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Techno-Classica 2013: Gallery of Volkswagen Group's exhibits

The largest of Essen's 20 halls were reserved for thee Volkswagen Group, which showed off cars from several of its collections including Autostadt and Audi Tradition. There were cars from Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, SEAT, Bugatti, Bentley and Lamborghini on display - but it was the more humble cars that generally attracted our attention

The biggest event within the group was the 50th birthday of the 911, but on the Porsche's stand, there were but four 911 models to demonstrate how the car has evolved over the years. One was a mid-Porsche Classic restoration - but overall, a disappointing display. Not that it mattered too much, as there were hundreds of 911s elsewhere in Essen. Other nice touches were Volkswagen's display of contrasting cars, and Skoda and SEAT's beautifully-kept examples of long-forgotten cars from their dim and distant past.

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The concept of a sporting Volkswagen Passat is a reasonably new phenomenon - with the first couple of generations proving worthy, but dull. But the Wolfsburg engineers did have a go at extending the Golf GTI theme, by installing that car's brilliant 1.6-litre fuel injected engine under the bonnet, mirroring the work already done on the Audi 80GTE.

The project came to nought, with the model now owned by Autostadt, a unique reminder of what might have been.

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