The greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts of all time

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The Frankfurt Motor Show is often considered the most important car show in the world. It takes place every other year – with the Paris show occupying the intervening years – and has witnessed some of the most important new car launches ever. Here’s our pick of Frankfurt’s greatest hits.

Porsche 914 – 1969

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Like the other German marques, Porsche makes a big effort for Frankfurt. In 1969, it brought along the mid-engined 914 sports car. Much derided for many years, the 914 is now a leftfield classic, and popular in the historic racing scene.

BMW 2002 Turbo – 1973

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Can you imagine being stand-side as BMW revealed the mad little 2002 Turbo? Even outside the context of pre-M performance cars, the 2002 was important. It was BMW’s first turbocharged production model.

Lancia Delta – 1979

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

As modern classics go, the Lancia Delta is well up there. On its debut at Frankfurt in 1979, it was far from the blister-arched, flame-spitting rally monster that evolved over the coming decades. Back then, the Delta was merely a stylish, Giugiaro-penned family hatchback.

Porsche 944 – 1981

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

At the start of the 80s, Porsche wanted to move away from the rear-engined 911, which wasn’t even 20 years old at the time. The 944 was a fine front-engined coupe, but the fact that the 911 lives on today, while a 944 successor is nowhere to be seen, seems telling.

Mercedes-Benz 190E – 1983

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Mercedes is a marque made famous by executive saloons, and the 190 is one of its greatest. The original 190 debuted at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show. It would be replaced by the C-Class in the 1990s, which remains in production today.

Volkswagen Golf Mk2 – 1983

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The sophomore Golf is a fan favourite today, for some even more so than the Mk1. It grew up and grew bigger, but designer Herbert Schafer maintained a lot of the original Giugiaro style. The Mk2 GTI is among the best of the hot hatch breed, too.

BMW M3 – 1985

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

At this point, you might think Frankfurt is the place to reveal your future motoring icon, and you’d be right. Without the first BMW M3, there’d be no CSL, no M4, no C63 AMG, no RS4. Bahnstormers the world over owe their existence to this mid-80s homologation special.

Porsche 959 – 1985

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Some consider the 959 a bit of a white elephant, especially alongside Ferrari’s contemporary rival, the F40. Regardless, this incredibly sophisticated four-wheel-drive supercar could walk the walk, hitting 60mph in 3.6 seconds on the way to nearly 200mph flat-out.

Ferrari F40 – 1987

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The last road car to get sign-off from Enzo himself, the F40 is considered one of the greatest Ferraris ever made. It had visible carbon you could see through the paintwork, plus turbo lag measured in calendar days rather than seconds. A gloriously single-minded supercar and a Ferrari great, first seen at Frankfurt.

Vauxhall Calibra – 1989

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The Calibra is one of the Griffin’s modern greats: handsome when new, and even cooler today. Especially now all the cars that were extravagantly modified in the 90s have made their way to the scrapheap in the sky.

Land Rover Discovery – 1989

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Land Rover’s bridge between the utilitarian Defender and luxurious Range Rover came in 1989, and was an instant hit. Its high-sided silhouette would endure for 24 years, before the Disco got a full overhaul for its third generation in 2004.

BMW 8 Series – 1989

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Yep, 1989 was a cracking year for new car debuts. Joining the Disco and the Calibra at Frankfurt was BMW’s soft-focus supercar, the lavish 8 Series. Overnight, night club owners needing transport had the answer to their prayers.

BMW 5 Series – 1995

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Another Beemer, and the 1995 Frankfurt debut of what some argue remains the best car ever made. The E39 5 Series is still very highly regarded, but it all started at Frankfurt in 1995. The M5 it spawned is also one of the greatest sports saloons ever.

Land Rover Freelander – 1997

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The last proper Land Rover? Well, it was the last developed by the Rover Group, as we knew it then. Test mules were even disguised as Austin Montegos. The Freelander arguably invented the crossover back in 1997.

Mercedes-Benz A Class – 1997

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Some revolutionary cars don’t have staying power. Merc’s clever compact was yet to face the infamous rollover ‘elk test’ when revealed at Frankfurt in 1997.

Audi A2 – 1999

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Unfortunately Audi drank the same Kool Aid as Mercedes for the A2. Its lightweight, alloy-bodied eco hatch was brilliant but expensive. Indeed, it was clear from the beginning that this car wouldn’t be a commercial success. A brilliant machine that was ahead of its time.

BMW X5 – 1999

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Say what you like about the X5, but BMW rewrote the rules back in 1999, showing Mercedes that a German-badged SUV could be a success. The X5 was part of BMW’s three-pronged assault on Frankfurt that year.

BMW Z8 – 1999

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Remember the BMW Z8? Henrik Fisker’s forgotten roadster borrowed the M5’s heart and mated it with a retro-futuristic body. It was as expensive as it was pretty, but the drive didn’t live up to expectations.

BMW M3 – 1999

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Quite the opposite is true for the E46 M3, which also debuted in 1999. Alongside the E39 M5, it’s considered one of the M car sweet-spots. A singing six and perfect coupe proportions made for an very desirable sports coupe. That it drove like a dream only added to its allure.

Vauxhall VX220 – 1999

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Some non-BMW madness from 1999’s Frankfurt show comes in the form of the Vauxhall VX220. It’s what happens when you restyle and re-body a Lotus Elise. A firecracker of a car.

Lamborghini Murcielago – 2001

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Lamborghini came out swinging at the first Frankfurt show of the new millennium, launching the long-awaited successor to the Diablo. With new-found Audi money and razor sharp looks, the Murcielago became an instant pin-up. If you’re a top-level Lambo, that’s job done.

Mercedes-Benz SL – 2001

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The year 2001 was important for Mercedes, too, with the launch of the svelte ‘R230’ SL roadster. AMG versions came with a 493hp supercharged V8, while monstrous turbocharged V12 models had more than 600hp. The former was famously championed by Jeremy Clarkson in the early years of ‘new’ Top Gear.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren – 2003

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Of course, the SL, with help from McLaren, spawned Mercedes’ split-personality supercar: the SLR. Not sure whether it wanted to be the ultimate GT or a successor to the F1 hypercar of the 90s, the SLR caught a lot of grief from critics. We happen to think this droop-snoot supercharged savage is one of the best-looking cars of its era.

Aston Martin DB9 – 2003

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Aston Martin was making waves in 2003, too. If the Vanquish was a bit of a non-starter, the DB9 was a breakout success. So revolutionary was it in comparison with its DB7 predecessor, it skipped a number in the naming system.

Maserati Quattroporte – 2003

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The reborn Maserati Quattroporte came with Ferrari V8 power and oodles of desirability. Another modern classic in the making, once the numbers begin to dwindle.

Porsche Carrera GT – 2003

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Can you tell the economy was booming around 2003? The Porsche Carrera GT was the second German hypercar to launch at Frankfurt 2003, and had a starting price over £300,000. With a manual gearbox, screaming V10 and engineering that’s as artful as it is functional, it’s one of the last great analogue supercars.

BMW 6 Series – 2003

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Arriving to fight the Mercedes SL at Frankfurt in 2003 was the reborn BMW 6 Series. Jeremy Clarkson famously said it looked like the stylist died while designing it, with BMW finishing it the job by dumping a duvet on the back.

Porsche Cayman – 2005

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Returning to the show in 2005 was Porsche, with a hard-top version of its Boxster roadster. The Cayman quietly became the best sports car Porsche makes. Sshhh, don’t tell the 911!

Jaguar XF – 2007

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The triumphant return of a Jaguar for the mainstream, the sleek XF is the seed out of which today’s brand grew. And it all started at Frankfurt in 2007.

Ferrari 430 Scuderia – 2007

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

About time we featured a Ferrari, right? Normally frequenting Geneva’s hallowed halls with its new models, Ferrari chose Frankfurt in 2007 to debut its hardcore F430, the Scuderia. It’s one of the most beloved driver’s cars to come out of Maranello.

Ferrari 458 Italia – 2009

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

But it didn’t shake up the supercar world like the 458. This thing was an absolute revelation. Indeed, much of the 458 lives on in the new F8 Tributo. It was the last non-track-focused mid-engined Ferrari with a naturally-aspirated V8.

Bentley Mulsanne – 2009

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

An old-school Bentley for the modern era, Frankfurt was chosen to debut the Arnage successor in 2009. Rumours were it would borrow the W16 engine from the Bugatti Veyron. In spite of that not being true, the Mulsanne was every bit as imperious as we’d hoped. It soldiers on even today, selling fewer than 1,000 units a year.

Volkswagen Up! – 2011

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Volkswagen’s clever supermini was a long time coming, but worth the wait. It’s still one of the most satisfying small cars on sale, especially now it comes in pokey GTI guise.

