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VW Group Evening IAA 2013: Electric feeling

Markus Stier
Overview of trade fair highlights
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D You would have liked to have taken the stage design on the lake stage in Bregenz , and why not for the next Wagner Festival? Like picture frames on the mantelpiece, 19 large video screens stand in front of the fully occupied grandstand of the Fraport Arena in Frankfurt. White triangles move into each other on the monitors, overlap in three dimensions and look like an army of icebergs. Sometimes the technology even plays the sound of glacier tongues bursting. Big cinema.

A lot of self-confidence, few new products

Of course there is a Skoda Rapid Spaceback or a Seat Leon Kombi ST is not so easy to make a grand entrance in front of this backdrop. But that's where the brand bosses help. Wilfried Vahland from Skoda announces that they have seven new items in their luggage, thus demonstrating the self-confidence of the Czechs. In Spain it had to grow again, but Seat boss Jürgen Stackmann: As one of the very few manufacturers in Europe they are making a plus, namely nine percent.

Brands such as Bugatti, Bentley or Lamborghini, on the other hand, lack self-confidence not, just novelties. But where are the niche manufacturers supposed to keep getting new floors from two corporate evenings per year? Bentley has pimped up the Continental Coupé a bit, now it's 528 hp. Bugatti already had 1,200 hp and the Veyron Vitesse is constantly being re-poured as a special model in the absence of any real novelty. This is called Jean Bugatti for the Bugatti son Jean. Lambo boss Winkelmann has two well-known Gallardo racing cars drive onto the stage, although he admits that Ferruccio Lamborghini was not too interested in motorsport. What the heck, they built a special model of the Gallardo. The LP 570/4 has, you already guessed it: 570 PS and plenty of Chi Chi made of carbon and aluminum, and three times as much downforce as the production car. At the end of the day, the Gallardo GT3 steals the show from him - with a couple of courageous throttles from the racing exhaust.

In between, a troupe of dancers puts on a grandiose show. They have lighting on their feet or on their whole body, they can be pulled into the air with cables if necessary, or they float gently to the ground, illuminated. The big hit is the large screen in the middle, which suddenly opens up like a laptop and forms an inclined plane on which young acrobats slide diagonallyHit somersaults that are projected onto the vertical. Who comes up with something like that?

Drives like a pig, saves like a pig

Rupert Stadler takes care of things at Audi a bang. A red bullet rolls onto the stage on giant 22-inch wheels. Somehow that sounds familiar to us. And Stadler also frankly admits that the Audi designers frankly made use of their colleagues from Giugiaro when they put a mixture of off-road vehicle and super sports car on the wheels. The Audi does not have the elegance and independence of the study from Italy, which caused a sensation in Geneva, but on the other hand it never had a chance of actually being built. The Audi Nanuk (which comes from the Inuit language and means polar bear), on the other hand, does. 'We want to get a feel for it,' says Stadler, referring to the reactions at the trade fair.

It is a bit unfair that the A3 convertible is rolling onto the stage afterwards, and Stadler can still use superlatives - Grab the drawer and throw around 'highly emotional' and 'very dynamic'. After the appearance of the red polar bear, the audience stepped away so much that the little convertible hardly has a chance with the audience.

But this evening is about something completely different anyway. The electric up in the van outfit with closed rear side windows from the commercial vehicle group is just the beginning. E-Golf, E-Up and the hybrids Panamera and Audi A3 E-Tron are rolling over the floor. The Greenpeace activists, who were still causing unrest in Paris a year ago, are now being thrown two all-electric cars and five hybrids at their feet. We are particularly proud of the dual-drive devices from Porsche. The motto is 'No renunciation cars, but fun cars'. Quasi a pleasure with no regrets. The new Audi Chief Technology Officer Ulrich Hackenberg says: 'It's fun to drive and fun to save.' The E-Golf costs just 3.28 euros per 100 kilometers, if you calculate. The Panamera has a range of 900 kilometers. 'Drives like a pig, saves like a pig', quoted company spokesman Grühsem and admits: 'Our copywriters couldn't have put it better.'

VW goes electric

Porsche's head of development Wolfgang Hatz announces: The hybrids are the future of Porsche. The brand new 918 has just atomized the seven-minute barrier on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Porsche boss Müller is so proud that he steers the 918 onto the stage himself and drives two eights in front of the grandstand, always taking care not to damage the grandiose set design.

At the end, Martin Winterkorn runs confidently the parquet as if he had just replaced himself at VFL Wolfsburg. The VW boss loosens his feet again and immediately goes straight to the top: 'Where others drummed loudly and early, we had onea factual and unexcited view of this technology. '

Winterkorn announces the big electric offensive. The cars already presented could soon be followed by 40 models, and with a rustic jolt against various competitors he says at the end:' We don't compete here with niche models. 'And to prove it, let's start with Neil Tennent and Chris Lowe, better known as the Pet Shop Boys, who have been refreshing electro pop for almost 30 years without ever being out. Their new album is called 'Electric'. Well, that fits.

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