This year's Motorexpo got underway at Canary Wharf in London today. The free event, which runs until Sunday, features UK unveilings from manufacturers including Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, BMW, Mercedes and Chrysler
11 June 2012

UK unveilings from manufacturers including Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, BMW, Mercedes and Chrysler are among the highlights at Motorexpo, the annual car event which kicked off  in London’s Canary Wharf business district today.

The Jaguar XF Sportbrake – first shown to the public at the Geneva motor show – hits UK showrooms in autumn priced from about £35,000. The XF Sportbrake is identical to its saloon sibling from the B-pillars forwards, meaning the new model's engine range is likely to mirror the saloon’s. That means 2.2-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre V6 diesels will be offered alongside the normally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 petrol. While not yet confirmed, a hot XFR Sportbrake could join the XF range at a later date.

Also revealed for the first time in the UK, the all-new Mercedes-Benz A-class will be on UK sale in January of next year. The new BMW 1-series rival sits on the German car maker’s new MFA (modular front architecture) platform and will cost in the region of £24,000. 

Engines use a combination of turbocharging and direct-injection. Kicking off proceedings is a base 1.6-litre from Renault. Diesel offerings include two 1.8-litre units (with 107bhp in the A180 CDI and 134bhp in the A200 CDI). Also available is a larger 2.2-litre delivering 168bhp in the A220 CDI.

Meanwhile, BMW has also given its new 6-series Gran Coupe an airing in rain-soaked Canary Wharf. The entry-level 316bhp 640i is priced at £61,390, with the 640d - likely to account for the majority of sales – coming in at £63,900. The range tops with the £70,650 4.4-litre V8-engined 650i which will achieve 0-62mph in 4.6secs.

On Jeep’s stand, the firm is showcasing its 461bhp, 465 lb ft Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 for the first time in the UK. The hardcore 4x4 is limited to just 30 units and is available to order now at £58,995.

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The Chrysler 300C was another of key unveiling at Motorexpo. The new car is officially launched on June 14 priced at £35,995.

The new Kia Cee’d has made its first UK appearance, too. The new Cee’d – which is longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, but has the same long wheelbase – adopts the Peter Schreyer-designed lines of other recent Kias. The car also features the marque’s new 'Flex Steer' system for drivers to choose between Normal, Comfort or Sport steering modes.

Supercars on show at the Motorexpo include the Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari FF, F40 and Dino models, plus the McLaren MP4-12C and a glut of Aston Martins, including the revised V8 Vantage range.

UK tuning firms have also shown off their custom-built projects at the Motorexpo 2012. These include Richter Sport’s ABT R8 GTS and the JE Engineering 4.2-litre supercharged Zulu. Also of interest was the Doubleback campervan. The innovative model can double in length with the push of a button and costs almost £44k. 

Further show attractions include ‘driveme’ (where visitors can get behind the wheel of show stars) plus the Canary Wharf Race Room, where showgoers can compete to set the fastest lap time around a virtual version of the Paul Ricard Circuit.

Motorexpo runs until Sunday and is expected to attract 425,000 showgoers. Entry is free of charge and there are more than 250 vehicles to view.

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