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2013 Frankfurt Auto Show: Audi does it Big

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Frankfurt, Germany - Nobody likes a show-off. Well, nobody who stands in the shadow of the one in the spotlight, that is.

Audi’s doing really well on a global scale. They hold their share of the blame for Volkswagen Auto Group’s (VAG) continued growth and success. In these tough economic times, especially in Europe where there is plenty of tension in the car market, VAG managed a 4.5% increase in overall deliveries (6.2 million so far), year-over-year, from January to August. In fact, of the projected 9 or so million sales for the group this calendar year, Audi will be responsible for at least a million of them. That’s big.

Audi likes it this way. It is, therefore, fitting that for the biggest auto show of them all, Audi would go correspondingly big. Of the 11 pavilions (14 in all, actually) of the Frankfurt Messe used for the 2013 IAA, Audi preferred to build their own. Yes, that’s right: They erected a temporary structure for the sole purpose of the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Audi's temporary pavillon
Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre

For most, that structure alone would be enough, but then they don’t compete with the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW, both of which have enormous pavilions in which they create mind-blowing displays with ramps, multiple levels, countless cars, and eye-popping shows.

Audi did it big, and their way.

The structure stands in the middle of the Agora of the Frankfurt Messe. Construction of Audi’s pavilion started in mid-July and was completed in seven weeks. The “building” features 2,300 sq. meters of mirrored surfaces, 150 kilometers of cable and has a total of 3,400 square meters of floor space. Also, it is white, imperial, and statuesque. Obviously, they didn’t stop there.

Audi's temporary pavillon
Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre

The interior features a stage large enough for five cars (there are three, including the stunning Sport Quattro Concept), a stand for an R18 with its latest trophy, a green carpeted section for three tron cars. The majority of the floor is dedicated to at least 10 other cars, graciously spaced apart from the new A3 cabrio to an R8 V10 spider and a 4.0T A8 L. Throw in a large boutique-style shop, numerous displays for engines, transmissions, and technologies and you only get half the picture.

The ceiling is the other half. With trees, buildings, screens, mirrors, and countless signs, it is essentially an upside down cityscape. Mental.

Then there’s the whole second floor with a gourmet restaurant, beautiful bathrooms, and tasteful elegant décor. All of which will be torn down by the time Fall officially arrives…

Yes, Audi does it big because they can. This manufacturer of hot-ass cars is currently enjoying fabulous amounts of attention and has become an incredibly desirable brand, one that many around the globe aspire to own. Why not boast and even be a little arrogant about it?

Audi's temporary pavillon
Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre