London’s upmarket car show, Salon Privé, has kicked off at the Syon Park estate. The event runs from 3-5 September and features rarefied classics as well as modern exotica, including some cars being seen for the first time in public.
Highlights include the Concours d’Elégance on day one, the Salon Privé Sale auction at the end of day two, and the British Supercar Show on the closing day.
Two bespoke Italian supercars are among the most dramatic models on show. Using the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta as its base, the F12 TRS roadster was built to commission in-house at Maranello, and features an aggressively restyled exterior, a simplified cabin layout, 22-inch rear wheels and a bonnet window exposing its front-mounted 6.3-litre V12.
Even more transformative is the Gallardo LP570-4-based Lamborghini 5-95 Zagato, whose arresting carbonfibre body mixes sharp angles with smooth curves. The car celebrates 95 years of Zagato coachbuilding.
Like the 5-95, the aluminium-intensive Mini Superleggera Vision electric roadster made its debut at the Villa d’Este concours in Italy before arriving at Salon Privé. “Mini gave us the dimensions, but beyond that, we had design freedom. We have reinterpreted Mini DNA from an Italian point of view,” Touring Superleggera’s head of design, Louis de Fabribeckers, told us.
The concept previews an upcoming production model to take on the new Mazda MX-5.
Lister claims that nine of the 10 ‘Knobbly’ Lister Jaguar D-type continuation cars it has planned have now been sold, even though this is the car's public debut after the first example was completed last week. All sales have been for the £354,000 historic racing trim rather than the £366,000 road-going specification.
Though representatives on the firm’s show stand say a previously mooted modern Lister is still a possibility, the company will now focus on a continuation series of the later ‘Costin’ Lister Jaguar.
Another historic Jaguar being revived at Salon Privé is the Mark 2. The ‘Mark 2 by Callum’ – making its public debut – is Jag design chief Ian Callum’s personal evolution of the classic saloon, reengineered by Classic Motor Cars of Shropshire. ‘Simplified’ styling, a 4.3-litre XK engine and uprated suspension are among the one-off car’s modifications.
Having received a very positive reaction for the car, Classic Motor Cars says it will be producing a limited run of the model, with prices set at between £350,000-£375,000.
A surprise unveiling was the Morgan SP1 – the Malvern firm’s first fully bespoke model. Powered by the 3.7-litre Ford V6 from the Morgan Roadster, the SP1 wears bodywork influenced by the company’s LifeCar concept of 2008.
New-to-Morgan features include a curved windscreen, iPad-controlled infotainment and Watt’s linkage rear suspension in place of the usual leaf springs. “We’re dipping our toe in the water with this car,” said Morgan boss Steve Morris. “If a customer wants something special and it’s on-brand, this is a great way for us to demonstrate our bespoke coachbuilding skills.”
A prototype of the Elemental RP1, a British-built road-going track car, is also on show following its public debut at the Festival of Speed. This car uses a 2.0-litre, 280bhp powerplant, but even with Ford’s 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine, the lightweight RP1 is planned to offer more than 300bhp per tonne. Possible innovations include a live downforce readout via sensors mounted in the rear diffuser.