2009 FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW: BMW Makes a Splash in Its New Hall at Frankfurt

BMW has a new home at the Frankfurt Motor Show: Halle (Hall) 11, a brand-new, huge modern showplace for the company's three brands: BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce. Coolest feature: the racetrack that circles the interior of the vast hall.

BMW made a big splash by opening the first press day of the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show with its press conferences at its stunning new hall, a modern edifice on the far edge of the vast IAA campus. Hall 11 allows the BMW Group to bring together its three main brands: BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce under one roof for the first time. The dramatically designed, multiple-level hall is ringed by an interior "racetrack" that rises above the main display floor. BMW kicked off this morning's press conference by driving its 1940 328 Mille Migloa Roadster, a 1950s Isetta bubble car, and the 525e from the early 1980s, all to emphasize the company's historic emphasis on aerodynamics and efficient design.

The rest of BMW's world debuts also circled the racetrack and zoomed in front of the audience: the BMW 5-series Gran Turismo, the X1 mini-crossover, the 320d EfficientDynamics Edition, which boasts the lowest CO2 emissions of any current BMW; the ActiveHybrid 7-series; and, the biggest news of the day, the Vision EfficientDynamics concept coupe.

With speeches by Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, and Klaus Draeger, member of the board in charge of R&D, the BMW Group was clearly very pleased with itself to be in this stunning new space. I don't blame them.

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