BMW i8 – 2013

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

It’s amazing to think this car is six years old. Alas, we’re now less than a year away from the i8 ceasing production. When it debuted at Frankfurt in 2013, it offered a brave new world of eco-conscious performance. No-one saw the barrage of 2,000hp electric hypercars coming back then.

Porsche 918 Spyder – 2013

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Ten years on from the Carrera GT’s arrival at Frankfurt 2003, the production version of Porsche’s all-wheel-drive hybrid hypercar was revealed. A Nurburgring lap-record holder, it also started the journey to the all-electric Taycan.

Jaguar F-Pace – 2015

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Jaguar really got into its stride with the F-Pace SUV, revealed at Frankfurt in 2015. It seemed to achieve the impossible by making an SUV look sleek and sexy.

Bentley Bentayga – 2015

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Jag wasn’t the only British luxury marque to jump on the SUV bandwagon in 2015. Bentley was also at Frankfurt with its own 4×4, although it was the opposite of sleek and sexy. Still, the Bentayga was a slam-dunk in terms of sales.

Volkswagen T-Roc – 2017

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Finally, we arrive at the previous Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017. Our pick of the bunch when it came to new reveals? The T-Roc – Volkswagen’s replacement for the beloved Scirocco coupe. Blasphemic though it may seem to replace a coupe with a crossover, the T-Roc is a cool looking thing. Ford is taking a similar direction with the new Puma, which debuts at Frankfurt 2019.

Silverstone Classic 2019

The best motoring events for car enthusiasts in 2019

Silverstone Classic 2019

2019 is already turning out to be another another vintage year for car enthusiasts, with an ever-increasing number of motoring events to attend. Here, we have researched some of the UK’s biggest and best car shows and motorsport events, along with a selection of European shows within easy reach of French ports.

We’ll be adding to the list throughout 2019, so be sure to bookmark this page. Alternatively, get in touch if you fancy adding your own event to our list.

Salon Privé – 5-8 September

Salon Privé – 5-8 September

Salon Privé is a motoring event for fans of superlatives. ‘The most luxurious of garden parties set against the backdrop of Britain’s greatest palace (Blenheim Palace). Presenting the finest collection of supercars, hypercars and classic cars, along with a luxury retail village and exquisite cuisine, it is a truly unique experience’. Tickets are priced accordingly…

Concours of Elegance – 6-8 September

Concours of Elegance – 6-8 September

The Concours of Elegance 2019 will take place at Hampton Court Palace in September, with 60 of the finest cars ever built lining up in the Fountain Gardens. A number of car manufacturers will be attendance, including Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin and Geely.

Beaulieu International Autojumble – 7-8 September

Beaulieu International Autojumble – 7-8 September

If rummaging for oily car parts is your idea of a dirty weekend, the International Autojumble is the event for you. Some 2,000 stands are expected to fill the grounds of the Beaulieu Motor Museum, making it the biggest outdoor sale of motoring items this side of the Atlantic.

Goodwood Revival – 13-15 September

Goodwood Revival – 13-15 September

Step back in time at the Goodwood Revival. Visitors are encouraged to dress in period clothing at this event celebrating the golden era of motorsport. Tickets are available now and you’re advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

Wales Rally GB – 3-6 October

Wales Rally GB – 3-6 October

The 12th round of the FIA World Rally Championship drops in on Wales in October. Wales Rally GB takes place over four days of competition and each day is divided into a number of ‘Special Stages’.

Truckfest – 5-6 October

Truckfest – 5-6 October

The TruckFest calendar draws to a close at the Newark and Notts Showground in October, but there are seven other opportunities to get your trucking fix. The TruckFest year kicks off at the East of England showground in May, before rolling into Wolsingham, Malvern, Edinburgh, Kent, Shepton Mallet and Knutsford.

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run – 3 November

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run – 3 November

In 2018, 400 pioneering veteran cars gathered in Hyde Park for the start of the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. In total, nearly 90 percent of the starters made it to Brighton before the 4.30pm deadline to claim a finishers’ medal. How many will make it in 2019?

Classic Motor Show – 8-10 November

Classic Motor Show – 8-10 November

If you’re looking for a reason not to put your classic car into hibernation, this could be it. The Classic Motor Show is held at the NEC, were more than 3,000 classics are expected to go on display in an area the size of 18 football pitches.

If you’d like to see your event included in our next update, get in touch with us. Happy motoring.


The one’s you’ve missed… catch ’em in 2020!

Sunday Scramble – 6 January

Sunday Scramble – 6 January

Bicester Heritage welcomed around 5,500 car enthusiasts for the last Sunday Scramble of 2018, and the promise of good weather could tempt a similar number out of their beds for the first event of 2019. What better way to kick off the motoring new year? The Sunday Scramble will continue throughout 2019.

Haynes Breakfast Club – 6 January

Haynes Breakfast Club – 6 January

Alternatively, car fans in the South and South West might prefer to head to the Haynes Motor Museum for the first Breakfast Club of the year. The museum, which is located just off the A303 in Somerset, is home to around 400 cars, while the cafe opens at 9am on Breakfast Club Sundays. These events are free to attend and held on the first Sunday of each month.

Autosport International – 10-13 January

Autosport International – 10-13 January

Autosport International is the biggest pre-season motorsport show, bringing together racing, automotive and engineering sectors under the roof of Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC). Highlights include a live action arena, the Silverstone Auctions Autosport sale and a celebration of 50 years of Formula 5000.

Mini Fair 2019 – 27 January

Mini Fair 2019 – 27 January

Champagne corks will be popping at the Staffordshire County Showground as the classic Mini celebrates its 60th anniversary. This is also the 20th year of MINI Fair, with thousands of people expected to attend this event organised by the British Mini Club. Highlights include a Mini Jumble, Pride of Ownership competition and club displays.

Great Western Classic Car Show – 9-10 February

Great Western Classic Car Show – 9-10 February

The Footman James Great Western Classic Car Show is the biggest event of its kind in the South West of England, with thousands of car enthusiasts converging on the Royal Bath & West Showground.

Retromobile – 6-10 February

Retromobile – 6-10 February

Retromobile is held in the largest and most prestigious hall at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre, Paris, a location befitting an event of this stature. This year, highlights include a celebration of 100 years of Citroen and 45 years of the Peugeot Renault Volvo (PRV) V6 engine.

London Classic Car Show – 14-17 February

London Classic Car Show – 14-17 February

Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, will receive The London Classic Car Show Icon Award 2019 at this year’s event, where you’ll also see a tribute to The Italian Job film, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019. The London Classic Car Show is held at Excel London from Valentine’s Day.

Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show – 19-24 February

Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show – 19-24 February

The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show is the largest showcase of motorhomes, campervans, caravans, caravan holidays and lodges in the UK. The latest 2019 touring caravans and motorhomes will be on display, along with a new-for-2019 Camping Zone. Head to Birmingham’s NEC if caravans float your boat.

Race Retro – 22-24 February

Race Retro – 22-24 February

At the end of February, all motorsport roads will lead to Stoneleigh Park for the Race Retro international historic motorsport show. Highlights include a live rally stage, ‘arrive and drive a classic car’, Pride of the Paddock and a Silverstone Auctions sale.

Practical Classics Restoration Show – 22-24 March

Practical Classics Restoration Show – 22-24 March

Last year’s Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show attracted around 28,000 visitors across three days, with 150 car clubs also in attendance. Highlights include the UK’s biggest ‘barn-find’ display, the Practical Classics Live Stage, the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership competition and an autojumble. Head to the NEC at the end of March.

Britcar, Silverstone – 30 March

Britcar, Silverstone – 30 March

The Britcar Endurance Championship gets underway at Silverstone on 30 March, with further races at Brands Hatch, Donington, Oulton Park and Snetterton. At the time of writing, the dates remain provisional, so be sure to check the Britcar website for more details.

BTCC, Brands Hatch – 6-7 April

BTCC, Brands Hatch – 6-7 April

Brands Hatch will host the curtain-raiser of the 2019 British Touring Car Championship in April, before the BTCC juggernaut heads to Donington Park at the end of the month, Thruxton in May, Croft and Oulton Park in June, Snetterton and Thruxton in August, Knockhill and Silverstone in September, before culminating at Brands Hatch in October.

Techno-Classica Essen – 10-14 April

Techno-Classica Essen – 10-14 April

Techno-Classica Essen is a European classic car show with a global reputation, with around 1,250 exhibitors from 30 countries. In 2018, the event attracted 188,000 visitors from 41 different nations. Essen is a four- to five-hour drive from Calais.

The Easter Motor Show at Weston Park – 21-22 April

Amazing cars of the Goodwood Revival car park

Happy Easter! If you’re trying to escape Easter Egg temptation, why not get along to Weston Park in Staffordshire for The Easter Motor Show, a new classic vehicle event. The organisers are promising plenty of cars plus trade stalls, a craft tent, a special classic commercial theme – and even some contemporary cars from invited modern vehicle dealerships. Adults tickets cost £10, kids aged 4-16 are £5, and a family ticket is £25.

