London Motor Show preview: in pictures

London Motor ShowFrom the 5th to the 8th May 2016, the Battersea Evolution Centre will play host to The London Motor Show. What can you expect to see on the banks of the River Thames? Allow us to reveal all.

Will you need an umbrella?

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Given this is a British motor show, the first question is inevitably: will you need an umbrella at the London Motor Show? Well the organisers promise that 80% of the show is under cover, with exhibits inside the auditorium or outside on the parade forecourt. So you can probably leave the umbrella at home.

How many cars can we expect to see?

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The latest figures suggest you can expect to see over 130 models from 35 different car brands, some of which will be making their London debut. The show also includes a test drive circuit, so you can play cars until your heart’s content. Or until a well-dressed person orders you to stop.

OK, so give us some names

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The most recent additions include Dodge, McLaren, Lotus and TVR, as they join an eclectic mix of cars, ranging from Vauxhall to Vuhl and Fiat to Ferrari. The organisers suggest that you’ll need around 1hr 40mins to see the entire show.

Will the Riversimple RASA be there?

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Now that you mention it, yes, the innovative two-seater hydrogen fuel cell car driven by us earlier in 2016 will be at the London Motor Show. Visitors can expect to see the first road-legal, engineering prototype of the Riversimple RASA, which is built in Welsh Wales.

What if I’m more interested in a £60,000 trackday car?

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Good news, because Bespoke Performance will be showcasing the Vuhl 05 lightweight supercar. The £59,995 trackday warrior is powered by Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine, which produces 285hp to give a 0-62 time of just 3.7 seconds.

Shame the Land Rover Defender won’t be there

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Wait, all is not lost. Production of the Land Rover Defender may have come to an end, but that doesn’t mean you should stay at home. Afzal Kahn has been commissioned to design a one-off bespoke version of the iconic Land Rover – the self-proclaimed Ultimate Defender.

Here’s one Kahn made earlier

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Kahn is no stranger to bespoke versions of the Land Rover Defender and here’s one from the past: the so-called Flying Huntsman. Afzal Kahn is asking the British public to have their say on what additional features would complement the new Ultimate Defender. Use the hashtag #UltimateDefender, but keep your tweets clean. Unlike the Defender. You can make that dirty.

OK, but what if I fancy a Mazda MX-5 that looks like a Morgan?

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You’re in luck, because TW White & Sons will be hosting the European launch of the Mitsuoka Roadster. This Japanese-built roadster is based on the Mk3 Mazda MX-5 and has the look of a sports car created following an illicit romance between a classic Jaguar and a Morgan.

So it’s a Jorgan? Or possibly a Maguar?

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No, it’s definitely a Mitsuoka Roadster. More specifically, TW White & Sons – the exclusive distributors – will be showcasing their limited edition Mitsuoka ‘Brooklands’ Roadster (not pictured). Don’t pretend you’re not intrigued. If this really isn’t your thing, the dealer group is also promising to showcase a few regular Mazda models.

Let’s be having you? Anything from Norfolk?

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We’ve already told you Lotus will be at the London Motor Show, but Hethel’s finest will be joined by… er… Wymondham’s finest. Zenos will be showcasing the £26,995 E10 and £32,995 E10 S. The S is powered by Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine, helping to propel the manic trackday car to 60mph in 4.0 seconds.

Anything relatively normal?

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A bespoke Defender, an Oriental Morgan-alike and a Norfolk track car, is there anything for the common man or woman? Most certainly, but you can wander down to your local supermarket car park to see those cars. Why not take a look at the BMW i8, which will be the star attraction on Sytner Canary Wharf’s display of BMWs and MINIs.

What about the best car… in the world?

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Fear not, because the organisers of the World Car of the Year Awards are promising to put the Mazda MX-5 on a pedestal at the London Motor Show. World Car Awards director, Mike Rutherford, said: “Motorists will be able to see a very special version of the car exhibited in London.” We don’t think he’s referring to the Mitsuoka.

What if I’m bored of seeing cars?

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Then we’d politely suggest that you’re looking at the wrong event. May we suggest something like the Ideal Home Show. Or the London Boat Show? But we appreciate that celebrities are a major draw for some, so who can you expect to see at the London Motor Show?

Sir Stirling Moss

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Well, “the greatest driver never to win the World Championship” will be there. That’s Sir Stirling Moss OBE, in case you didn’t realise.

The driver formerly known as the Stig

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That Ben Collins chap, best known for outing himself as a former Stig, will also be there.

Tiff Needell

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The London Motor Show president, Tiff Needell, will also be making an appearance. Expect tyre smoke. Probably.

Food, glorious food

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If the chance to see Tiff isn’t sufficient enough to whet your appetite, the London Motor Show is keen to let you know you can eat in Big Al’s Cafe or the Smart Restaurant. Expect Hot Road Dogs, Wheel Burgers and Safety Salads. We kid you not.

Seriously, can we get back to matters of an automotive nature?

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We’ll be honest, this talk of celebrities and food isn’t really doing it for us, so allow us to tell you that a full size model of the Bloodhound Super-Sonic Car (SSC) will be on display, along with the chance to meet the team behind the project.

Talking of rather quick vehicles

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Fans of historic cars are in for a treat, with the London Motor Show playing host to the Sunbeam 350HP: the former land speed record breaking car and the fourth Bluebird. Other historic vehicles are promised by the organisers.

When does the London Motor Show get underway?

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The trade and press day takes place from 3pm to 6pm on 5th May, followed by an evening viewing from 7pm to 10pm. General admission is from 10am to 6pm on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th, followed by 10am to 5pm on Sunday 8th.

How much does it cost?

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General admission tickets cost £15, with children under 11 going free (two per full paying adult). Check the London Motor Show website for more ticket information. We’ll be there to bring you the latest news from the event, so check back on Motoring Research from next week.

Has an unhealthy obsession with cars of the 80s and 90s. Doesn’t really do supercars. Not a huge fan of sports cars. But loves the undervalued and the underwhelming.

Is probably a bit strange.

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