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The good, the bad and the ugly from the Essen Motor Show

The first part on the Essen Motor Show Report was about hypercars and the good old classic cars section, now it’s time to look at the bad and the butt ugly…

When it comes to the baddest and meanest, the first memories of super evil that pops up in my mind, is the PS Festival in Hall 4. Protected by a concrete barrier, spectators can admire here the impressive stunts performed by fairly crazy drivers.

I took a few shots during the preview day practice, where they were testing donuts. The cars encompassed quite a broad spectrum from old BMW 3 series compact to a rather recent GT86 and a Z4 high on steroids.

There are of course dozens of real race cars from all segments of racing. Many flagship racing categories are represented, such as the two F1 torpedoes, one accompanied by a Lewis Hamilton figure (honestly, I did not wait to see, if the real Hamilton would show up). 

As mentioned in the previous part, the Pikes Peak Record Holder VW and Nürburgring dominator Porsche experimental cars are also showcased, next Audi’s next Formula E car.

The Volkswagen ID. R Pikes Peak racing car is equipped with a purely electric drive and was used by the VW Factory Racing team setting an all-time record in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado/USA on June 24, 2018. The driver Romain Dumas covered the distance of 19.99 kilometres in seven minutes and 57.148 seconds.

The compact VW stage also featured another race car, the Volkswagen Polo R supercar, in which Johan Kristoffersson became the world champion in the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2018.

The German Autoclub ADAC brought along many race cars that race in ADAC sanctioned series, all set up on the Club’s own yellow colored stage, by the iconic “yellow angel” emergency helicopter.

This segment is also is a focal point of lovely hostesses. Given the peculiarity of the topic (slight age rating requirements), I find it safer to gather them into another thematic post.

Lifestyle and thematic tuning

There are certain tuning activities I can relate to, like the decorative dioramas that assist mildly spiced up cars, model that go well with taking it higher. The strange metallic tube frame did not ruin the classic Porsche 356, while the Murcielago was much more receptive to visual enhancements. I also made peace with the orange tents.


The Tuning I was happy to see revolved around a movie car thematic, that featured move stars car playing leading roles in films. Each car is type-conform and detailed to seem very close to the original. 

My favorite was the DeLorean from the Back to the Future trilogy. Both its exterior and interior is faithful to the original featuring the flux compensator to travel in time, and a decent warning for the biohazard nature of plutonium.

There were two cars (a Jeep Wrangler and a Ford Explorer) driven in the dinosaur park in the Jurassic Park franchise.

Another film car to bring back great memories is the K.I.T.T. from the US television series Knight Rider. The car is a black TransAmalright, but I did not see signs of the red scanner light though. The green Opel Manta originates from the Dutch television series called New Kids, that doesn’t ring the bell for me. 

The most impressive car of the bunch is the Ecto 1 from the Ghostbusters movies. The car was reconstructed form faithful to the original on the basis of a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor that impresses visitors with gigantic size.

Another “lifestyle” car is courtesy of the German Army. Following the Armoured truck from 2016 with infrared camera park assist, this tank probably falls to the category “park anywhere you want”.  The tank is guarded by the Army who offers insight into the operations and showcases a Delta Force conform military go-kart.

Another exciting car is the postapocalyptic van sponsored by Red Bull, whose retractable loudspeakers could also work as a sonic weapon.

We are now approaching the abyss, but the last segment that’s still worth saving was the omnipresent Japanese car tuning, from the lifestyle store to the Tofugarage guys. In one hand these JDM and export cars are known as a solid basis for racers but also for crazy design kits.

One might question the point of a plastic surgery placing a 60’s Camaro like front to the body of a 200SX, but I have to give it, the Tofugarage guys know their stuff.

The torture tavern of tuning shows us that the world is ready for another apocalypse

Nothing can prepare for what is lurking in the cellar of Hall 1. This chamber is the section for tuners using the standard weapon of choice for visual tuning.


All the cars were laid low (OR, they used very-very thick carpet : ) ), basically all bellies touched the ground.

I am not so mad when modern cars are modded. A 350z with a body kit is socially acceptable since the Fast Five Franchise.

I am less than pleased, however, in case of a BMW 635 or a Karmann Ghia, as their showroom shine restoration, elegant paint job and their general condition would have made them perfect without the low rider spec.

Essen offers something for every audience. For that, it can not excel in any of those disciplines.  Nevertheless, if you live in the 3-hour vicinity (Rhine area, BENELUX, even the UK is not far once you cross the channel), you might see an a truly entertaining auto show. The 2018 Essen Motor Show will close this Sunday, so those who wish to catch it, better hurry up.


A non-partisan yet active car-maniac.