Motor shows are funny old things, aren’t they? This has been my first experience of a motor show on the inside at Autocar, and it’s blown me away just how many new cars there have been in what is essentially a huge game of one-upmanship between the major manufacturers.
With all the stars of the show dominating the headlines – including the BMW Vision ED, Ferrari 458 Italia and Aston Martin Rapide – it’s been very easy to miss some of cars that may have slipped off the radar.
One such car has been the Seat Ibz estate. This has been teased by the Spanish firm before, but it quietly slipped out under the radar at the show. We’ve been blessed with some handsome looking estates recently, including the Skoda Superb, and the Ibz is no exception. If the Ibz keeps its looks this good for production and it drives as well as we’ve come to expect from a car in the VW Group, then we could be in for a treat.
All the fanfares at the very start of the show were for the Mini Roadstser, but cars launched at the start of the show can be very quickly forgot about as the day goes on. The Mini Coupe isn’t the prettiest thing so it was good to see an immediate return to form from Mini in designing a chic and desirable car.
I am a fan of the weird and wonderful, so it’s been good to see the Wiesmann Roadster MF5. Anything powered by the BMW V10 engine from the M5/M6 is sure to breathe fire, so here’s betting the real-wheel drive MF5 is going to be a real handful when we get to take it for a blast. Will it drift anyone?
Cars aren’t the only things to get overlooked at motor shows. Individual statistics are even easier to overlook, so here’s the two that standout for me.
Firstly, the Audi e-tron’s torque figure of 3319lb ft — around 10 times that produced by the V8-engined R8 it is largely based on. I’d love to feel the accelerating force of the e–tron and it really goes to show, like the Tesla, that electric cars can still capture the hearts of performance lovers.
The other notable statistic is the £23,695 price a top-spec Vauxhall Astra will cost you. You’ll be able to make your own mind up on that figure, but the word ouch came to my mind when I read it. I just hope for Vauxhall’s sake the car can be a success and justify that cost. Even if it is “more dynamic than a Golf” as Vauxhall say, how many people would go for a £20k plus Astra over a 1-series, A3 or Golf?