Donington Historic Festival – 3-5 May

Donington Historic Festival – 3-5 May

At the time of writing, the timetable for the 2019 Donington Historic Festival hasn’t been announced, but if previous events are anything to go by, this is a must-visit event for fans of historic motorsport. ‘Early bird’ tickets are available until the end of January.

Gaydon Land Rover Show – 11-12 May

Gaydon Land Rover Show - 11-12 May

Hundreds of Land Rovers will be on display at the Gaydon Land Rover Show in May. Owners can enter their vehicle for just £7, giving entry to display the Land Rover, as well as admitting the driver and one passenger to enter the show for the weekend. The event is held at the British Motor Museum, which is five minutes from junction 12 of the M40.

Beaulieu Spring Autojumble – 18-19 May

Beaulieu Spring Autojumble

The Beaulieu Spring Autojumble is 25 years old in 2019. To celebrate, organisers are encouraging all jumblers to decorate their stands in a silver theme – and as over 1,000 stands are expected, it should be quite the spectacle. The fast-growing Land Rover Rummage is another highlight of the Spring Autojumble: bargain-hunting starts at 10am on both Saturday and Sunday. 

Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry – 1-2 June

Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry– 1-2 June

Formerly known as the Coventry MotoFest, the Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry is ‘a unique blend of motorsport demonstrations, static displays, live music and anything else with a connection to Coventry and transport’. The organisers are hoping to make it the ‘Edinburgh Festival of motoring’. Nice.

Goodwood Breakfast Club: Supercar Sunday – 2 June

Goodwood Breakfast Club Supercar Sunday

The latest FREE TO ATTEND Goodwood Breakfast Club is celebrating all things supercars – and Motoring Research will be there, in a bright blue brand new Audi R8 V10. Look out for our logo and come along to say hello! 

Classic & Performance Car Spectacular – 1-2 June

Classic & Performance Car Spectacular – 1-2 June

Tatton Park, Cheshire, is the venue for the Classic & Performance Car Spectacular on 1 and 2 June. Around 2,000 cars will be on display, along with 250 stalls and 90+ clubs. If you miss this one, Tatton Park will also play host to a Classic American show in July and a ‘Passion for Power’ show in August.

The Isle of Man TT – 1-7 June

The Isle of Man TT– 1-7 June

The fastest road race on the planet gets underway on Saturday 1 June, although qualifying begins on Saturday 25 May. All eyes will be on the Isle of Man as the world’s bravest riders test their mettle on the formidable 37.73-mile course.

London Concours – 5-6 June

London Concours

Billed as the ‘ultimate automotive summer garden party’ London Concours takes place at the Honourable Artillery Company, in the heart of the city. More than 100 high-end classics and supercars were on show last year, from American muscle to a McLaren F1. Tickets for the 2019 event are on sale now, priced from £35.

Le Mans 24 Hours – 15-16 June

Le Mans 24 Hours – 15-16 June

The 87th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours will take place on 15-16 June, and for the first time ever, the event will mark the end of the World Endurance Championship. Qualifying begins on 12 June and Le Mans is located less than three hours from the ferry terminals at Cherbourg, St-Malo and Le Havre.

MG Live – 15-16 June CANCELLED

MG Live – 15-16 June

Sorry, MG fans – the popular MG Live event has been CANCELLED this year, due to resurfacing work at the Silverstone circuit. The organisers are bitterly disappointed but hope the event can return in a new guise next year. 

Bromley Pageant – 23 June

Bromley Pageant – 23 June

The Bromley Pageant is one of the world’s largest one-day classic car shows, with more than 3,000 vehicles expected to be on display in Kent. Highlights include an autojumble, trade village and a chance to meet Jimmy de Ville of Goblin Works Garage and Fifth Gear fame.

Goodwood Festival of Speed – 4-7 July

Goodwood Festival of Speed – 4-7 July

In 1993, Lord March hosted a hillclimb in the grounds of Goodwood House in Sussex and created the Festival of Speed. It has grown to become one of the world’s biggest and most famous motoring events, but the hillclimb remains central to its success. 

Motoring Research is there all weekend… we have already checked out the performance car park and looked at the new cars being showcased at the 2019 Festival of Speed… check out our other Goodwood news throughout the weekend! 

BMC and Leyland Show – 7 July

BMC and Leyland Show – 7 July

In stark contrast to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, this is a show celebrating the vehicles produced by BMC, British Leyland and Rover Group. Convoys will run from the BMW Mini plant in Cowley and MG Longbridge, while the event will celebrate 60 years of Farina. Head to the British Motor Museum, Gaydon, if BL is your thing.

Japfest – 13 July

Japfest – 5 May and 13 July

Fans of Japanese cars have two Japfest events to choose from – the Silverstone was in May, and the Donington round runs in July. Highlights include the Japfest Sprint Test, club displays and track time.

British Grand Prix – 12-14 July

British Grand Prix – 12-14 July

With no deal in place beyond 2019, this could be the last time Silverstone hosts the Formula 1 British Grand Prix. In 2018, the British GP had the highest attendance of any race on the F1 calendar – will Silverstone’s fate be sealed before Lewis Hamilton and co. return to Northamptonshire?

Festival of the Unexceptional – 20 July

Festival of the Unexceptional – 20 July

For 2019, the Festival of the Unexceptional will move to the Claydon Estate, Buckinghamshire, where everything from Marinas to Metros and Chevettes to Corollas will line up to compete in the Concours de l’Ordinaire. The event is open to classic cars and light commercial vehicles built between 1966 and 1996.

Silverstone Classic – 26-28 July

Silverstone Classic – 26-28 July

To some people, this is one of the highlights of the motoring calendar – a three-day, non-stop historic motoring racing extravaganza. Once in, there’s free access to the paddocks and grandstands, with displays from more than 100 car clubs featuring more than 10,000 classic cars (with more than 100,000 visitors expected over the weekend). Celebrations this year include 50 years of the Ford Capri and 60 years of the Mini. 

Silverstone Classic 2019

Silverstone Classic 2019

Top racers will be in attendance too, including three-time BTCC champion Colin Turkington (pictured above), who’ll be driving an ex-Steve Soper BMW M3 racer. Other headline races include pre-66 touring cars, FIA Masters historic Formula One and a massive 60-car grid full of classic Mini racers.

CarFest North – 26-28 July

CarFest North – 26-28 July

CarFest North takes place at Bolesworth Castle, Cheshire, where you can expect to find the usual mix of music, cars and family fun. BBC Children in Need will receive 50 percent of the total profits, with a number of other charities also benefiting from the proceeds.

Classics on the Common – July

Classics on the Common – July

For one Wednesday every July, Harpenden is invaded by classic cars as it plays host to the UK’s largest weekday car show. Classics on the Common takes place on our doorstep, so we’ll be there to bring you the most interesting cars from the event. Come and say hello.

Ford Fair – 4 August

Ford Fair – 4 August

Ford Fair is Europe’s biggest Ford event, with around 4,000 cars and 18,000 guests expected to flood Silverstone. You can expect the usual mix of showroom-quality vehicles, sprint tests and track time.

Ultimate Street Car – 9-11 August

Ultimate Street Car – 9-11 August

Ultimate Street Car (USC) at Santa Pod Raceway is the ‘largest, loudest, hottest and fastest modified car festival in Europe’. Expect drifting, stunt displays, drag racing, music and tyre smoke. Lots of tyre smoke.

CarFest South – 23-25 August

CarFest South – 23-25 August

CarFest South is like CarFest North, just further south. So, you can expect more of the same, only this time at Laverstoke Park Farm, Hampshire, at the end of August.

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A very modern classic: Ian Callum on his reborn Aston Martin Vanquish

Vanquish 25 by Callum - Concours of Elegance

Ian Callum is one of the most celebrated car designers of the modern era. His 30-year back catalogue includes the Aston Martin DB7 and Ford Escort Cosworth. He also revitalised Jaguar with a 21st-century sense of style.

Now, Callum is striking out on his own with a new company called… Callum. His first project was to remaster one of his classic designs. Meet the Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by Callum.

Modifying a masterpiece

Vanquish 25 by Callum - Concours of Elegance

The Vanquish is one of Callum’s greatest hits. The original was Aston’s breakout car for the new millennium, first previewed with the Project Vantage concept in 1998. Over the past two decades, it has aged like a fine wine. How does he go about improving on that? 

Well, even the Vanquish had elements elements that Ian wishes could have turned out better. For him, the Vanquish 25 is the facelift the Vanquish always deserved.

Making you look

Vanquish 25 by Callum - Concours of Elegance

Ian was keen to embrace the indulgent and boutique nature of such a project. Overall, there are 100 changes to the car, all of which come with the blessing of Aston Martin itself. 

