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Frankfurt Motor show 2013: The good, the bad and the ugly

This year at the Frankfurt Motor Show, over one thousand exhibitors boasted their latest and finest creations, begging for the attention of photographers and motoring journalists alike. And I can assure you, some of those exhibitors got my attention all right – though it is fair to say that some failed, miserably.

I have here a handful of wonderful, woeful and wacky creations, hand-picked for you to fall in love with, or grimace at – depending on your taste, of course.

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Starting with the wonderful, lets take a look at the Vauxhall Monza. I can say with a strong amount of certainty that this car is certainly wonderful looking. With beautiful gull-wing doors and a sleek, fluid exterior, this car is one of the best looking cars to come out of the Frankfurt Motor Show this year. This car looks like a shiny silver bullet with wheels and angry, intimidating headlights.

With doors open, this car looks like a Mercedes from the front, and a Volvo from the back. The interior looks equally delicious, too. A door to door dashboard powered by eighteen miniature LED projectors looks stunning. I cannot question the designers, I really can’t. Though I can question the motives for this creation. I am a traditionalist in the sense that I like a car being an instrument of the driver, more of an extension. I do not like the age of ‘connectivity’ and all of this in car entertainment system lark. Therefore, I am a little bit disappointed. I do not want to browse the internet whilst driving, I want it to be an enjoyable experience not interfered with by pointless gimmicks. Facebook status update: ‘I’m currently on the M6, in traffic again’ not a good idea and one that I am fond of at all.

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One of the motives for introducing technological advancements being bad (increased connectivity), the other motive is not so bad, increased sustainability. This is sensible. Though I am not particularly fond of the sensible, I think it is important to take into account sustainability. The car avoids hotspots of traffic, reducing the amount of time on the road, and therefore the CO2 emissions. The car also alerts the driver to emergency vehicles nearby as to make things easier for the respective drivers of said vehicles, this is a feature I like.

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There are no great advances under the bonnet announced. A one litre, three cylinder petrol engine is expected. Another point worth making is practicality – I can’t see parking in a busy supermarket car park an enjoyable task with those gull-wing doors. This is almost irrelevant, however, as the Monza is really about what to expect in the future, and it is evident Vauxhall are keen to get this point across. So, overall, I like the Monza. Partly for it’s technological advancements (though I dislike some of these), but mostly for the stunning looks and what it stands for in terms of future cars.

Onto the weird, the Citroen C4 Cactus. I am undecided on this car, on one hand I love this simplistic and minimalist design, one the other hand I am slightly irritated by the whole ‘bump’ thing. These pockets of air-filled rubber are seen on the front and sides of the car, and are designed to protect the car from everyday bumps and scrapes – so if you are looking for a first car for your son or daughter, look no further. The whole idea seems a bit moronic, though. It’s like walking around in a full-face helmet and fireproof suit on wrapped in chain mail. The chances of you being stabbed and set on fire while simultaneously banging your head are slim, just like if you are a good driver, the chances of you crashing or a bumping your car are slim. I think it isn’t really about practicality but more making the car unique, and there is nothing wrong with that at all.

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“Comfort is at the heart of what Citroen is all about,” Mark Lloyd, the designer of the Cactus told us. I have to agree, too. Comfort and piece of mind is important in a car, just as important as the engine, or the looks if you ask me. Alas, whether you are looking to be safe from scratches and scrapes or you are looking to turn heads on the street, this car could be the one for you, (this car is very economical too, with a fuel economy “in excess of 94mpg.”, this car is looking to be a favourite for city goers.)

At last, we reach the woeful. I use the term lightly however, as I am talking about the absolute monster that is the Brabus B63S-700. Brabus have worked on the Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6, adding 154 bhp and making it look a lot scarier. Though I find the danger-screaming red and black trim rather dashing, I would find it more so if it were on a less ludicrous machine. I cant find a reason as to why anyone would need a 6×6 690 bhp 5.5 litre car. Unless of course you were tasked with towing the earth to another solar system,or something. The first word that pops into my head when I see this machine is ‘unnecessary’, and this makes me feel like an old man. I therefore find myself reminding myself that this is only a bit of fun, but a very expensive bit of fun, estimated at over £350 000.

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If you needed something practical and powerful, why not go for a Land Rover. Or if you wanted something flashy with that much power why not go for a Ferrari or something, I know I’d rather have a 458 Speciale over this, and I know that I would have money left over for all of the speeding tickets I would inevitably get. Another thing I know is that the 458 Speciale doesn’t have a top speed of 100 mph, and doesn’t do 0-60 in 7.2 seconds. So what are you paying for? To look like an idiot and be a complete nuisance in rush hour traffic, is what.

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This is a little snippet, a view of the extremes of the Frankfurt Motor Show this year, if you will. I think it is safe to say, though, that I wouldn’t own any of these cars if I had the money. I wouldn’t drive the Monza because of the unnecessary technological advancements it features. I wouldn’t drive the Citroen, purely because I would live in fear of someone asking me what I drove, and I would have to reply “The Cactus.”. And I wouldn’t drive the Brabus because of the fact it looks like something you would explore new worlds with, I could mistake it for a stylish Mars Rover.

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