Busy times at AutoDrive UK Motor Promotions, hence I’m a bit late getting this review of the recent Confused.com London Motor Show up on the site. With more than 130 models available to view it turned about to be well worth attending. Good to see specialist upmarket used retailers and classic car dealers attending too.
With several UK car launches and many motoring related business taking part in this year’s show there was plenty to see at Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park. The latest version of Chinese-backed London Taxi Company’s admired and instantly identifiable TX4 black cab was showcased within its own dedicated area within the entrance hall of Battersea Evolution. An electric version is due very soon!
For me, show highlights included the unveiling of Nissan’s all-new Micra supermini by the team at South London’s Ancaster Nissan, the reveal of the all-new MG XS compact SUV by MG Motors UK available later this year and the world debut of the plush Mini Remastered by David Brown Automotive. Based on the original Mini, this little jewel has been extensively reworked to better suit modern motoring conditions. Just 25 examples will be built so exclusivity is assured.
In the Luxury Pavilion, one of the country’s leading prestige automotive retailers brought several exciting exotics to this year’s event. H.R. Owen displayed the Lamborghini Aventador S, Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge, BAC Mono, Maserati Levante SUV, Bentley Bentayga and Ferrari GTC4 Lusso. Rival luxury car retailer, Stratstone, brought the latest models in the Aston Martin range, including the gorgeous new DB11!
Classics At The London Motor Show
Over on Stratstone’s ‘Classics’ stand, an assortment of rare and historic vehicles were displayed, amongst which was one of the ‘Missing Six’ Jaguar Lightweight E-Types. As part of a racecar project in February 1963, Jaguar had intended to make 18 Special GT E-types. However, of the 18 planned, only 12 were ever built. Chassis numbers 13 to 18 remained missing up until 2014, when their discovery led to Jaguar Land Rover’s new Special Vehicle Operations division’s Jaguar Classic starting modern-day production.
Excitement For Petrolheads
Specialist automotive tuner, Liberty Walk, pulled off the covers of their customer-built McLaren 650S causing much excitement throughout the hall, while nearby, Clive Sutton presented his new, bespoke 800hp Mustang CS800 which thrilled the petrolheads amongst us. Clive Sutton and his team have worked with Ford over in the United States in order to bring this truly fantastic version of the Mustang to market.
The Mustang CS800 incorporates a whipple supercharger, larger intercooler, new fuel injectors, a bigger throttle body and an entirely new exhaust system to raise its power output to over 800hp. With its head turning styling, Sutton’s new Range Rover Sport also helped to attract crowds to the stand.
Greater Variety For 2017
Other manufacturers attending the show this year included Infiniti, Tesla, Caterham Cars and SsangYong who represented themselves, Land Rover, Jaguar and Skoda courtesy of Lookers, Alan Day brought Volkswagen while Sytner presented both the MINI and BMW ranges along with specialist Alpina, featuring the astonishing B4 sports saloon.
TW White of Surrey, London and Kent brought Mazda and small specialist Japanese maker Mitsuoka to the event, Evans Halshaw featured Vauxhall, Porsche Centre West London displayed a stunning array of models from the German manufacturer while Motor Village of Croydon brought Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Jeep.
Jemca showcased the latest Toyota and Lexus models, Ancaster brought along Hyundai in addition to Nissan while West Motor Company displayed selected models in Mitsubishi’s range, including the highly-successful Outlander PHEV hybrid electric SUV.
London Morgan of Kensington’s stand attracted many keen showgoers and specialist American car importer Clive Sutton showcased cars from American brands Chevrolet, Dodge, Cadillac and, of course, that amazing Ford Mustang CS800.
The New Alpine 110 – A Personal Favourite
A personal favourite of mine was the pretty Alpine 110 from France. In a recent press release to promote awareness of its new sports car, Alpine wrote ‘Combining the timeless Alpine principles of light weight, agility and performance, this mid-engined two-seater sports coupe is true to the spirit of its predecessors and in particular the A110 ‘Berlinette’.’
The new car will be built in the Alpine factory in Dieppe and deliveries will start late 2017 in Continental Europe. Deliveries in the UK and Japan will start in 2018.’ I’m looking forward to that!
In summary then, while The London Motor Show is so much smaller than the gigantic events of old held at Earls Court and at Birmingham’s NEC, it is, without doubt, a very welcome addition to the UK’s motoring calendar. It seems more manageable for many show visitors than the vast events held elsewhere at, for example, Frankfurt, Geneva and Paris.
Personally though, I hope the London Motor Show eventually grows to become one of Europe’s largest. After all, this country has the second largest car market in Europe. So don’t we deserve a big show? I think so.