It’s unfortunate that the British Motor Show is only every two years, as the ExCeL location in the London Docklands is a fabulous venue. This year’s event will play host to more than 20 world debuts, the most interesting we know about listed here in alphabetical order.
Alfa Romeo MiTo
The Alfa Romeo MiTo may be one of the smallest cars making its world debut in London, but its styling punches way above its weight, drawing influence from Alfa’s own 8C Competizione supercar, as well as from some of the most beautiful sportscars in Alfa’s history.
Alfa’s designers have managed to squeeze the sporty styling around the mechanicals of Fiat’s Grande Punto, so the new MiTo will compete head-to-head with the MINI. If the hype surrounding the car is to be believed, the MiTo should also challenge the MINI’s renowned driving appeal, with several innovations planned for the model in time, including a system called Alfa DNA, which alters the engine, brakes, steering, suspension and even the gearbox according to different settings. We don’t think buyers will care about that once they’ve seen the new MiTo.
Ford Fiesta ECOnetic
Not a lot is known about the new Fiesta ECOnetic, but we have been told that the greenest version of the all-new Fiesta supermini will make its debut in London boasting an official CO2 figure of less than 100g/km.
Judging by the new Focus and Mondeo ECOnetic models, we expect to see the Fiesta version riding lower than the regular models (also making their debut on UK soil) on low rolling resistance tyres. The body is likely to feature a few aerodynamic tweaks too, as are the gearbox and engine, the latter thought to be a low capacity turbodiesel. With more and more countries adopting CO2-based taxation, and the London congestion charge possibly going that way too, there has never been a better time to release this car.
Ford Focus RS
In some ways, the fire-breathing Focus RS is the antithesis of the Fiesta ECOnetic, though innovation first proven on high-performance cars often paves the way for improved efficiencies further down the range. Not that most show goers will be asking how much CO2 the new range-topping Focus emits.
Instead, they’ll want to know more about the 276bhp 2.5-litre turbocharged engine and the sophisticated limited slip differential that helps the front wheels deploy all that power. We’ll be wondering the same.
Lotus ‘Project Eagle’
It’s incredible that Lotus has managed to keep its new flagship car so secret for this long. It’s openly called the ‘Project Eagle’ yet we haven’t a clue what badge the new sportscar will wear and it makes its world debut in London.
We do know that Lotus will deploy its own sophisticated chassis technology design for the first time in the new car and it is likely to be powered by a Toyota V6 engine. Other than that, we believe the new car will seat four people and cost around the £50,000 mark. But hey, much of this is speculation! One thing is for sure: the Lotus stand will be packed at the London Show.
Although the current Vauxhall Vectra is one of the duller cars in its class, its replacement – to be called Insignia – is already causing a huge stir, with massive interest in the new Mondeo rival. A quick glance at the first official pictures shows why too, as the Insignia is a cracker.
Vauxhall – and its European counterpart, Opel – is using the London show to give the Insignia its world debut, so expect a busy Vauxhall stand.