Seven Reasons We Loved The 2018 Essen Motor Show
Photography and vehicle information by Jeroen Willemsen
With just over 130,000 attendees in its first weekend (and more than 360,000 in total over a nine-day span), you could say the Essen Motor Show is sort of a big deal. It gathers over 500 exhibitors together in the enormous Messe Essen in Essen, Germany, with displays of new products, autograph signings by famous automotive personalities, racing simulators, and of course incredible cars sprinkled throughout the show facility. We—like most journalists—have our favorites from the show; these seven vehicles, which appear in no particular order, are the examples we enjoyed.
1. This E9 3.0 CSL built by Bart at BCC Custom was a perfectly simple build that stuck with us. Equipped with an AirREX Bolt-On Strut Kit and Pressure Based Management, the supremely restored body was lowered to the ideal height over the wheels. There’s nothing outlandish about this build, just a good wholesome concept of a clean body, classic wheel design, and low ride height. Sign us up!
2. It’s no accident that Olli Grimme’s 2002tii has made its way around the internet, and now graced our website too. The beautiful black body rests atop an exceptionally-wide set of centerlock BBS Motorsport E50 wheels (complete with turbofans on one side). Similar to the E9 above, this car doesn’t have any flashy extra bits that claim attention. This 2002 is merely an overwhelmingly graceful execution of a classic style, and with those lust-worthy motorsport wheels crammed under the widened arches, it was instantly a favorite.
3. We move into this superbly-built 318is refinished in gorgeous Delphingrau paint. It’s equipped with a custom air ride suspension system using Koni shocks, a VIAIR compressor and 15-liter tank. The one-off air system helps lower the body and complete the stance flawlessly over its spotless 17-inch three-piece Carline CM2 wheels. To top it all off, deep in that tucked muted wrinkle-black engine bay sits a roots supercharger, which ups the authority of the four-cylinder powerplant substantially. We’re big fans of refined sedans and clean engine bays, and this one checks both of those boxes.
4. Okay, last BMW in this list, I promise—and pay no mind that it’s another E9, since Alex Steff’s E9 3.0 is simply on another level. This vintage BMW is anything but outdated. It’s tough to pull off black paint on an older chassis because time creates surface imperfections, but just like Olli Grimme’s 2002 above, this E9 shows off pristine black paint with nothing but class. The silver 18” BBS RS wheels contrast the stark pigment nicely, and complement the refinished chrome trim found around the body. It’s beginning to look like you can restore any old BMW and we’ll be a fan, but these two cars specifically were stunners.
5. I mean, wow. As the Stuttgart stable’s newest 911 treasure, the GT2 RS is a capable enough machine on its own, but this GT2 RS MR by Manthey Racing is the pinnacle 911 road car—and in this marvelous red paint, who could say no? Unless you haven’t been on the same Internet as I have recently, I’m sure you’ve heard about (or seen) the GT2 RS MR’s recent trip to the Nürburgring, where it clocked a record 6:40.3 lap time to become the fastest road-legal sports car around the fabled 12.8-mile-long German circuit. That’s right: road-legal sports car. You can just plate and register this car, then drive it around public roads after you’re done obliterating your local track’s lap record. It doesn’t look half bad either.
6. Continuing with the wild and crazy portion of the show, and stepping away from subtle and subdued, we had to highlight this crazy Lamborghini Aventador with one of 50 special-edition Liberty Walk widebody kits. It wasn’t built for someone to analyze the details in hopes of noticing the hours that went into it. It was built to make a statement on arrival—and make a statement it does. With its vibrant fluorescent paint, aggressive stature, and insanely low ride height, this car will make an entrance, no matter the destination. Quite simply, it’s another Liberty Walk masterpiece, courtesy of Wataru Kato.
7. We’ll finish off our favorites with the Novitec N-Largo widebody McLaren 720S, solely because this isn’t just another addition of exterior parts. Novitec takes it a couple steps further by implementing not only wider arches across the body, but also performance upgrades and suspension upgrades. Novitec is taking 15 examples of the sophisticated 720S and turning them into a wild McLaren Senna competitor, with performance to match. If that’s not enough, Novitec is said to currently be working on its own reimagining of the McLaren 600LT, and if the looks can match the company’s 720S, we’re on board!
That’s all I’ll say about this incredible event that ties together a budding aftermarket with the enthusiastic OEMs for an all-in-one automotive festival known as the Essen Motor Show. There’s so much more to see inside our gallery below, so take a look and enjoy.