The front has a stylish and aerodynamic overhaul, with added carbon fibre. That signature Vanquish grille is accompanied by a new chin spoiler. Flanking that, classic Callum-style vents in carbon seem reminiscent of those on the stillborn Jaguar C-X75 hypercar. 

New 20-inch forged wheels modernise a classic element of the Vanquish. The originals were a favourite of Callum’s, so their design has been updated, rather than replaced. The car sits 10mm lower and has a superb stance. New door mirrors join carbon fibre side strakes, updated sills and one-piece carbon window surrounds.

At the rear, the curvaceous light clusters are now fitted with LEDs, while a larger diffuser houses integrated exhausts. Take a look underneath and Callum has a little treat for you: the words ‘Made you look’ on the underside of this show car’s exhausts.

Customising the cabin

Vanquish 25 by Callum - Concours of Elegance

If the exterior is timeless, the cabin was a comparative disappointment from day one. It’s here that Callum says the most work needed to be done. Gone are the dull black plastics and cheap buttons, replaced by symmetrical carbon fibre on the centre ‘waterfall’, with up-to-date eight-inch infotainment. And yes, that’s Apple CarPlay you see.

Elements from later Astons are included, and the air vents are carbon strakes instead of plastic. What remains is the steering wheel, albeit re-trimmed in blue leather with a thinner rim. The shift paddles are borrowed from newer Astons, while the lower-set sports seats are trimmed with Callum’s own tartan design. You’ll find the same tartan-effect forged in metal for the bonnet vents, too. No sign of deployable shotguns, though…

The centrepiece for the cabin is the Bremont luxury watch that sits atop the dashboard, where you’d find the Sport Chrono dial in a Porsche. Thankfully, it can be removed when you park. Bremont is also responsible for the new instrument binnacle.

The start of something special

Vanquish 25 by Callum - Concours of Elegance

Of course, the Vanquish isn’t an automotive oil painting. In period, the driving experience was as muscular as the styling suggests. Vanquish 25 gets stiffer anti-roll bars, tuned dampers and custom springs, along with that lower ride height. The goal is to provide the sharper sporting edge that modern GT buyers expect, while maintaining the comfort of a grand tourer.

With re-designed wheels and newly calibrated suspension, the Vanquish 25 should have a lighter, pointier feel in the bends. And because nobody gets nostalgic about below-par brakes, modern Aston ceramic rotors are fitted – cooled by air ducts at the front.

The V12 was the jewel in the original Vanquish’s crown. No matter how much more accomplished an equivalent Ferrari or Porsche felt at the time, the Aston would win you over as soon as the engine fired. The Vanquish 25’s 5.9-litre V12 gets a 60hp boost, to 580hp. There’s a new carbon induction system and re-tuned exhaust. So don’t worry, that rumbling soundtrack should be preserved.

Lastly, the bane of the original Vanquish: its gearbox. While the Vanquish 25 won’t come with a manual option, you can get a proper six-speed automatic in place of the much-derided automated manual.

Ian Callum’s love letter to his own best work won’t be for everyone, not least because it costs £550,000 (including the donor car). If you hadn’t twigged, 25 is the number of examples they’re going to make. Ian Callum says there are more projects to come, but this seems a promising start. Bring on the reborn Escort Cosworth.


Ian Callum on the Vanquish 25 – Tim Pitt

Vanquish 25 by Callum - Concours of Elegance

We’re in the grandiose gardens of Hampton Court Palace, surrounded by classic cars at the annual Concours of Elegance event. Less positively, it’s just started drizzling and, by the time of my late-afternoon interview slot, Ian Callum has probably been asked the same questions hundreds of times today.

Not that he’s letting on. Callum’s pride and enthusiasm for the Vanquish 25 are infectious. “It has always been one of my absolute favourite cars,” he says with a smile. “That’s why I bought one.” Ian’s own Vanquish – original spec and painted in a very ‘007’ shade of grey – is parked on a plinth next to the ’25’. “I planned to modify this one for personal use,” he explains, “but David Fairbairn [programme director at Callum’s eponymous new design consultancy] suggested making it our first project.”

Asked to pick his favourite details, Ian cites the deeper front grille graphic (“I never liked the DB7 spotlamps either”) and upswept rear diffuser. “It would have been easy to do something more flamboyant, but that’s not in keeping with what the car’s about.” Interestingly, the Vanquish 25 has gained official approval from Aston Martin: “They respect the fact that I was the original designer and they’ve given it their blessing.”

Vanquish 25 by Callum - Concours of Elegance

Callum hopes to have the first Vanquish delivered by the end of 2019, and the entire 25-car run built within two years. “There’s plenty more we want to get on with,” he says. And while Callum is adamant he doesn’t want to “redesign somebody else’s car,” he says the next project won’t be an Aston. A Jaguar or even a classic Ford, perhaps? “We don’t know yet, but it will be more in-depth, with bespoke bodywork. Eventually, we hope to build a car from scratch.”

As Ian dashes for his next interview, I’m left feeling enthusiastic about the Vanquish 25 too. After all, ‘restomod’ Porsches are commonplace, yet a modified, modernised Aston is something quite different. I’m intrigued to see what Ian does next.


In pictures: Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by Callum

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11 debuts in one day: new supercars at Salon Privé 2019

Salon Prive 2019

Exotic, exclusive and expensive, Salon Privé is the UK’s A-list supercar show, held on the manicured lawns of Blenheim Palace. This year, no less than 11 vehicles made their UK debuts, from a Slovenian supercar to a resurrected vintage Bentley. We donned our best suits and selflessly quaffed free champagne to bring you the highlights.

Read on for details of all 11 debuts at Salon Privé 2019, plus an MR-exclusive photo gallery.

Austro Daimler Bergmeister ADR 630 Shooting Grand

Salon Prive 2019

Try saying “Austro Daimler Bergmeister ADR 630 Shooting Grand” after a couple of glasses of Krug. Back in 1910, Austro Daimler built the world’s fastest car the 85mph Prinz Heinrich but the company closed its doors in 1931. Fast-forward nearly 90 years and it’s back, this time attached to a plug-in hybrid loosely based on the Mercedes-AMG GT. 

The headline stats are startling: 1,215hp, 1,180lb ft of torque and 0-62mph in 2.5 seconds. Combining the GT’s 3.0-litre straight-six with three electric motors, the ADR 630 Shooting Grand also offers an electric-only range of 155 miles. Top speed is ‘in excess of 200mph’ and kerb weight is a relatively modest 1,650kg.

The styling of the Bergmeister (let’s call it that for convenience) clearly owes much to the Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’ it even emulates that icon’s trademark doors. The area usually occupied by the AMG GT’s boot is full of batteries, so a shooting break tail treatment provides added storage space. Other neat touches include a ‘double-bubble’ roof and Art Deco-inspired interior.

Puritalia Berlinetta

Salon Prive 2019

‘Puritalia Automobili Berlinetta’ is another name that could prove challenging to say when sloshed. If we were being cruel, we might suggest the designer of this 965hp Italian sports car also imbibed one too many. But beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

Hand-built near Naples, the Berlinetta has its roots in the 427 Roadster – a reborn AC Cobra. As such, most of its power (750hp, to be precise) comes from a good ol’ 5.0-litre supercharged V8, with the remaining 215hp via an electric motor driving the rear axle. In a 1,410kg carbon fibre coupe, that means 0-62mph in 2.7 seconds and 208mph.

HR Owen is the sole UK retailer for Puritalia and only 150 cars – each one taking 800 hours to build – will be sold worldwide. Be prepared to stump up £500,000 if you want one.

Tushek TS 900 H Apex

Salon Prive 2019

Slovenian racing driver Aljosa Tushek has launched his eponymous company in some style. The 1,410kg TS 900 H is billed as ‘the lightest hypercar on the road’ (don’t tell the McLaren Senna) and makes a combined 950hp from a petrol V8 and two electric motors. Performance? Yep, there’s plenty of that: 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 236mph.

The wedgy bodywork is all carbon fibre, mounted on a chrome-moly spaceframe. Upwards-opening scissor doors add some visual theatre, while the removable roof means you can ‘experience the full exhilarating symphony of the thunderous V8’. In the genteel gardens of Blenheim Palace, it sounded utterly ferocious.

In a nod to its racing roots, the TS 900 H Apex wears super-sticky Pirelli Trofeo R tyres. Can we expect a establishment-baiting Nurburgring lap-time, perhaps even with Aljosa behind the wheel? Watch this space.

Alpine A110S

Salon Prive 2019

The Alpine A110 was pretty much perfect from launch: an immaculate conception that marked a triumphant return for a largely forgotten brand. Now Alpine has launched the faster, stiffer and all-round sportier A110S. Has it gilded the lily?

