from directly behind.

  20. Aston’s four-door Rapide has finally arrived in production form and, as you’d expect, it looks gorgeous. You haven’t truly lived until you’ve seen a quartet of plump German motoring journalists playing happy families in a Rapide. Top Gear has seen this.

  21. Wiesmann’s 500bhp MF5 Roadster was debuting in Frankfurt. Think Morgan Supersports with even weirder styling and a big BMW V10 stuck up front, and you’re in the right territory. 

  22. Peugeot’s ‘four-seater’ BB1 concept devours an innocent photographer. 

  23. Brown was very much the colour of the Frankfurt show. Here’s the X1 - BMW’s new baby SUV which, confusingly, appears to be almost exactly the same size as the X3 - demonstrating a shade we like to call Mulchy Buff.

  24. A pair of suits studiously attempt to ignore the impending invasion of a particularly virulent bout of Eurohair, as Gandalf’s German cousin secures a discount on a shipment of, er, wands and stuff. 

  25. The Rolls-Royce Ghost - the not-very-small, not-very-cheap little brother to the Phantom - was making its first appearance in Frankfurt. To everyone but Top Gear, that is - we’ve already seen made our formal acquaintance with the Ghost and found it to be a thoroughly stout chappie. Get hold of the current issue of Top Gear magazine for the full story. 

  26. What happens when Ferrari and Fiat get together, crack open the Pinot Grigio and put a bit of, y’know, opera music stuff on the stereo? The Ferrari 500 Abarth, that’s what. Big wheels, flappy paddles, 180bhp and we want one very much. 

  27. Yuck. It’s a pink ‘n’ black Bentley Conti from our favourite tuners at Mansory. Pig with a monobrow, anyone?

  28. Hamann’s Gallardo explains exactly what to do if you’ve had enough of German aftermarket tuners covering lovely supercars in stupid bodykits and stickers. 

  29. It’s the new Saab 9-5! It looks quite nice! It still has chrome headlight surrounds! It’s coming to the UK next spring! Why is no one looking at it? 

  30. Seat showed off an Ibiza estate concept called the IBZ. Or possibly the Ibz. Either way, it’ll reach showrooms next summer, though sadly without those rather nice natty 19-inch wheels.

  31. That’s the Lambo Reventon Roadster down there in the bottom left corner. You’re not looking in the bottom left corner, are you?

  32. Though it may slightly resemble a roofed Sinclair C5, the VW L1 is big news. It’ll do 189mpg - yes, you read that right, 189mpg - courtesy of a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain, and VW says it should reach the road in the next couple of years.

  33. The Vengabus is no longer coming - it has arrived. Kia’s mini-MPV looks, er, very much like a taller i20. But very nice all the same. 

  34. The much coveted prize for ‘Most Northern-Sounding Concept in Show’ goes to… the VW E-Up concept! No, really, that’s what it’s called. It’s an all-electric version of VW’s four-seat city car, which we’re told will reach the road in 2013. Expect E-By-Gum concept to follow shortly after. 

  35. “You’re nicked, sonny. Get in the back of the car, you’re coming down to the station with us. Just… hang on a sec. I can never find the seat release…”

  36. A contestant struggles to hide his disappointment after going out at the quarter-final stage of the All-Frankfurt Eurohair Championship.

  37. Mazda’s MX-5 Superlight concept looked stunning, especially those roll-hoops with integrated LEDs. Mazda seems unlikely to build the lightweight concept, which is sad news - what’s not to love about a lightened, windscreenless version of the MX-5? 

  38. Merc’s gullwinged SLS wowed the crowds, and prompted an unprecendented number of minor head injuries as unwary punters cracked their bonces against the bottom of the door while exiting the car. 

  39. The Lexus LF-Ch, a concept pointing to a BMW 1-Series rival set to debut in the next couple of years, looked excellent, if somewhat bling. Anyone spotting a hint of Scirocco about that roofline? 

  40. Yes, that’s a racetrack running around the edge of BMW’s Frankfurt hall. Well, with no Formula 1 team next year, they’ve got to practice their racing somewhere… 

  41. “Hello? Excuse me? I’m looking for 1936. Have you seen it anywhere?” 

  42. Fiat’s show stand - featuring 30-foot high crayon drawings, childish exhibits and models dressed in school uniform - verged on the disturbing. We include this photo to allow you to draw your own psychological conclusions. 

  43. Renault unveiled a quartet of all-electric concepts which, the firm says, will go on sale in 2011. Even that mad scooter-thing in the middle. We hope the LED display at the front remains. 

  44. The All-Frankfurt Eurohair Championship reaches its tense conclusion as one semi-finalist’s ponytail threatens to detonate under the pressure.

  45. Hyundai’s ix Metro - a tiny hybrid crossover concept - was so volatile that it required its own warning.

  46. The ix35 - an i30-based Qashqai rival - proved far more accessible. It’ll go on sale in the UK next year and it looks rather nice. 

  47. Audi jumped on the brown-car bandwagon with a swarthy TT-RS and a chestnut Q7. We imagine you can come up with less polite descriptions.

  48. It’s the Alfa 8C Spider, and… OK, we’re not even going to attempt any editorial justification for including this picture. There is no editorial justification for including this picture. 

  49. Seb Loeb’s Citroen rally car dropped into Frankfurt, shortly before being shipped off to France for a Top Gear test drive. Oh yes. We’re driving Seb’s C4 WRC car in the next issue of the magazine. Keep an eye out.

  50. OK, it’s not quite as cool as the Ferrari 500, but we couldn’t resist this deeply cute tuned Cinq from Hamann. It’s in camouflage. Grrrr. Are you scared? 

  51. Fiat’s technical team call an emergency meeting to discuss the intricacies of multi-link suspension geometry.

  52. Mini celebrated its 60th birthday with cake and balloons and a number of high-powered German executives in suits pretending to enjoy themselves…

  53. …and, far more importantly, the Roadster and Coupe, a pair of lighter Minis to be built in Cowley.

  54. The 2CV-inspired Revolte concept featured the strangest face we’ve seen on a Citroen in many a year. Citroen says it won’t reach production - is that good news or bad news?  

  55. It’s the most powerful Golf ever, the 266bhp R. It’ll hit 62mph in 5.5 seconds and cost around £28,500 when it goes on sale in the UK early next year. Come on, you didn’t expect it to look overstated, did you? 

  56. And, to finish off, here’s a gratuitous shot of the 458 Italia, the best-looking Ferrari since the 355, we reckon.  

  57. That’s your lot from Frankfurt for now, but make sure you head over to our motor show news section for all the latest new metal

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