Autosport International, also known as ASI or The Racing Car Show, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
Since it was first held in 1991, it has traditionally brought together motorsport celebrities, gleaming new race and rally cars, industry movers and shakers and, latterly, high-performance road cars.
That tradition continues at Birmingham’s NEC on 8-11 January, with the opening two days dedicated to the industry – including Autosport Engineering and the new Low Carbon Racing and Automotive Show – before the show throws open its doors to the public on Saturday and Sunday.
There’s always plenty to see, but here are 10 good reasons to programme your car’s sat-nav to B40 1NT at the tail end of this week.
1 - Autocar display
The Lamborghini Huracán, Ferrari 458 Speciale, Vühl 05 and BMW i8 will form part of Autocar’s display at the Performance Car Show element of ASI. Autocar will also show off its collection of Britain’s Best Handling Cars in the Live Action Arena. The Mexican-built Vühl 05, now in production form, reprises its appearance in prototype form at ASI a couple of years ago.
2 - Go live in the arena
Autosport International’s 5000-seat arena, laid out within the NEC show halls, has gained infamy over the years due to its extremely slippery surface. While it is a challenge for competitors, though, it is great news for spectators, who get to watch all manner of tyre-smoking, oversteering action from the grandstands.
Confirmed for this year’s Live Action Arena are Formula Two short-oval stock cars, inaugural FIA world rallycross champion Petter Solberg in his Citroën DS3 and plenty of drifting, stunting and road-going performance cars, including some from Autocar’s own display stand.
3 - Most Radical
Radical will show its new SR8 RSX racing sports car at the show. The new model is priced at £131,940 and is powered by a 3.0-litre V8 engine that develops 440bhp at 10,500rpm along with 280lb ft at 7500rpm. No performance details have been revealed, but with a kerb weight of just 860kg, expect some blistering 0-62mph sprint times. The company will also reveal a go-faster version of its SR3, which takes the name SR3 RSX.
4 - Project Brabham on show
The bold plan to bring the famous Brabham name back to top-level motorsport via a crowd-funded project will be showcased at the ASI show. Led by Sir Jack’s youngest son, David, Project Brabham’s new approach intends to make motorsport more accessible, transparent and engaging to fans while allowing the team to be more self-sufficient.
Show-goers can learn more about the race programme, meet key members of the team and subscribe to the new project’s online experiences, Brabham-Fan, Brabham-Driver and Brabham-Engineer.
5 - Formula 1 grid
F1 Racing magazine, the world’s best-selling grand prix magazine, will once again assemble a full grid of Formula 1 cars at Autosport International.
Every team from the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship will be represented, so expect to see exhibits from the likes of Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Williams, Ferrari and McLaren. Over on the Autosport Central Stage, meanwhile, there will be the chance to hear Formula 1 stars of today and years gone by discuss their racing careers.
6 - More powerful Zenos