Thankfully, the changes are subtle. The 1.8-litre turbo four has been tweaked to produce 292hp an increase of 40hp over the standard car while a switchable sports exhaust delivers a ‘more emotive engine sound’. Brakes, tyres and suspension have also been upgraded, with beefier Brembo calipers, wider Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber and a 4mm drop in ride height, plus stiffer anti-roll bars. 

On sale from 3 September 2019, the A110S is priced at £56,810: around £10k more than the entry-level ‘Pure’ spec A110. Worth the extra cash? We’re itching to find out.

Ateliers Diva Targa

Salon Prive 2019

The ‘backdated’ Porsche 911 – with classic looks and more modern mechanicals – is nothing new. However, the rise of Singer has supercharged this market so that no ropey old SC or 964 is safe from a ‘restomod’ makeover. Now French company Crubilé Sport, which has decades of experience restoring 911s, wants a piece of the action. 

The Ateliers Diva Targa is based on the 964-model 911, built between 1989 and 1994. Buyers can choose from a Carrera 2 or 4 drivetrain (the latter with four-wheel drive) and Coupe, Targa or Safari body styles – the Safari with raised suspension and rally accessories. Crubilé Sport will build 75 cars in total.

As ever, the heart of this 911 is behind the back axle: a race-derived 4.2-litre engine said to offer ‘the reliability of a modern 991’. No performance figures have been quoted yet, but with a kerb weight around 1,100kg, safe to assume it’s pretty swift. We want one. 

Jannarelly Design-1

Salon Prive 2019

Designer Anthony Jannarelly first grabbed the attention of petrolheads with the W Motors Lykan HyperSport, a money-no-object hypercar built in the Middle East. Now he’s put own name on a retro-styled, rear-wheel-drive roadster.

The Design-1 was originally a one-off for Anthony’s personal use. However, “such was the enthusiasm”, he explains, “we decided to go the whole way and launch our own sports car brand. And so Jannarelly was born”. Based on a steel and aluminium tubular frame, the Design-1 weighs just 810kg with composite bodywork, or 760kg in all-carbon. Power comes from a 330hp 3.5-litre Nissan V6, serving up 0-62mph in ‘less than four seconds’.

David Bagley, co-founder of Salon Privé said “I’m thrilled that Anthony and Thomas Ceccaldi, director of Jannarelly Paris, have selected our event to launch the thrilling Design-1 to the UK market. By and large, the guests who attend Salon Privé are knowledgeable, well-heeled enthusiasts and I’m confident that they will welcome this fabulous new sports car brand when it is unveiled on the lawns of Blenheim Palace.”

Rolls-Royce Ghost Zenith

Salon Prive 2019

Not even Rolls-Royce is immune to knocking out special editions when a car reaches its twilight days. The 10–year-old Ghost is due for replacement soon and 50 Zenith editions will mark its passing. Each car has a commemorative ingot inlaid into the dashboard, which is made from the melted-down Spirit of Ecstasy of the original ‘200EX’ Ghost prototype. 

The 200EX is also remembered by an engraving on the centre console. This blueprint-inspired artwork has been divided into 50 parts, ‘allowing each Ghost Zenith customer their own personal and individual work of art, while at the same time uniting the collection as a group homage to Ghost’. So now you know.

Three different colour combinations are available: Iguazu Blue with Andalusian White, Premiere Silver with Arctic White or Bohemian Red with Black Diamond. Whichever spec you go for, future classic status seems assured. Rolls-Royce doesn’t quote a price, but if you have to ask, etc, etc….

Bentley Corniche

Salon Prive 2019

The original Bentley Corniche was commissioned by Greek racer Andre Embiricos and styled by Georges Paulin. Thanks to its streamlined body, it topped 100mph on the banked Brooklands circuit. Sadly, the Corniche was damaged by a bus while road testing in France in July 1939. The subsequent outbreak of World War Two then saw it damaged by a Luftwaffe bombing raid, never to be seen again.

Now, Bentley’s bespoke Mulliner division has re-created the long-lost Corniche, which makes its public debut at Salon Privé. The car has been a true labour of love, aided by volunteers who gathered information and sourced parts to assemble the chassis. Using original technical drawings combined with modern CAD techniques, the end result is simply stunning. Mulliner carpenter Gary Bedson even devised a custom steam booth to bend sections of wood for the window surrounds.

“It’s been a fantastic team effort,” said Stefan Sielaff, design director at Bentley. “We have skilled craftsmen within Mulliner and around the rest of Bentley Motors and they all have massive pride in what they’ve achieved with this car.”

Pininfarina Battista

Salon Prive 2019

Pity the poor Pininfarina Battista. With a faintly ludicrous 1,900hp, it was (briefly) the most powerful production car ever until the Lotus Evija came along. Still, buyers who stump up the requisite £2 million aren’t likely to complain about 0-62mph in ‘less than two seconds’. 

All that oomph comes from four electric motors – one for each wheel – providing a combined 1,696lb ft of torque. Handling has been honed by ex-F1 driver Nick Heidfeld, along with chassis guru Peter Tutzer (formerly of Bugatti, Pagani and Porsche). 

Fittingly for the company that penned many of Ferrari’s finest, the carbon-bodied Battista is also utterly gorgeous. Sleek, curvaceous and devoid of aggressive aero appendages, it’s every inch the 21st-century hypercar. Just 150 will be built, after which Indian-owned Pininfarina Automobili plans to make an SUV.

Rimac C_Two

Salon Prive 2019

The Rimac C_Two was delayed en route to Salon Privé, hence the library pics here. To our knowledge, it’s the only car besides the first-generation Kia Pro_Cee’d to feature an underscore in its name. The Croatian electric supercar also promises the small matter of 1,913hp (yep, even more than the Battista) for 0-60mph in 1.85 seconds, 0-186mph in 11.8 seconds and a top speed of 258mph. Yowzers.

The £2.3 million Rimac also uses facial recognition rather than a key to unlock and start (don’t grow a beard or you’re going nowhere), plus it should deliver more than 400 miles range on a full charge.

Hands-down our favourite feature, though, is inside the cabin. After Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond famously crashed and burned its Concept One predecessor on camera, the C-Two has the words ‘In case of hill climb, extinguish fire’ inscribed on the leather strap that secures its fire extinguisher.

Bentley EXP 100 GT

Salon Prive 2019

Finally, back to Bentley. The EXP 100 GT is a celebration of the first 100 years of the British marque. It ‘reimagines the Grand Tourer for the world of 2035… a world of shared luxury experiences where passenger and driver enjoy equal status in their enjoyment of their extraordinary journeys’. In part, that means this concept EV can virtually drive itself.

A total of four electric motors produce 1,106lb ft of torque, enough to propel the 1,900kg EXP 100 GT to 60mph in 2.5 seconds and 186mph flat-out. The design, which looks stunning in the metal, hints at legendary Bentleys of old: spot the R-Type Continental rear haunches and headlights that evoke the iconic Blower. The illuminated matrix grille, however, is fearlessly futuristic. 

A quoted range of 435 miles is perhaps less impressive than the batteries’ ability to be recharged to 80 percent capacity in just 15 minutes. Inside, a ‘Bentley Personal Assistant’ analyses your eye movements and blood pressure, tailoring the car’s systems to suit. A unique ‘Enhance’ mode also adapts light, sound, smell and air quality to deliver a ‘feeling of open top motoring from under the glass canopy’. Only 16 more years to wait…

 

More photos from Salon Privé 2019

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The fastest cars around the Nurburgring in 2019

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Germany’s notorious Nurburgring circuit is the most popular arena for performance cars to prove their credentials. From supercars to four-door saloons, hot hatchbacks and even SUVs, there aren’t many ‘hot’ cars that escape a lap of the Green Hell.

Here are the latest 2019 ’Ring kings… followed by a full list of the 30 fastest road cars around the Nurburgring.

Lynk & Co. 03 Cyan concept – 7:15

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

This record-holder has taken two titles at once, while also being the first Chinese car to set a lap record. The Lynk & Co. 03 Cyan concept is officially the fastest front-wheel-drive car around the Nordschleife.

Strictly speaking, it is a concept, but with a highly respectable time of 7:15.1, it simply can’t be ignored. It’s a full 25 seconds faster than the new Renault Megane Trophy-R, and that’s hardly a slouch. Then again, it does pack a 528hp punch.

Lynk & Co. 03 Cyan concept – 7:15

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

That time of 07:15.1 puts the Lynk & Co. within spitting distance of many modern supercars. It’s the product of the race team formerly known as Polestar, which runs a World Touring Car campaign.

Renault Sport Megane Trophy-R – 7:40

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The front-drive class at the Ring hasn’t let up in these past few years, despite what that Cyan record might lead you to believe. The new Megane Trophy-R has carbon fibre wheels and ceramic brakes – upgrades often the preserve of track-focused supercars.

