The Amazing Car Show
As I sat comfortably in a VW van upon my arrival in Germany almost in mid-September, commuting early in the morning to IAA 2017, (‘Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung’, which translates to International Automobile Exhibition) I was already losing my mind at which exhibition area to head to first. I knew I was going to see plenty of new models and forthcoming concepts that would inevitably make it to reality in good time. Even so, the fact that I was going to see all these fancy new cars first-hand in the flesh was a feeling of pure euphoria and ecstasy, instead of just drooling at mere images online.
Despite my inner jubilation at the prospect of seeing an army of new models at the heart of car-dom, I was ready to put all the hundreds of new models aside for just one in particular. Albeit not the very latest, it’s still one that none of us Malaysians had seen yet at that point and, at least in our office and among the local motoring fraternity, it’s a real stunner- The Porsche GT2 RS. Not to sound dramatic, but the German stallion is my favourite car of all time. The 911 to be specific – a Singer 911 to be even more specific but at IAA, my eyes were all over the GT2 RS.
Of course, by now, the famed GT2 RS has met the senses of the elite few here in Malaysia, since it’s official launch a couple of weeks back in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Like all Porsche GT sportscars, there’s an extremely deep and rich racing heritage behind its design and function. And not to mention, they look bloody sexy.
But over in cool German fall weather, there was more to delve into as well. There’s the GT RS and then, there’s was also a bunch of other engineering stunners to gaze upon, one of them, a true pinnacle of automotive marvel – the Bugatti Chiron. Personally, these were the two cars that took up most of my attention. Of course, in the present, the Chiron has been understandably put to shame by Sweden’s Koenigsegg Agera RS in its record-setting 0-400-0 km/h run that was completed in a shocking 33.29 seconds, beating the Chiron’s time by almost 10 whole seconds. That’s another story altogether which we should really dissect soon.
It really is just a ridiculous feeling to be at the IAA. My mind was jumping everywhere – turn left, there was the new Bentley Continental GT and just when I thought Bentleys’ couldn’t get any more beautiful, they seem to have a more pronounced look at the motor show. Turn right, and there were Audis everywhere and the thought of a rear-wheel V10 R8 takes you off track again.
To seek out my main Porsche mission however, I had to walk way further into the IAA’s exhibition area and soon enough, I got to set my eyes on the stunning Porsche. Obviously, it was just sitting there, lying bare naked, and next to it, covered with a black cloth was our little surprise – a GT3 Touring Edition which comes with a six-speed manual transmission. To be unrealistically realistic, this is the 911 I’d buy simply because it’s a sensible choice. And hey, manual GT3 for everyone, hello?! It’s basically a 911 R in perfected form. Alas, I was left wondering how current owners of the 911 R would feel with the introduction of this GT3 Touring Edition.
Another highlight of my IAA Porsche visit was to witness the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo, which was launched at IAA 2017. To be dead-honest, I really thought to myself that Porsche could’ve done a better job with the Cayenne’s design. Subtle is probably how I’d describe this modern Cayenne, compared to its older sibling, which in its S form, already had rough looks and a rumbling V8 heart. However, after spending some time learning about the new Cayenne after and in between IAA (more on that in my story in the next issue), I can’t deny that it has been refined all around, making it the marque’s fastest production SUV to date. It’s still an engineering marvel and there’s no doubt about that because to me, it’s still a benchmark that other luxury manufacturers look to for inspiration.
As my senses got more exhausted from all the ogling of my favourite cars, I finally knew I needed a breather after downloading all those completely explicit visuals. I decided to stroll over to the BMW area to see what was up over at the ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure’ department. Well, as some of you could’ve guessed, nothing much really.
A pleasant surprise however was how MINI on the other hand, had the GP3 concept on show, and it was absolutely bonkers. Points earned there BMW. I stood for a good 10 minutes watching it do a ballet on its rotating platform, and then when I was satisfied, I left to visit another German brother – Mercedes-Benz.
Unsurprisingly, the Three-pointed Star marque’s exhibition area was basking in tremendous glory, the kind of which one would expect from the pioneers of the automobile. You could see it in the eyes of the people that were working as part timers even. They were proud and standing tall. I didn’t even bother looking at the actual employees of Mercedes. Amazing cars all around, their coveted design language did all the talking for the German marque. It is a direction that has gotten the world to helplessly fall in love with the whole experience of being a Mercedes-Benz owner.
It’s nothing new to us to see how now, almost every youngster wants a Merc, especially back here in Malaysia. At the IAA however, it’s a more heightened realisation. This kid would personally prefer his own A 45 AMG. But what truly got me, were the string of immaculate-looking Brabus Classics. They are to Mercedes-Benz as is the Singer models are to my beloved Porsches. Just look at them in this spread and how they’ve been completely rebuilt to be driven proper.
It is truly a feeble attempt to try and capture my whole IAA visit this year. There were plenty of cars on show it’s impossible to talk about all of them here, because honestly most of them don’t really matter except a select few, a select few that do well to keep a competitive automotive industry fresh with creativity, engineering and function. I’d give anything to go back and relive the entire Frankfurt Motor Show in a more relaxed manner, and preferably with loads of coffee to calm my inner-child.