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British International Motor Show 2008 | London Motor Show | Excel London | CAR Magazine Online

Wed, 25 Jun 2008

By Dimitri Pesin

Motor Shows

25 June 2008 09:00

The British International Motor Show (that’s the London motor show to you and me) is shaping up to be the best yet. Show organisers claim they are hosting more than 20 global debuts – up from 13 two years ago – and we’ve compiled a list of the cars you simply cannot afford to miss.

Follow our simple A-Z below to check the show highlights. We’ve marked world debuts and advised you which stands you simply have to visit. And click here to see who isn’t going to be there…

Slaver over the glorious 8C Spider – one of only 500 built – on Alfa’s stand. The new Brera S will be alongside, along with the new Mini-rivalling Mito.
CAR verdict: high drool rating

Remember the changes made to the Conti GT range in 2007? Well now they’ve made the same tweaks to its uglier brother, the Flying Spur saloon and new Flying Spur Speed.
CAR verdict: Faster Jeeves!

Citroen will have two modified vehicles based on a C-Crosser and C6, apparently. The mind boggles. Plus the full current range and the intriguing C-Cactus eco concept car.
CAR verdict: Is quirky back in town?

No official stand (cheapskates), but Ferrari will bring the F430 Scuderia, a 599 GTB and a 612 Scaglietti for display in the supercar paddock.
CAR verdict: Why no California?

World debut of new Focus RS – the red-hot hatch with a tuned 2.5-litre turbo and more than 276bhp. Plus new Fiesta’s UK debut and the Econetic version with just 99g/km of CO2. Neat.
CAR verdict: The people’s car gets serious

They’re ‘calling us back’. Lazy, heh? More details to follow…
CAR verdict: Up in the air…

There’s the full whack of current Hyundais: every flavour of i10, i30 (including a 113g/km version) and an i800. Plus the Genesis coupe rear-drive coupe that could come here and an i10 Ice-Cream Van. Seriously.
CAR verdict: These guys have a sense of humour!

Surprise version of the Rodeo, they say… Much snoring at CAR Towers, we say.
CAR verdict: We might be giving this one a miss

‘We’ll call you back.’ Er, they haven’t yet. More details to follow…
CAR verdict: First outing for Jag since Tata buy-up

More crazy names from the Koreans: keep an eye out for the new Soul small crossover, the sporty Kee coupe and the Exceed cabrio. Exciting times at Kia.
CAR verdict: Fascinating new designs from Kia. Worth a look

Lots of model-year changes, but make sure you check out the delectable LRX – it’s the new sub-Freelander 4x4 that’s Land Rover-tough and Golf-small. Plus diamond anniversary shenanigans.
CAR verdict: The LRX might just save the SUV maker

Is this the longest gestation in motorville? The old LF-A supercar concept will come to London for the show, but we’re still waiting for the real thing.
CAR verdict: Ask the stand staff when you can buy the LF-A

Finally! After 12 years, Lotus launches a new car. Dubbed project Eagle, the 2+2 is mid-engined and mid-size. We can’t wait to see what it looks like shorn of disguise.
CAR verdict: A potential star of the show

Check out the crazy Furai concept car and ponder its design. Plus it’s the first time you’ll see the facelifted RX-8 in the UK.
CAR verdict: Furai is one of the most bonkers cars in London

Something for everyone on the Merc stand: you like supercars? How about the McMerc SLR? Ugly cars? Step towards the new CLC coupe. Plus C63 AMG, electric Smarts etc.
CAR verdict: A brand on a roll

First chance to see the new Cooper S Works, plus you can have a go at deciding if the Clubman is design genius or just plain weird.
CAR verdict: A lesson in marketing

Still revved up by the Porsche-baiting skills of the 520bhp GTR? Come and see the UK’s first official cars at Excel. Plus UK debuts for the new Murano and Qashqai +2.
CAR verdict: Trust us. The GTR is s-p-e-c-i-a-l

‘We’re all at Le Mans. We’ll call you back.’ Ok then.
CAR verdict: Ummm

First sight of a 230bhp run-out Megane hot hatch, full details to follow. Plus first UK outing for slick Laguna coupe concept and new Megane Coupe concept. But budget brand Dacia has been pulled
CAR verdict: Great concepts, shame no Dacia

World debut alert! The spicy Ibizia SportCoupe bows in for the first time – and it’s the world’s first supermini to have a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
CAR verdict: Is the new Ibiza a Marmite car?

It’s the first time Subaru has exhibited at Excel and it will display each model in its range. Not confirmed yet, but we hear it also has a surprise version of the Impreza STI up its sleeve… more details as we get them…
CAR verdict: Does Subaru have a head of design?

Suzuki, too, is attending for the first time. No details announced yet of show cars.
CAR verdict: We loved the Swift… give us more chic, Suzuki

There’s a classic crazy concept car on the Toyota stand: the Aygo Crazy is a regular supermini with a 200bhp transplant. Mayhem ensues.
CAR verdict: The Japanese have humour!

GM will pull the wraps off the Vauxhall Insignia for the first time. Marries German style with Vauxhall prices. Trust us.
CAR verdict: Vectra clones BMW style. Seriously

By Dimitri Pesin