Permit my New Year’s Day view of 2008 to be slightly clouded by the fact I live in London, and let’s look forward to a scorchingly hot July 23rd when the London Motor Show opens.

This year’s show is shaping-up to burn off 2006’s fine effort with up to five global launches expected already and a raft of outdoor, smell-the-fumes-style attractions.

Although Vauxhall is the only car-maker yet to confirm a launch — for the Insignia, the Vectra replacement — it's an open secret in the industry that Ford is set to make London the venue for the Focus RS reveal, Saab has a small-car concept, the 9-1X, pencilled in for the show and Hyundai UK is working hard to convince its Korean masters to give the new i40c coupe its first European airing in the capital. Also being readied is the launch of the new Lotus ‘Eagle’ 2+2.

But the really tantalising prospect is that of Ferrari considering bringing the global launch of the 'F149', its front-engined every-day-driver 2+2 , to London. Where better to launch an Italian competitor to the two British cars — Aston Martin’s DB9 and Bentley’s Continental GT — who together have opened-up a new segment for luxury coupes so far untouched by Maranello?