BORN to thrill

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 October, 2011, 12:00am


The recently held 64th Frankfurt Motor Show was without doubt one of the highlights of the car industry's calendar. The event was attended by some 800,000 visitors and featured about 1,000 exhibits from 32 countries.

An eye-catching model was the new Porsche 911 Carrera, with a 100mm longer wheelbase 'for improved stability and greater interior space', shorter front and rear overhangs, and a sportier look with a lower roof line and a wider front track. The Carrera gets a new 350-horsepower, 3.4-litre engine and the Carrera S belts 400hp from its 3.8-litre block.

Another speedster is the Ferrari 458 Spider, the world's first mid-rear-berlinetta with a retractable hard top. Its direct-injection 4.5-litre V8 was nominated as the International Engine of the Year.

Maserati applied synergies with sister company Jeep to unveil its first luxury sports utility vehicle, the Kubang, and teamed up with luxury brand Fendi to launch the well-logoed 4.7-litre V8 Gran Cabrio Fendi. Audi launched four new high-performance S models, sharing a new 520-horsepower bi-turbo V8 engine that incorporates cylinder-on-demand technology and a host of other advances.

Bentley unveiled a more assertive-looking Continental GTC cabriolet with a wider track, four-wheel drive and a more powerful 6.0-litre W12 engine that can also use FlexFuel.

For those who prefer town and country driving, the Tiguan from Volkswagen merges the high seating, style and spaciousness of a compact SUV with the safety and fuel efficiency of a passenger car. Models have been improved this year, but the new R-Line version stole the show with sporty touches to its 19-inch alloy wheels, bumpers, grille badging and rear spoiler.

Land Rover has revealed the DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts for a future all-new Land Rover Defender, due to be launched in 2015 and built for fuel and operational efficiency in all conditions.