na
Topic Author
Posts: 9129
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

IAA Report

Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:56 pm

The biggest auto show in the world was opened today by German Chancellor Merkel at Frankfurt. I´ve come home just an hour ago, with sore feet as always. Even if the notoriously overcrowded public days are still two days away, it was full already today. And there was the expected Greenpeace action, this time a huge transparent unfolded from down the roof of the biggest hall saying "Not Up. To date." aimed at Volkswagen and its cute new little "Up" mini car.

Here is a liitle report, I´m sure a number here contemplates to go there:

My highlights:
- Alfa Romeo 4C (unfortunately just on no-touch display in a stunning deep aluminium finish), simply gorgeous, better than on photos.
- Jaguar CX16, a true beauty, especially from the rear. Jaguar must build it.
- Range Rover Evoque. I generally hate SUVs, but this small and low one is stunning inside and out, especially in three-door version.
- Volkswagen New Beetle. Much better than the last one, its really a lovely car.
- Aston Martin One-77, wow.
- Ford Evos Concept car, a true beauty from the company of boring cars
- Lots of E-cars, and outside the main entrance everyone can try the Smart Electric Drive.
- a (nasty gold and white-painted) Smart concept full of new technology, very interesting to check it out
- the Mercedes stand, especially the gigantic presentation videowall backdrop
- the new Bentley Continental GT in a stunning porcelain in and out colourscheme.
- checking out and having a break in the whole range of Rolls-Royces (all in blue this time).

Disappointments:
- The upper floor of Hall 3. Badly designed stands of Renault, Mazda and other rather low-interest brands.
- Ugliness for tons of money: Hall 4 with Mansory and other bad taste champions (acres of carbon bonnets)
- the Mini Cooper Works Coupe. Mini´s going crazy
- the American Lancias. What a disgrace for a once-great brand. The "Thema´s" interior is nice though. They should have invested a few bucks not to make it look 100% like a Chrysler outside. Since 20 years I waited for a four-seater Converticle from Italy, and now there is one finally, its a boring-looking Sebring - badge-engineering at its "best".
- still too many white cars, I thought this bland trend is over
- The side design of the new Mercedes B-Class with its odd bend in it is only topped by the ugly waves on the Mazda 5.

Colour trend: quite a number of brands had cars in various tones of earthen red, otherwise a lack of colour is very noticable at the big brands. I noticed boring silvers, greys and whites, but less black than before. Only luxury brands and small cars show some panache here.

All in all, like always, well worth a visit.
 
Charles79
Posts: 1117
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:35 pm

RE: IAA Report

Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:21 pm

Quoting na (Thread starter):
All in all, like always, well worth a visit.

Went there for the first time in 2009 and was hugely impressed by it, certainly a much better affair than the US shows I've been to (New York, Los Angeles, Washington).

Quoting na (Thread starter):
- The upper floor of Hall 3. Badly designed stands of Renault, Mazda and other rather low-interest brands.

I believe it was the same set-up in 2009...at least then they had all of their Renaultsport-branded cars in a catchy yellow scheme, surrounding their 2008 Formula 1 race car.

Quoting na (Thread starter):
- Ugliness for tons of money: Hall 4 with Mansory and other bad taste champions (acres of carbon bonnets)

So you were at the Essen Motor Show then!   

Quoting na (Thread starter):
the American Lancias. What a disgrace for a once-great brand.

Simply replace "Lancia" with "Chrysler" and the effect is still the same. The 300 (nee Thema) is ok but the Sebring and Freemont (called the Dodge Journey in the States) are still not up to snuff. Even before you turn the key and actually drive them, the first impressions are average at best.

Quoting na (Thread starter):
My highlights:

Hmmm...no mention of the new 911 or the Up, two of the most expected introductions at the show. Any thoughts on them?

Quoting na (Thread starter):
otherwise a lack of colour is very noticable at the big brands.

We have a red car at home, and I do notice that in my city it stands out simply due to the colour (the only red car in the block!). I guess that the automakers are simply catering to the market forces and decided to cautiously display their vehicles in the more likely colours that will sell. A pity, as I recall in 09 they had the Audi RS models in a lovely metallic brown that would stand out anywhere.

Thanks for the first hand report, I wish I could have gone this year.

Charles
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: IAA Report

Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:33 pm

Quoting na (Thread starter):
- Alfa Romeo 4C (unfortunately just on no-touch display in a stunning deep aluminium finish), simply gorgeous, better than on photos.

Too bad it's delayed until 2013.

http://www.freep.com/article/2011091...meo-delays-its-launch-roadster-SUV

Quoting na (Thread starter):
- the American Lancias. What a disgrace for a once-great brand. The "Thema´s" interior is nice though. They should have invested a few bucks not to make it look 100% like a Chrysler outside. Since 20 years I waited for a four-seater Converticle from Italy, and now there is one finally, its a boring-looking Sebring - badge-engineering at its "best".

These rebadged Lancias were essentially already being sold in Europe under the Chrysler name and it was the smart decision to eliminate the Chrysler name in most of Europe (The vehicles sold in the UK and Ireland will carry the Chrysler name, even on the two rebadged Lancias, Ypsilon and Delta.) in favor of the better known Lancia name (Although the Chrysler name has some history in Europe via its former Chrysler Europe brands [Simca, Barreiros, and Rootes] which carried the Chrysler name for the last four years Chrysler owned them until they sold their European division to Peugeot in 1979. They've shown a Chrysler badged version of the Delta here in the US as a concept car.

