Report by Chris Adamson on the latest Motor Show to be held in our capital city…
Battersea Park, bathed in spring sunshine, was the venue for the first all-new London Motor Show that showcased the best of British automotive design, engineering and pioneering work in road safety.
HRH Prince Michael of Kent officially opened the event and took the opportunity to try out the Stop the Crash automated braking system arranged by the research and test centre at Thatcham.
A report released by Euro NCAP in 2015 found that Autonomous Braking systems were responsible for a 38 per cent reduction in real-world rear-end crashes.
Prince Michael said that there had long been a need to have a national exhibition to demonstrate the achievements of the British motor industry and also to support the work on road safety in this country.
His views were backed up by Minister of State for Roads Andrew Jones MP who emphasised the importance of the motor industry to the domestic economy and the leading role the UK plays in promoting road safety.
Within the exhibition area itself there were 35 car brands and over 130 different models on display,from city runarounds to luxury limousines, and high performance supercars to alternative fuel vehicles.
Several vehicles were getting their UK debut, among them the new MG GS – the first sports utility from the famous British brand (for more about this new model, please click HERE).
The British designed SUV’s top specification model will be available with the option of a DCT gearbox, will come powered by a 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine and will be available in three different trim levels. It goes on sale in mid-June, when prices and full specification will be announced.
The wraps also came off an innovative, two-seater hydrogen cell powered car, developed and built in Wales. The Riversimple RASA, is a lightweight and highly efficient, “network” electric car powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology and the first road legal, engineering prototype.
Specialist sports car manufacturer Zenos Cars, based in Wymondham in Norfolk displayed its affordable lightweight sports car range, the E10 and E10S models with prices starting at £24,995.
Another eyecatcher was the Speedback GT from David Brown Automotive a modern interpretation of the Aston Martin DB series of which just 100 handcrafted examples are to be made.
From further a field the Mexican company VUHL showcased its new 05 model – a light-weight two-seater supercar designed for both road and track use. A power-to-weight ratio of 410 bhp/tonne means the 05 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 150 mph. UK prices for the VUHL 05 start at £59,995.
Also attracting visitors was the latest range of supercars from McLaren, the hybrid electric models from Tesla, the new Bentley SUV and a gorgeous collection of Aston Martins.
Outside the main exhibitions halls the entrance was dominated by Bloodhound SSC – the land speed record breaking project which aims to top 1,000mph. One of its predecessors, the 1920 350hp Sunbeam record breaker (the first to carry the Bluebird name), was to be found on the National Motor Museum stand.