It’s not cheap, though, at £72,140 for a ’Ring-spec car. This is the fastest front-driver you can actually buy.

Porsche Taycan – 7:42

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

This is an important record for Porsche. What better way to prove the performance of your new EV than sending it around the Green Hell? A time of 7:42 makes the Taycan the fastest electric four-door at the Nurburgring. We await the finished production car with bated breath.

But what are the times they have to beat? Here are the ultimate Nurburgring lap record holders to date.

Fastest cars around the Nurburgring

  1. Porsche 911 991 GT2 RS MR – 6:40
  2. McLaren P1 LM – 6:43
  3. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ – 6:44
  4. Nio EP9 – 6:45
  5. Porsche 911 GT2 RS – 6:47
  6. Radical SR8 LM – 6:48
  7. Lamborghini Huracan Performante – 6:52
  8. Porsche 911 GT3 RS – 6:56
  9. Porsche 918 Spyder – 6:57
  10. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ – 6:59

Now, let’s celebrate the top 30 fastest road cars round the Nurburgring, from the Ferrari Enzo to the Porsche 911 GT2 MR…

30. Ferrari Enzo – 7:25.7

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

In the name of the father: the Enzo took to the Nurburgring to fight the corner of the Scuderia alongside the Pagani Zonda, Maserati MC12 and Porsche Carrera GT. It didn’t fare too well alongside its fellow Italians, but gave the interloping German hypercar a bloody nose.

29. Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series – 7:25.6

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

If big wings, canards and blistered wheelarches aren’t a recipe for Nurburgring success, we don’t know what is. Along with a serious chassis set-up and sticky tyres, they helped AMG blast its hopped-up SLS to an Enzo-beating time in 2013.

28. Mercedes AMG GT 4-Door – 7:25.4

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Illustrating how far cars have come, this series production luxury saloon, which weighs more than two tonnes, can challenge yesterday’s hypercars – and even beat some of them. It’s also faster than AMG’s best from five years ago. Still, four-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering and well over 600hp must help towards that.

27. Pagani Zonda F Clubsport – 7:24.4

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Ah, the Zonda. Before getting 700hp and some questionable modifications, it was at the forefront of the Nurburgring wars of the mid-2000s. Engineering may have moved on, but that design is timeless.

26. Maserati MC12 – 7:24.3

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The MC12 is a bit of a museum piece these days, but it’s still ruinously fast. A single-clutch gearbox and no electric motor assistance mean it’s no longer at the cutting edge. Nonetheless, a carbon fibre chassis and a 600hp-plus V12 mean it laps the Nürburgring rather briskly.

25. Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06 – 7:22

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Like the forthcoming ZR1, the Z06 here is the last-generation C6 Corvette. Given that it’s only three seconds slower than the former car, with a 7.0-litre non-supercharged V8 making ‘only’ 505hp, we want to know what the extra power is doing in the other ’Vette? Shredding tyres, probably.

24. Jaguar XE SV Project 8 – 7:21

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Jaguar’s no-expense-spared skunkworks special has performance to back up its aesthetic bravado. Not only is it the second fastest four-door saloon around the Nurburgring, and the fastest production saloon, it’s also in the top 30 fastest cars ever at the Nordschleife.

23. Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 – 7:19

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Here’s that aforementioned tyre-shredder. The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 uses a monster 640hp supercharged 6.2-litre V8. Ripping around the ’Ring in a time of seven minutes 19.63 seconds, we’d hate to think how much that would cost in fuel.

22. Porsche 911 GT2 RS (997) – 7:18

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

It’s a braver man than any of us who points the low-slung snout of a 911 GT2 RS out onto the Nürburgring for a maximum attack lap. This 997 version packs two turbos delivering a whopping 620hp and 516lb ft of torque, plus semi-slick tyres and no traction control.

21. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE – 7:16

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Nurburgring times have come a long way in the past few years. Witness the fact that a Camaro has lapped the Nordschleife quicker than a top-level 911 from eight years ago. The Camaro ZL1 1LE is a 650hp be-winged track weapon – and an incredible culture clash.

20. Lynk & Co. 03 Cyan concept – 07:15

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Yes, the Cyan is officially well within the top 30 fastest cars around the Nurburgring. And it’s front-wheel drive.

19. Donkervoort D8 RS – 7:14.8

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Think of the Donkervoort D8 RS as a futuristic Caterham with a ballistic Audi engine. Lots of power and very little weight mean it can lap the ’Ring in a time just shy of a bona fide supercar like the Lexus LFA.

18. Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package – 7:14.6

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The clue to this Lexus LFA’s stellar Nurburgring performance lies in its name. Special mods gave the standard LFA 10hp more, so its 4.8-litre V10 now shrieked out 571hp. A recalibrated gearbox, aero improvements (thanks to a new front splitter, flicks on the front bumper and gigantic rear wing), and stiffer, more adjustable suspension helped achieve the time. The orange paint is just cool.

17. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (C7) – 7:13

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Another hero of the mid- to late-2000s American attack on the ’Ring. The old Z06, Viper ACR and subsequent Corvettes proved their performance. Expectations were high, therefore, for the new Z06. This blue-collar supercharged hero bested the all-carbon V10-powered LFA Nurburgring of a few years earlier.

16. Porsche 911 991.2 GT3 – 7:12

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The 991 911 is perhaps the best Nurburgring bang for your buck. This, the updated GT3, put in a majorly impressive effort. Still nearly 20 seconds slower than the RS, mind…

15. Gumpert Apollo Sport – 7:11

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Gumpert might not have the most exotic name, but the Apollo Sport is certainly quick. With 700hp from its twin-turbo Audi V8 (there’s an 800hp version, too), the Apollo Sport embarrassed non-hybrid Porsches, Ferraris, McLarens and Lamborghinis. We wonder how quick the new Apollo IE would be.

14. Mercedes-AMG GT R – 7:10

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

This was a private effort, but it’d be wrong to not include a car with a paint colour called ‘Green Hell’ on the options list. Germany’s Sport Auto magazine conducted the lap on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres, to an impressive but not record-breaking seven minute 10 second time.

13. Nissan GT-R Nismo – 7:08

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Nissan has been embroiled in a battle with Porsche for Nurburgring supremacy since the GT-R first emerged back in 2007. In the hands of driver Michael Krumm, its hardcore Nismo variant scorched to a lap time of seven minutes 8.69 seconds. We reckon the latest version, which has turbos from the racer and new wheelarch vents, could go even quicker.

12. Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro – 7:04

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Merc’s ‘Beast of the Green Hell’ got a selection of aero and chassis upgrades with this Pro package. That saved it a decent chunk of time, and got it ahead of the other GT-R from Japan.

11. Dodge Viper ACR (2017) – 7:01

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The 2008 Viper ACR was one of the original ’Ring heroes. This brutal lump of American iron cemented itself as a serious contender by dominating the Green Hell. No pressure on the 2017 car, then, which was rumoured to be a contender for the record. Sadly, it never happened, with the Viper ACR failing to break seven minutes. All that said, it remains the fastest car around the circuit with a manual gearbox.

10. Lamborghini Aventador SV – 6:59

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Before the SVJ came the SV, with revised damping, lower weight and some serious aero. All that, some extra power and stickier tyres helped the SV become the second car (after the Porsche 918 Spyder), to break the seven-minute barrier. Impressive at the time, but plenty have topped it now.

9. Porsche 918 Spyder – 6:57

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Porsche works racing driver Marc Lieb was tasked with extracting the maximum from the firm’s 887hp hybrid hypercar. He did so brilliantly, setting a lap time of six minutes and 57 seconds. With Ferrari and McLaren not publishing times for the LaFerrari and P1, the Porsche is officially the quickest of the ‘big three’.

8. Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991.2) – 6:56

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Not five years after Porsche’s hypercar owned the Nurburgring, its flagship 911 goes and beats it. Who needs nearly 1,000hp, all-wheel drive and instant electric power? Equipped with the lightweight Weissach package, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres and a 500hp free-breathing flat-six, the new RS did the business a second quicker.

7. Lamborghini Huracan Performante – 6:52

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

A year before the GT2 fought back, the Huracan Performante put its active aerodynamics to the test for a scarcely believable 6:52 lap. In 2016, the thought of this relatively conventional supercar beating out the ultra-sophisticated Porsche 918 Spyder for ’Ring supremacy didn’t fly so well. We think weight is the key factor.

6. Radical SR8 LM – 6:48

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

When people say “it’s a racing car with number plates”, generally that’s not strictly accurate. This actually is. Radicals genuinely race in this spec, minus headlights and those all-important number plates. Michael Vergers drove the SR8 LM around the Nurburgring on street-legal tyres for a time of six minutes and 48 seconds. That’s pretty epic, particularly as it was achieved way back in 2009

5. Porsche 911 GT2 RS (991) – 6:47

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The current GT2 RS is a fitting run-out model for the 991. Its incredible performance at the Nürburgring cements it as one of Porsche’s greats. Given the GT2 name’s reputation for spikiness in the past, it’s quite an achievement to create such a well-rounded 700hp-plus 911.

