While major cities like Geneva, Paris, Frankfurt and Detroit have had the honour of unveiling some of the biggest new cars at their respective motor shows, London and the UK as a whole has been left out in the cold.
For some time, the closest thing to a UK-based international motor event was the Goodwood Festival of Speed – a brilliant weekend of spectacular cars, but not quite the same as what Switzerland and the other big-hitting European countries were offering.
In the past, of course, there was the British International Motor Show, which whimpered out in 2008 as a result of the economic downturn as well as an ill-advised and hastily reversed relocation away from the capital to Birmingham in 2004.
However, the tides changed direction in 2016 with the inaugural London Motor Show. You could view it as the resurrected British International Motor Show, returning under a more regionally specific name that locked it to London, essentially forbidding a repeat of past mistakes.
Although it lacked any huge new car reveals, the show was enough of a hit to warrant a reprise in 2017 ahead of the first weekend in May.
Staged within Battersea Park between Thursday 4th and Sunday 7th May, the event showcased more than 130 new vehicles from 41 manufacturers and dealerships, amongst them four UK debuts: the Alpina B4 S, David Brown Mini Remastered, Kahn Vengeance Volante and the MG XS.
Jaguar Lightweight E-Type
1 of only 6 ‘missing six’ Lightweight E-Type’s and it belongs to car dealers, Stratstone. The Lightweight E-Type appeared at the London Motor Show as part of Stratstone’s promise to exhibit the timeless sports car, as well as taking part in various motorsporting events throughout the UK and Europe, including Le Mans to fulfill its original racing heritage.
We would like to send a special thanks to Stratstone for their invitation, which made it possible for us to attend the event and feast our eyes on the beautiful E-Type and all that the London Motor Show had to offer. To see more on Stratstone’s Lightweight E-Type, head over to www.stratstone.com/jaguar/e-type/
BMW Alpina B4 S
The Alpina B4 S takes BMW’s already-stonking 4 Series as a base before cranking everything up to 11 to create the world’s fastest production diesel car.
Style, comfort and efficiency are all amended but most notably, performance with power output boosted from 410bhp in the standard 4 Series to 434bhp.
Along with a torque upgrade of 60Nm (now 660Nm), it can now take care of the benchmark 0-60mph sprint in under four seconds with a top speed of 190mph.
Prices start from £58,950 for the coupe or you could go for the convertible for £62,950.
MG used its stand at the London Motor Show to unveil its new compact SUV. Due to go on sale before the end of the year, the XS is MG’s attempt at a competitively priced, family-friendly compact SUV.
It will be available with a choice of two engines with automatic or manual transmissions, but actually useful information like engine size, performance, fuel economy, equipment and price won’t be confirmed until later this year. We can hardly wait…
The David Brown Mini Remastered has already been covered in depth here, but in case you missed that, this is what Mini purists have been after ever since the car was reborn under BMW ownership as little more than a reskinned 1 Series.
Alright so perhaps that was a little harsh but what David Brown is offering here is a lot more in-line with what classic Mini fans want.
Each Mini Remastered is hand-built in the UK, taking around 1,000 man hours to produce and boasting a bespoke chassis, body and interior.
Such is the attention to detail, the car is powered by a fully reconditioned 1,275cc engine and reworked four-speed manual gearbox to ensure it boasts all the qualities of a classic Mini.
Only 100 models will be built and as you’d expect, asking price is steep: around £50,000.
The Hot Doggin Hot Rod
Any unimpressed attendees tempted to diss the event as “a Mickey Mouse motor show” probably wouldn’t be far wrong. That’s because on display was the Disney mascot’s new Roadster Racer from a new animated series suitably titled ‘Mickey and the Roadster Racers’.
Mickey’s roadster, which has the official name ‘The Hot Doggin Hot Rod’ (does the Mouse House know about ‘dogging’?), measures 2.4 metres in length and required the efforts of eight engineers over 12 weeks to build.
Although some manufacturers opted against booking stand space at the London Motor Show, the attendance of certain motor groups and dealerships meant that they were still represented at the event.
This was the case with luxury dealer group H.R. Owen, who brought along a limited-edition Lamborghini Huracán Avio, Rolls-Royce Dawn, Bentley Mulsanne, Range Rover Sport SVR, BAC Mono, Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge, Maserati Levante, Ferrari GTC4 Lusso, Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Aventador S.
Overall, the show has been widely deemed to have been an improvement on its debut event in 2016, with twice as many UK debuts, more exhibitors and greater visitor numbers. It will almost certainly be back in 2018…