The 19th annual London Motorexpo at Canary Wharf fulfilled all of our expectations. World leading automotive brands showed off their superstar models in this corporate hub of the city. Being a free event, it allowed the general public to get up close and personal with some highly prized machinery.
This was big money cars in the modern white-collar, business heart of London.
We’ll kick off our review by starting with the BMW stand. This brand spanker M3 sporting a fetching baby blue hue looked the part. The intricate front bumper detailing topping off an aggressive look up-front.
Both the BMW M3 and its new coupe cousin the M4 feature a re-developed 431hp M Twin Power Turbo Six. With a few revs from the sales reps, this new powerplant doesn’t not disappoint in terms of sound. A snarling growl burbles from the quad pipes.
A business-like interior.
We think this is one of the best styled BMW coupe in recent times. It does look the complete package.
Looking very ‘back to the future’, the stand-out machine on the BMW stand was the plug-in i8.
The innovative i8 features a transverse mid-mounted 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine that drives the rears through a six-speed auto. A small electric motor acts as a starter motor but can also plug any gaps in the engine’s power delivery.
The front axle is driven separately by an electric motor and two-speed gearbox to create a car of incredible flexibility and complexity.
The i8 is constructed from carbon meaning lightweight, the interior features recyclable materials.
Its a very low-slung body. The scissor doors allow for easy access for its 2+2 occupants. Could this be the supercar of the future?
Next up we are serving up some delectable delights from Rolls Royce. This elusive wraith was exquisite in its detailing and body lines. The subtle two-tone duco a perfect match for this grand Mayfair tourer.
The Wraith is powered by a 6.6 litre twin tubo charged V12. Delivering a mammoth 624 bhp with 800 NM of torque- 0-100 in a handsome 4.6 seconds.
The Wraith was accompanied by a more familiar limousine.
British in every sense of the word, every Rolls-Royce is still proudly built by hand at Goodwood.
There was a number of slightly used AMG cars on display including some tasty C63 AMG up for grabs for lucky buyers.
These will be a future classic.
Test cars from most vehicle manufacturers were on hand if you were a serious buyer. No tyre kickers wanted here though.
Bentley a bit like Rolls, isn’t a car maker for rapid change.
Evolution over revolution. With a virtually unchanged exterior the Continental GT V8 S features a new 4.0 litre V8.
Those rear quarter lines never look tired.
On to electric power once more. The Tesla Model S drew lots of attention. With its 85KW battery power is silently scoots to 100 in 4.2 seconds.
A spacious front end luggage compartment would easy swallow a set of golf clubs.
A large sat-nav and multi-media display is the centre point of a thoroughly minimalist interior.
On to the Italian Stalions of Maserati. We were impressed by the Ghibli.
Available in a petrol or diesel V6, it fills the void as a more affordable and compact version of the Quattroporte.
In typical Maserati fashion it exhibits an understated elegance.
Very similar to the GranTurismo in appearance, the GranCabrio is the brand’s first convertible to seat four in comfort.
The best part of Motorexpo was the taste testing. Being able to sit in most of the cars on show waa a huge thrill. For some its not everyday that you have the opportunity to sit and dream about this high priced exotica.
Jaguar had a strong presence with a proliferation of gorgeous F-type coupes on display.
A contrasting display of fresh white and black F’s sat outside the entrance of the Motorexpo sites.
One of the most rakish rear ends in the marketplace.
The aggressively shaped headlights work perfectly on the front end.
There’s not much beige in the current Jaguar range. Its clear to see that owners Tata have really put the claws back into the brand and allowed its designers some freedom to produce cars that are fun and inspiring.
Like the original ‘E’ type- we think the coupe is the better looker than the roadster.
While the F-type’s sublime exterior doesn’t disappoint we were a little let down by the inside. When you sit inside it just doesn’t feel that special. Compared to its German rivals, the slab sided dash and steering wheel are more grand tourer than sports car. Inside it feels a lot bigger than it really is.
Now this is one cat that doesn’t want to be domesticated. The XFR-S features a 5 litre 550 Supercharged V8. The Ultra Blue sets this beastly wagon off brilliantly. As does the 405KW, 680Nn on tap in this rear wheel drive wagon of fun.
