Once one of the leading motorsport shows in Europe, where major and specialist manufacturers introduced all the cars and parts for the new season, the Essen Motor Show has over the last few years changed to follow the latest trends. The main motorsport represented during the 2014 edition apparently was drifting, while even major tuning companies like Brabus decided to skip the show where they traditionally featured very prominently. In order to appeal to an audience as broad as possible, the organisation did invite a number of classic car dealers, looked ahead to the 80th anniversary of Jaguar's first foray into racing and also offered a Formula 1 history lesson with a display of two dozen F1 cars.
As always, our photographers ventured through the vast Messe Essen to capture all the highlights. It took some effort but the result of their venture is this colourful 100-shot gallery
One of the highlights of this year's Essen Motor Show was a line-up of show and concept cars produced during the last couple of years. Confusingly, these cars were not shown on a single display but instead spread over almost all halls in small groups. A large number of the show cars were from the hand of Franco Sbarro and his Espera design school. These ranged from a very slippery three-wheeled 'Aero' motorcycle to a modern take on the Bugatti Type 41 Royale, powered by a humungous sixteen-cylinder engine. Also on display, but not really a show car anymore, was the Zenvo ST1. Hailing from Denmark and first announced back in 2009, the ST1 entered production in 2012. The mid-engined sports car is powered by a V8 engine equipped with a turbocharger and a supercharger. These help boost the power to a hefty 1,104 bhp, while the maximum torque is a staggering 1,430 Nm.
Celebrations and further news
Featured prominently in the hall reserved for the classic car dealers was a display previewing Jaguar motor sport's 80th anniversary in 2015. Among the cars on display were an early SS 100 Jaguar, the very first D-Type, the 1988 Le Mans winning XJR-9 and the latest F-Type Roadster. Skoda, one of the few manufacturers still present, looked ahead to the future with a design study of the upcoming Fabia R5 rally car. Based on the next generation Fabia, it has very big shoes to fill as its predecessors ranks as one of the most successful S2000 cars ever built. Across the isle, Mercedes-Benz celebrated their dominance of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship as well as the company's long single seater heritage. Displayed side-by-side were the W154 that dominated 75 years ago and the most recent W05 raced so successfully by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Two W196s also headed the F1 display and the all-new Mercedes-AMG GT made its German debut.
Officially opened by German motorsport veterans Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Norbert Haug, the 2014 Essen Motor Show had a hugely successful opening weekend. In the first three days close to 130,000 spectators ventured to the Messe Essen exhibition centre. It shows that the Essen Motor Show is moving in the right direction, even though it is perhaps not our direction.