Get ready for show­time

Bri­tish Mo­tor Show’s move to Lon­don makes it eas­ier for Scots vis­i­tors

The Herald Business - - Art In Business -

WITH less than a month to go the guess­ing game has started as to which new cars will re­ceive their world pre­miers at the re­vamped Bri­tish Mo­tor Show.

The show has moved from Birm­ing­ham to Lon­don’s Ex­Cel Arena, in Dock­lands, and seen its pres­tige greatly en­hanced.

The new venue is also eas­ier for Scot­tish vis­i­tors to get to, with flights di­rectly into City Air­port or any of four other air­ports. There are also straight­for­ward con­nec­tions from trains to cen­tral Lon­don.

The move to Dock­lands has prompted some man­u­fac­tur­ers that snubbed the Birm­ing­ham event, like BMW, to re­think.

And the Ger­mans are plan­ning a spec­tac­u­lar stage set to show off its range. BMW is build­ing an 11,000sq me­tre arena which will in­clude new model de­buts (in­clud­ing from Rolls-Royce).

One of the stars of that par­tic­u­lar show will be the Mini, the Bri­tish-built icon which con­tin­ues to set an as­ton­ish­ing pace in the sales charts.

There will be a Mini GP spe­cial edi­tion and the Bri­tish de­but of the Mini Trav­eller con­cept and an op­por­tu­nity to bat­tle “aliens” from be­hind the wheel.

Rolls Royce, BMW’s other Bri­tish mar­que, will also have its 101EX Phan­tom coupe con­cept at the show.

But the big­gest mys­tery sur­rounds a new model that BMW is promis­ing to un­veil at the show. Pun­dits are pre­dict­ing any­thing from a hard­core sports car to a hy­brid peo­ple car­rier.

There is also spec­u­la­tion about the pos­si­ble de­but of the new Land Rover Free­landeri n Lon­don. It will be larger in ev­ery di­men­sion than the cur­rent ve­hi­cle. The new model is a bit more up­mar­ket than its pre­de­ces­sor. Even if it doen not put in an ap­pear­ance, there will be much to see on the Land Rover stand.

There are ex­pec­ta­tions of six global launches and an i mpres­sive line up of Euro­pean launches among the 200 mo­tor show ex­hibitors. One of the first man­u­fac­tur­ers to an­nounce its plans, Vaux­hall, will be un­veil­ing its new Corsa.

The Corsa is a joint de­vel­op­ment be­tween Gen­eral Mo­tors (Vaux­hall’s owner) and Fiat.

Other model launches will be an­nounced in the com­ing weeks. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on the show, which runs from July 20-30, log on to www.british­mo­tor­show.co.uk.

As well as all the launches there will be a range of interactive and out­door ex­pe­ri­ences, in­clud­ing Ad­ven­ture Is­land where vis­i­tors can en­joy 4x4 driv­ing through tube tun­nels, over rail tracks and wa­ter pipes.

There will be a nightly pro­gramme of con­certs with artists in­clud­ing Van Mor­ri­son, Roxy Mu­sic and Sim­ple Minds.

Show stop­pers: Ex­cit­ing ver­sions of the Mini are set to be a big at­trac­tion at BMW’s huge mo­tor show stand

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