The classy blue-stitching details compliment the well-executed exterior.
We never tire of quad exhausts, especially from the rear of a Jaguar.
The XJ R is another cat to salivate for.
The XJ R’s figures are certainly impressive: 542bhp is produced from the all-aluminium, quad-cam 5.0-litre V8 with Rootes-type, twin vortex supercharger.
On the ground floor of One Canada Square was an Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula One.
The very car that Sebastian Vettel raced to victory in the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Lotus was celebrating its involvement in F1 at Motorexpo.
With more than 475 Grand Prix starts, 81 victories and 7 world championships.
Lotus is a car maker, that’s always stayed true to its founding principals. Minimal weight, perfect balance – true driver’s cars.
With the Exige LF1 Limited Edition there is no mistaking its link to Lotus F1. Limited to 81 individually numbered cars to celebrate the Lotus F1 wins to date.
Tweaked suspension, AP race brakes, launch control plus further enhancements take this Exige to the next level.
The latest addition to the Elise range is the supercharged S model, delivering 217hp and 250 Nm of torque.
The regular Lotus Evora features a tuned 3.5 litre DOHC VVT-I 24 valve engine.
But this ‘S’ version delivers some forced induction to the Evora platform. With a power plant that produces 345 hp and 400 Nm of torque from its supercharged V6.
Aston Martin always manages to design and style the most elegant body lines. This was the case with a Vantage V12 S on display, along with a Vanquish Volante.
The exquisite detailing in these car’s fit and finish is second to none.
This is the V12 Vantage S, some 15kg lighter than the regular V12 Vantage.
With enhanced low and mid-range power this is the fastest series production model Aston has ever made.
Inside the Vantage S features red stitching highlights in an all grey affair.
Powered by the same V12 engine as the Vanquish, with an acceleration of 4.1 seconds and peak power of 573PS ensures this is the quickest accelerating Volante Aston Martin has ever produced.
The trusty powerforce of Aston’s V12 sitting pretty.
The body creases in the Vanquish set off this convertible beautifully.
This uber-cool McLaren 650S coupe was the ultimate attention seeker. With all options this one is priced at £244,000.
Powering this beast is a twin turbo 90 degree V8 capable of 678 NM of torque, 478 KW. The result; A max speed of 333kph.
The light-weight carbon fibre and aluminium mono-cell construction assists in a 0-100 time in a remarkable 3 seconds.
This is the Volvo V40 Rdesign. Every engine is offered as an R-Design model, right up to the 250bhp five-cylinder T5.
Volvo’s current range is pointing in the right direction- fun!
Pleasingly, Porsche was in attendance at Motorexpo.
With a earth-friendly 71 g/km of CO2, the Panamera E-Hybrid has excellent green credentials for its size and performance.
Yet this Panamera can still top 100 in 5.5 seconds.
The restyled Porsche Cayman is a neat little package. This Cayman GTS- 0-100 in less than 4.9 seconds.
The integrated spoiler lining up to the rear tail lights is a lovely detail.
With its squared off headlights, boxster is now a fresh-faced- with top on.
You get a real sports car feel when you sit inside.
The Carrera 4 Cabriolet, featuring all wheel drive interestingly has a light-weight electric hood that has components made from magnesium.
Yes. We have saved the best till last. The Lexus LFA was one of the stand outs of the show.The LFA with go all the way to an electronically limited 325 kmh. Going from 0-100 in 3.7 seconds.
Only 500 of these creations were built.
A 4.8 litre V10 supplies 552 horses. Interestingly 52% of the cars weight is over the rear axle- the radiators, battery and washer bottle are set to the rear of the car.
Body construction is aluminum, carbon-fibre and titanium. The car features an speed-activated rear wing. Its not surprising that the list price for this LFA was a cool £353,000. Despite the price tag its still pretty scrumptious.
Thanks so much for reading our coverage of Motorexpo. We hope we have given you a taste of the fine automotives on show.
Please share this article if you enjoyed it. Hang tight we’ve got coverage of the Brooklands Double Twelve on the way along with a full wrap up of the Goodwood Festival of Speed just around the corner.