4. NIO EP9 – 6:45

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Every so often there’s a paradigm shift in car performance and, even more rarely, the industry as a whole. Electric cars are proliferating exponentially and the king of them made a big splash at the ’Ring. The NIO EP9 is an upstart electric hypercar that obliterated the Nordschleife with a 6:45 lap time. That’s just five seconds off the new MR GT2 RS record. Expect more electric hypercars to silently dominate the circuit in the coming years.

3. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ – 6:44

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

The biggest and baddest of the current raging bulls didn’t have a lot of time atop the Nurburgring throne. Nevertheless, as a proof of how far the Aventador SVJ has come, its 6:44 time is undeniably incredible. Compare that to the original LP700’s time of 7:25 set by Sport Auto. Yes, that’s 40 seconds slower.

2. McLaren P1 LM – 6:43

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Lanzante’s ultimate road-legal P1 GTR is a homage to the five-off special McLaren F1 LM of the mid-1990s, intended to celebrate the five finishers at the 1995 Le Mans 24-hour race. The P1 LM features power and aero upgrades, but removes racing features like the air jack. It’s fully road-legal and all five were sold, so we think its 6:43 ’Ring time stands. Incredible stuff from an incredible car, but not quite up to a suitably tweaked GT2 RS…

1. Porsche 991 GT2 RS MR – 6:40

Nurburgring fastest cars 2019

Perhaps a tuned version of a car doesn’t count. Technically speaking, though, the Manthey Racing-fettled GT2 RS is road-legal. Not to mention that Porsche has a 51 percent stake in the Nürburgring-based company.

Ford v Ferrari: the real story of the GT40 at Le Mans

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

With Matt Damon and Christian Bale due to star in the upcoming ‘Ford v Ferrari’ feature film, we take a look at the on-track history that led to this famous feud. This is the tale of when Detroit fought Maranello at Le Mans.

The start of the ordeal

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

It counts as one of the most notorious stories in motorsport, and it all began due to a dispute between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari.

Ford had looked to buy the Italian manufacturer during 1963, yet found Ferrari unwilling to step away from the Indianapolis 500. This would have placed the two brands in direct competition on track.

As a result, the deal failed. Henry Ford II then directed his company to enact revenge on Ferrari at Le Mans.

Ferrari was the class act to beat at Le Mans

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

The Italian brand had established total dominance at Le Mans during the 1960s. Cars wearing the famous Prancing Horse badge had won every edition of the 24 hour race from 1960 onwards.

This included two victories taken by Belgian driver Oliver Gendebien, pictured here behind the wheel of a Ferrari 250 TR 59/60 on his way to glory in 1960. Beating the Scuderia was going to take serious commitment and engineering effort from Ford.

1964 Ford GT40 prototype

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Ford initially courted Lola Cars, Lotus, and Cooper for a partner to build the new Le Mans racer. Lola was eventually chosen, partly because the Lola Mk 6 race car already made use of a Ford V8 engine.

Lola donated two Mk 6 chassis from its factory in Slough, while Ford set about creating a team to develop and build its new race machine.

1964 Ford GT40 prototype

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

The newly created Ford Advanced Vehicles team set about the development of a new racer, based at its own British factory.

Early prototypes of the GT40 made use of a mid-mounted 255 cubic inch (4.2-litre) Ford V8, whilst later finished cars would feature a 289 cubic inch (4.7-litre) unit. Famously, the GT40 name came from the overall height of the new race car being just 40 inches.

Ford GT40 team transporters ready for the off

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Ford had taken only seven months to create the new GT40, with the completed car being shown to journalists on April 1st 1964. John Wyer was put in charge of running the Ford Advanced Vehicles team for the year.

The rush to get the new cars finished meant the GT40 would miss the season-opening Sebring 12 Hours race. Instead, the inaugural use of the car in anger would be at the first Le Mans test, less than three weeks after the cars were presented to the media.

1964 becomes a year to quickly forget

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Making a race debut at the gruelling Nürburging 1,000km in 1964, the driver pairing of Phil Hill and Bruce McLaren managed to qualify second on the grid. However, a suspension failure meant the GT40 failed to finish the race.

This would set the tone for the year, with 1964 at Le Mans a dismal failure. All three of the Fords would retire with mechanical issues, while Ferrari clocked up another win.

1965 shows promising signs for the future

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

After the disappointment of 1964, Ford switched management of the GT40 to Carroll Shelby for 1965. This came after his notable successes with the Ford-powered Daytona Coupe.

Victory came immediately, with a win for Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby at the Daytona 2,000km race, with Bob Bondurant and Richie Ginther taking third in a sister GT40.

Yet the remainder of 1965 would prove fruitless, with no more wins for Ford. Le Mans would again see all the GT40s fail to make the finish.

1966 Ford GT40 Mk I road car

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Whilst the early GT40s might not have proved to be successful on track, road car versions still rolled out of the factory, with the first example delivered to the United States in early 1966.

The Mk I road cars featured softer suspension, quieter exhausts, plus options such as air-conditioning and leather seats. However, they still featured a 335hp V8 engine.

A new hope: the 1966 Ford GT40 Mk II

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Whereas the Mk II may have looked similar to its predecessor, beneath the bodywork was a host of changes. In came a 427 cubic inch (7.0-litre) Ford FE engine, with an exhaust system nicknamed ‘a bundle of snakes’ for its elaborate design.

Kar-Kraft also modified the chassis from the original British-designed Mk I version, using higher strength steel. Extra robustness was added with upgraded suspension components, while a strengthened gearbox was also used. This featured just four speeds, instead of the five cogs found in the Mk I.

1966 Ford GT40 Mk II

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Ford also dismissed Carrol Shelby as overall manager for the GT40 programme. Instead, priority was given to the Holman-Moody outfit who were responsible for running Ford’s NASCAR efforts. Henry Ford II was adamant that the GT40 must win in 1966.

However, the Shelby American team did continue as an official factory outfit, retaining Ken Miles as one of their drivers. The new GT40s would finish 1-2-3-5 in the ’66 Daytona 24 Hours, proving the changes were right and setting Ford on the path to glory.

1966 Ford GT40 Mk II ‘X-1’ Roadster

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Ford also experimented with a potential for an open-top version of the GT40 during the 1966 season. Initially created for Bruce McLaren Racing in 1965 with a low-drag windscreen, on return to Ford the one-off roadster was updated to Mk II specification for Shelby American.

It’s only race event came at the 1966 12 Hours of Sebring where, after experimenting with automatic gearboxes during practice, a manual transmission was fitted for the race. When the engine of the lead GT40 Mk II seized, the ‘X-1’ Roadster of Miles and Ruby slipped through to victory.

1966 Ferrari 330 P3

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

With all the attention now on winning the Le Mans 24 Hours, Ford would face tough competition at the 1966 race.

Ferrari had updated its line of prototype racers, creating the new 330 P3. Thanks to fuel injection it now had more horsepower, and was built in both closed- and open-cockpit versions for the epic endurance event.

1966 Porsche 906/6 LH

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Although Ford and Ferrari were the main contenders in 1966, Porsche would also enter a small army of 906 racers at Le Mans.

A total of six 906 machines would contest the race, including three of the brand-new LH ‘lang heck’ prototype versions. Recent victory on the Targa Florio showed the potential of the Porsche.

Strength in numbers

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Keen to beat Ferrari at its own game, Ford entered a total of 15 Mk II GT40s for Le Mans in 1966. Eight were accepted for the race, with Shelby American running three cars. Holman-Moody also fielded another trio, whilst Alan Mann Racing would be responsible for the final two Mk II machines.

Qualifying demonstrated the performance of the GT40 Mk II, with the top four places all taken by Fords. With all eight GT40s inside the top 12, the strategy of total domination looked to be working.

Drama on the road to tomorrow

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Ratcheting up the pressure on the Ford teams was Henry Ford II, acting as official starter for Le Mans in 1966. After the first lap his cars were in the lead, but the coming hours would see tense battle between Ford and Ferrari.

Overnight rain dampened the performance advantage of the big V8 engine in the Fords. However, the Ferrari prototypes began to suffer from overheating, dropping them out of contention.

Controversial photo finish for the win

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

By halfway through the race, Ford MK IIs occupied the top four positions, with Mk I GT40s occupying 5th and 6th. Yet even then, victory was far from secure. The no.3 Mk II, driven by Dan Gurney, blew a head gasket from racing too hard with the no.1 car of Ken Miles and Denny Hulme.

By late morning Mk II GT40s occupied the top three positions, and Ford Racing director Leo Bebbe attempted to engineer a dead heat at the end of the race. Ken Miles was told to slow down to allow the no.2 car of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon to catch up.

