Audi The new A4 Cabrio display had a mock rainstorm fall from the ceiling and surround the orange colored vehicle with flowers and lights. It was a major attraction. Despite this wonderful display, the Audi show car area situated in a hall with Lamborghini and Bentley was uneventful yet effective and tasteful. The A4 Cabrio with the current 3.0L engine is the top of the range for the moment, but in the near future an "S" model pushing more horsepower will become inevitable. The 6.0L W12 A8 boasted 420 bhp and every conceivable electronic aid imaginable. What stood out the most was the fact that no one else (besides Lamborghini) combines 12 cylinders with all wheel drive. In addition to this mind numbing engineering, a twin turbo V8 engine displayed in the Avantissimo Concept collected much attention. Hopefully, this 450 hp engine will appear soon in a production RS model. The Le Mans winning R8 was present in addition to an old classic Horch vehicle. Maybe Audi/VW is planning to revive this name a la Mercedes Maybach. Most impressive was the A2 and A3 lineup modestly priced with incredible quality and technology. Much applause goes to Audi for their vision. BMW Instead of having a giant hall all to themselves like Mercedes and VW, BMW built a two level portable structure that looked like, well, a huge canolli. I can assure you that inside there were some sweet rides such as the lightweight M3 CSL, 760 Li, and Alpina Z8. I was convinced ahead of time that I would not like the new 7 Series styling, but once I saw it in person, my opinion quickly changed. It combines unique styling with traditional and familiar design; subtle yet aggressive. The wheel arches are huge and look as though they could fit 22-inch wheels, if you would be so inclined. There is a coupe like silhouette to its roofline, which adds to its attractiveness. Inside the vehicle, "iDrive" interactive control display combines hundreds of functions and moves the gearshift lever for the ZF 6 speed automatic to the steering wheel column. Back seat drivers rejoice with the addition of "iDrive" available to rear passengers with their own separate controller and screen. Radar cruise control is now optional. The ignition key stores data for BMW's Condition Based Service (CBS). CBS allows for flexible servicing intervals based on actual vehicle conditions instead of mileage only service intervals. A dealer simply uses a Key Reader or accesses CBS using telematics. This way the dealer knows exactly what you may need, such as brake pads or air filtration filter and orders them in time for your appointment. What will they think of next? Rear level control can be combined with Electronic Damper Control (EDC) and Dynamic Drive's active (roll bars) stabilization system keeps the car level. Still not completely active which means no sway bars or springs, but until we have Germany's smooth roads everywhere, we will almost always see coil springs to help handle the bigger bumps. New engines use infinite control of double VANOS, VALVETRONIC, and intake manifold lengths. This helps insure big increases in horsepower and torque:
735i 272 bhp 265 lb-ft 0-60 7.2 155mph
745i 333 bhp 332 lb-ft 0-60 6.0 155mph
760Li 408 bhp 442 lb-ft 0-60 5.4 155mph (no limiter, 188mph)
745h 184 bhp Hydrogen 133mph (you can drink the exhaust)

Frankfurt International Auto Show 2001