The new 200 is still for the most part a Sebring, but is an improved and upgraded version of it based off of the 200C hybrid concept car of a few years back. For a number of years, the Sebring convertible was the top selling convertible in the US. The 200 as it currently exists will be short-lived, as sometime during 2012-13, it will be scrapped for new vehicles built on modified Fiat platforms.

http://www.allpar.com/cars/chrysler/200.html

The new 300 is sharp looking (If I were to be in the market for a new car in the next few years, it would be on my radar.), and deserving of the Lancia name. One thing to mention is that both the Flavia and Thema will be built at Chrysler plants in North America (200/Flavia production is at Sterling Heights, Michigan and 300/Thema production is at Brampton, Ontario.).


Any opinion on the Maserati Kubang, which is based off of the Jeep Grand Cherokee? After looking at the photos from the IAA of it, I'm impressed.

http://www.allpar.com/trucks/jeep/maserati.html

Quoting Charles79 (Reply 1):
Simply replace "Lancia" with "Chrysler" and the effect is still the same. The 300 (nee Thema) is ok but the Sebring and Freemont (called the Dodge Journey in the States) are still not up to snuff. Even before you turn the key and actually drive them, the first impressions are average at best.

The Freemont is a Fiat, not a Lancia.

[Edited 2011-09-15 11:36:03]
 
474218
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

RE: IAA Report

Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:43 pm

Quoting Charles79 (Reply 1):
Simply replace "Lancia" with "Chrysler" and the effect is still the same. The 300 (nee Thema) is ok but the Sebring and Freemont (called the Dodge Journey in the States) are still not up to snuff. Even before you turn the key and actually drive them, the first impressions are average at best.

Glad to see you have an open mind! Drive one you may change you mind

The Freemont (Journey) is a nice, on a par with or better that its Ford, GM and imported counterparts in the States! The Chrysler Pentastar 3.6L V-6 is a world class engine.

I agree that the Sebring (200) is really in need of a redesign. Mechanically it is sound but the body style is and has been awful.

The 300 is just to large for European roads, but if was taking a cross country (US) trip it would be right at the top of my list of rides, especially if has the Hemi engine!

Fiat has accomplished more at Chrysler in the last two years than Dimeler did in ten years!
 
na
Topic Author
Posts: 9129
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

RE: IAA Report

Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:25 pm

Quoting srbmod (Reply 2):
Any opinion on the Maserati Kubang, which is based off of the Jeep Grand Cherokee? After looking at the photos from the IAA of it, I'm impressed.

Didnt like it. Bulky, not very nice in detail, a Porsche Cayenne rival, and the Cayenne is one of the cars I hate most.

Quoting Charles79 (Reply 1):
The 300 (nee Thema) is ok but the Sebring and Freemont (called the Dodge Journey in the States) are still not up to snuff.
Quoting srbmod (Reply 2):
The new 300 is sharp looking

The 300/Thema isnt bad looking and not a bad car, I agree, but its not a Lancia. There is zero Italian feel about it, and imho its a bit big for Europe, like a S-Class. The main dials design of the Thema is truly stunning to mention a detail. One Thema show car, the one I sat in, was completely, including the dashboard, clad in brown leather which looked truly sumptuous and more luxurious than many established luxury cars this side of Rolls and Bentley. Lancia clearly focussed on interior design this time, as they have truly firtsclass interior designers.

Quoting Charles79 (Reply 1):
Hmmm...no mention of the new 911 or the Up, two of the most expected introductions at the show. Any thoughts on them?

I mentioned the Up. Its really nice, one of the best-looking small cars. The 911, well, its a 911. Well done, but hardly spectacular. Same procedure as every time somehow. Sadly most 911s on the show are the current model btw, so I was very irritated at first because I thought what the heck is new here. The only new 911 I saw was a blue one on a rostrum with an unvisible Dont touch sign. The front is very much dejavu 911, the rear got a bigger refresh, as well as the classic windowline. Great car for sure, but the 911 is no novelty whatever they do to it.
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: IAA Report

Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:45 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 3):
Fiat has accomplished more at Chrysler in the last two years than Dimeler did in ten years!

And they're just getting started.... I just hope their own products can sell here, as we've got three Fiat studios in the Atlanta area, yet I've only seen two or three 500s out on the road. I don't even think I've seen any sort of advertising for the Fiat 500 in the US at all. No national TV ads, no newspaper ads, etc. It's hard to sell a product if folks aren't aware of it. The only reason why I know about is because I'm a Mopar guy (I own a Dodge Stratus, which was Dodge's version of the Sebring up until several years ago.) and read Allpar on a regular basis.

Quoting na (Reply 4):
The main dials design of the Thema is truly stunning to mention a detail. One Thema show car, the one I sat in, was completely, including the dashboard, clad in brown leather which looked truly sumptuous and more luxurious than many established luxury cars this side of Rolls and Bentley. Lancia clearly focussed on interior design this time, as they have truly firtsclass interior designers.

Sounds like they've done a Lancia version of the upcoming 300C Executive.

http://www.allpar.com/cars/chrysler/300C-Executive.html
 
na
Topic Author
Posts: 9129
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

RE: IAA Report

Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:03 pm

5 comments regarding the worlds biggest car show in 5 days make me wonder are there no real men on this board? 

I made a one-hour testdrive with the Electro Smart this weekend. My first drive with a E-car (beyond a Golf-cart or hotel-park taxi) was an interesting experience. In the city its fine, on the autobahn a underpowered dog. Sound is a bit like from a Sci-fi movie. The series version will have approx. 20 hp more than the lame pre-series car I tested.
 
bill142
Posts: 7853
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:50 pm

RE: IAA Report

Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:52 pm

I was there over the weekend and it was quite an impressive affair. There's simply so much to see and it is much better than any other offerings in Australia. My legs got sore from all the walking around I did and I'm gutted I missed the Aston Martin stand as I went right instead of left to their stand   

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