Miles was reported to be unhappy with the contrived photo finish, and lifted off just as the cars reached the finish line. This handed the McLaren/Amon car victory, with Fords filling the other podium places.

Mission accomplished for Ford at Le Mans

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

In just three years Henry Ford II had achieved his goal of beating Ferrari at Le Mans. The Italian company would never take an outright win at the French event again, with the Blue Oval ready to keep coming back.

Ford would go on to claim the P2 category of the 1966 World Sportscar Championship, further cementing its dominance.

1967 Ford GT40 Mk III road car

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

With the GT40 race car cleaning up on track, a bespoke road-going version was now being readied for the street. Unlike previous road-legal GT40s, the Mk III had specific features to make it suited to the highway.

An elongated rear gave access to a luggage compartment, whilst the bumpers gained small chrome overriders. Unlike the race cars, there was no bigger engine, with power still coming from the 289 cubic inch (4.2-litre) V8. Only seven examples of the Mk III were built, with just three in right-hand drive.

Tragedy of the 1967 Ford GT40 J-car

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Despite the success of the Mk II GT40, Ford didn’t rest on its laurels and set about developing the car even further. With power now sufficient, experimental aerodynamic changes to maximise the muscle were made throughout 1966 and 1967, along with a lightened chassis.

Tragedy struck during a test session, when Ken Miles was killed in a high-speed accident at Riverside International Raceway, with blame laid at the lack of downforce from the aero modifications.

1967 Ford GT40 Mk IV

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

The experimental flat-topped roof of the J-car was dropped, but the resulting Mk IV still managed to look distinctive. Lengthened and streamlined to achieve a higher top speed, the Mk IV also featured the lightened chassis.

The death of Ken Miles was not in vain, with a high-strength roll cage also being fitted. Although the Mk IV only entered two races, it claimed a 100% success rate with victories in the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

1968 Ford GT40 Mk I Le Mans

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Concerned by the high speeds seen during the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans, for 1968 engine sizes were capped at 5.0 litres for cars in the Sports class by the FIA. This ruled out the Mk II and Mk IV versions of the GT40, but meant the earlier, smaller-engined Mk I was still eligible.

Now with reliability on its side, the Mk I took overall victory in 1968 driven by Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi. It would repeat the same feat in 1969 with Jackie Ickx and Jackie Oliver driving, taking the total number of outright Le Mans wins for the GT40 to four in a row.

Ford GT wins 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Fast forward several decades and Ford found once again on the top step of the podium at Le Mans.

Living up to the reputation of its GT40 predecessors, the new GT race car, ran by Chip Ganassi Racing, took an impressive victory at Le Mans in 2016 in the LMGTE Pro class. Coming exactly 50 years after the first Le Mans win for the GT40, Ford was unsurprisingly ecstatic about the result.

2017 Ford GT ‘66 Heritage Edition

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

To mark the Le Mans wins 50th anniversary, Ford also announced a special edition of a car that hadn’t even actually started production yet. Remembering that historic 1-2-3 victory at the Circuit du Sarthe in 1966, the Heritage Edition featured a colour scheme inspired by the no.2 GT40 driven by Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren.

A Shadow Black exterior – available in either gloss or matte finish – was combined with silver stripes and alloy wheels in gold satin. Inside is a leather-wrapped steering wheel, along with extra carbon fibre and a limited edition plaque.

Ford captures the Le Mans-winning GT40 in Lego

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Along with the modern interpretation of the successful 1966 GT40, Ford also created a miniature Lego version. This had the benefit of being considerably cheaper than the full-size GT supercar, and produced in much larger numbers.

Paired with a Lego version of the 2016 Le Mans-winning Ford GT, the classic 1966 GT40 also comes with a retro driver minifigure. Fans can decide for themselves whether they want it to be Chris Amon or Bruce McLaren.

2019 Ford at Le Mans with historic liveries

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

Ford contested the Le Mans 24 Hour race again each year until 2019, which marked the final year of competition for the GT racer. However, the Chip Ganassi Team would be unable to replicate the success seen in 2016.

Not even racing with retro-inspired liveries for the 2019 edition of the 24 Hours race was enough to help clinch LMGTE Pro victory. Ford would manage fourth in class, with Ferrari taking first place on the podium.

Sunset on the Ford GT Le Mans project

Ford versus Ferrari at Le Mans 1966

In fact, Ferrari has continued to dominate the World GT Manufacturers’ Championship since 2012, taking five titles in seven seasons. It means that more than 55 years after Henry Ford II declared war on the Ferrari at Le Mans, the battle is still seemingly far from over.

The scheduled cinematic release date for ‘Ford v Ferrari’ is now November 15th 2019. It means only a few more months of waiting for fans to witness the recreation of this special chapter in motorsport history.

Ferdinand Piech: the life and legacy of ‘Mr Volkswagen’

Ferdinand Piech

Ferdinand Piech, one of the most influential figures in the global car industry, has died at the age of 82.

The grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, his notable achievements included transforming Audi into a premium marque and introducing platform-sharing to the Volkswagen Group – creating the 12-brand powerhouse we know today.

Piech also oversaw some of the greatest cars ever made, from the Porsche 917 to the Bugatti Veyron. We look back on his remarkable career, highlighting the hits – and misses – of his time in office.

More great Volkswagens on Motoring Research:

Porsche 917 – 1969

The life and legacy of Ferdinand Piech

Before we celebrate his work at Volkswagen, it’s important to rewind the clock to the 1960s, when Piech was employed at Porsche in Stuttgart.

The life and legacy of Ferdinand Piech

He worked on the development of the Porsche 906, before moving on to other models, culminating in the hugely successful Porsche 917. The car raced to overall wins at Le Mans in 1970 and 1971.

Mercedes-Benz OM617 engine

The life and legacy of Ferdinand Piech

In 1972, Piech moved to Audi, but that wasn’t before he had started his own engineering consultancy firm. It was during this time that he worked with Mercedes–Benz on development work that led to the delivery of the company’s first premium five-cylinder diesel engine designed for a passenger car. As history will recall, five-cylinder engines would become central to his time at Audi.

Audi ur-Quattro – 1980

The life and legacy of Ferdinand Piech

What a legacy! When Piech arrived at Audi, the German company appeared to be in decline. It sat way behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz and was suffocating under Volkswagen’s control. Remarkably, Piech transformed the relatively humble Audi Coupe into the all-conquering Quattro. In a stroke, Piech had laid the foundations for a brand built on all-wheel-drive technology and – thanks to a domination of world rallying – put the Audi brand on the map.

Audi Quattro Spyder – 1991

The life and legacy of Ferdinand Piech

Goodness, how fresh does this thing look? It’s remarkable to think that Audi unveiled the Quattro Spyder at the 1991 Frankfurt Motor Show. At the time, it was more a demonstration of Audi’s thinking than an actual concept car, but it certainly helped to invigorate the brand. Highlights included the extensive use of aluminium (a key part of Audi’s future) and a suspension set-up that would be used in the forthcoming A4.

Audi Avus – 1991

The life and legacy of Ferdinand Piech

Audi was on a roll. Weeks after the launch of the Quattro Spyder came this – the Avus. It’s no coincidence that it looks like an early version of a certain Bugatti, because it was. Nearly 15 years prior to the launch of the Veyron, the Avus featured a W12 engine and four-wheel drive, with Audi claiming a top speed of 200mph.

Volkswagen Passat

The life and legacy of Ferdinand Piech

In 1993, Ferdinand Piech was made CEO of the Volkswagen Group. One of his first roles in office was the development of the new Passat. Piech saw an opportunity to push the Passat upmarket, something that is immediately obvious with the B5 model of 1996.

Audi V8 – 1993

The life and legacy of Ferdinand Piech

The Audi V8 represented a warning shot across the bows of Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Here was Ferdinand Piech telling his fellow Germans he wanted a slice of the premium pie. It was the first Audi to use a V8 engine and, although it wasn’t a commercial success, what came next would be…

Audi A8 – 1994

The life and legacy of Ferdinand Piech

We’re talking about the Audi A8. Launched at the 1994 Geneva Motor Show, the A8 can trace its roots as far back as 1982, when Ferdinand Piech signed an agreement with the Aluminium Company of America to develop a lightweight premium vehicle. The Audi Space Frame concept was unveiled at the 1993 Frankfurt Motor Show and the rest is history.

Audi A4 – 1994

The life and legacy of Ferdinand Piech

Over 20 years after the launch of the Audi A4, we can see what a remarkable success the compact executive car has been. Its predecessor, the Audi 80, was perhaps a better engineered product, but the A4 would develop a wider-reaching appeal. Audi could now sit at the top table and play with the 3 Series and C-Class.

Audi RS2 – 1994

The life and legacy of Ferdinand Piech