DB BLOG: Cool Classic German Cars

July 2018

It’s an exciting time for ARES DESIGN. We’re inviting the world’s media to come and take an exclusive look inside our state-of-the-art, 15,000 square metre production facility in Modena – and I can’t wait to show it off!

It’s an exciting time for ARES DESIGN. We’re inviting the world’s media to come and take an exclusive look inside our state-of-the-art, 15,000 square metre production facility in Modena – and I can’t wait to show it off!

With the Frankfurt Motor Show taking place this week – an event which always promises some exciting reveals – I thought I would take the opportunity to run through what I think are the coolest German cars of all time. Let me know if there’s any you think I’ve missed!

World-renowned for their build quality and driver-focused nature, Germany produces some of the world’s finest cars. For a German car to be cool however, it must offer something special.


BMW E30 M3

Produced in large numbers in the 80s and 90s, the standard E30 is instantly recognised by its twin, circular headlights and angular body style. Popular with ambitious executives in its heyday, the rewarding E30 has built up a cult following over the years, especially in high-performance, flared-arch M3 specification. The iconic M3 models featured a motorsport-derived four-cylinder engine along with uprated brakes, suspension and lightweight panels to back up its hugely successful career in motorsport.

Mercedes-Benz 500 E

Based on the W124 four-door sedan, Mercedes collaborated with Porsche in the early 1990s in order to create the 500 E. Hand-built by Porsche at its Zuffenhausen plant, the 500 E is powered by a 5.0-litre V8 that produces 322bhp and 480Nm of torque – sourced from the 500 SL roadster. Often referred to as a true ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ by the motoring press, this early executive performance car is widely considered as one of the coolest Mercedes models ever made.


Audi RS2 Avant

Responsible for kick starting the performance estate segment, Audi’s limited edition RS2 was also the product of a partnership with Porsche. Based on the humble Audi 80 estate, but fitted with Audi’s Quattro permanent four-wheel drive system and inline five-cylinder 20-valve turbocharged engine, it could out accelerate virtually anything from 0-30mph in 1995 – including McLaren’s mighty F1!


Porsche 928 GTS

At its launch in 1978, the front-engined Porsche 928 was destined to be the 911’s replacement, offering more power and greater long-distance ability than its rear-engined sibling. By 1992, the range-topping GTS model had arrived, featuring flared bodywork, bigger brakes and a mighty a 345bhp 5.4-litre V8. With the arrival of the Panamera in recent years, second hand values are now beginning to trend upwards. Is it cool, you bet!


Volkswagen Karman Ghia

Featuring very humble underpinnings from the air-cooled Beetle, Volkswagen’s 2+2 coupe features swooping body styling from Italian coachbuilder Ghia. Launched in 1955 and in production for more than 20 years (in both coupe and convertible form), it was a popular sight on the roads in the 60s and 70s. Offering great value today, few cars are cooler for the same money.

Mercedes-Benz SL Pagoda

One of the more collectable classic Mercedes-Benz models, the early SL two-door/two-seat convertibles are renowned for their classy styling, high build quality and comfortable ride. Offered as a convertible but with an optional, removable hardtop, (referred to as the ‘Pagoda’) it delivered performance that was impressive in the early 1960s. The fact that many of Hollywood’s elite chose the SL only added to its widespread kerbside appeal.