The London Motor & technology Show 2019
Our Intelligent Instructor team attended the London Motor & Technology Show with a view to getting hands-on with some of the cars we think will be considered by driving instructors over the next 12 months
The fact there has been no major motor show in the UK for 10 years now probably gives you a good picture of the current approach by major manufacturers towards these big flagship events. Take the Berlin, Geneva or Paris shows, these dwarf almost all the cross-brand conference shows in the UK combined! The dual-purposed title, whilst fairly reflective of the show, does give even those that didn’t attend a hint of the fairly broad and potentially confused nature of the exhibitors. There are little doubt petrolheads who love performance cars would be more than happy with the range of vehicles on display, with the likes of Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and Bentley showcasing some incredible hypercars.
My personal favourite was this incredible convertible Lamborghini Aventador
Or the Koenigsegg Agera
Or even the slightly more pedestrian
It wasn’t all pipedreams and bucket seats however………
Pick & Mix
To compliment these high-end supercars, local dealership groups bought some of their more affordable models. This included the likes of the Nissan Micra, recently voted the FirstCar ‘Car of the Year’ for 2019, the MG3 recently reviewed by us here at ii and the Citroen C4 Cactus. The latter having had a considerable facelift vs the launch model. Of course, the Cactus’s USP was the large distinctive Airbumps on the side of the car. There’s no doubt these we’re marmite, with the vast majority sitting in the hate camp. Even if you opted against the airbumps, you were left with a rather odd empty shape on the side of the car, which looked more like they’d been stolen than an optional extra you’d decided to leave off for fashion purposes. The new model has seen the airbumps shrink to just a small strip and look less imposing. The model has also been given a new grill, a more streamlined body, that whilst sounds unrealistic is almost Range Rover Velar-like in it’s curved and sleek lines. The interior as expected now has all the mod cons with the base ‘Feel’ model coming with a 7-inch touchscreen, DAB radio and a mirror screen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. The MG3 caught the eye and is, without doubt, an option driving instructors could consider.
It wouldn’t be 2019 without a collection of electric & hybrid vehicles, so here are a few we spotted:
And how about this all-electric motorcycle from the guys at Vos Motorcycles. Comparable to a 350cc petrol bike and capable of around 87mph top speed, so no slouch. Another few strange features include no clutch (it’s an auto) and a reverse gear!!
Wheeling & Dealing
Whilst representation in some form was there from most of the big brands it was clear the task of having a presence at the show had been passed to local dealer groups rather than manufacturers (with the exception of MG, Hyundai and a few others). Does this suggest a lack of appetite from the manufacturers or the increased potential for potentially localised dealer groups to extend their reach by investing in events? There’s plenty of evidence that points towards the buying journey for people is changing and more people are buying their vehicle online.
As expected, we encountered some familiar faces from the tech side including the team behind Theo, the intelligent black box type device which extends to a dash cam and gives the user complete control of their data. Another was the guys at Lightfoot, a driving aid, which using GPS, the cars onboard computer and other metrics to give you a measurement on driving quality. This includes voice prompts to help you focus. One of the surprise products was the Cabunga, a neat little inflatable which sits in between either the driver’s or passenger’s seat and the centre console. This tidy little device makes sure you’re phone, keys, coins etc. don’t slip out of your pocket and fall into the black hole which always seems to sit underneath the front seats of a car. This new product recently featured in the GrandTour and at just £12 for a basic pair, it’s a small investment that you’ll probably make back from those lost pound coins. We’re hoping to bring you more from the Cabunga team in the coming weeks.
In summary, it’s shows like this that really help re-enforce our love of just being around cars and it’s a good gauge on what the market looks like today. However, it left us wanting more and a little jealous of our friends across the pond and their large scale car shows. Has the large car show become a victim of the internet and the availability to see a huge range of vehicles at car supermarkets or even on the forecourt? Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like a new national conference is on the cards so I’d better get the request in for a ticket to Geneva 2020 now!