CHANDAN B MALLIK, Kolkata: Blenheim Palace, located in the majestic old English town of Woodstock, just 8 miles north-west of Oxford United Kingdom will host this year’s Salon Privé — UK’s most exclusive motor show and summer social fixture featuring the latest in automotive technologies and hottest supercars alongside the rarest classic cars. The event will run from 22-26 September, 2020.
There’s a bonus this year as the prestigious event will also throw a spotlight on the future of performance motoring via a spectacular line-up of next-generation electric and hybrid vehicles. Household names such as Ferrari and Lotus will be joined by exciting new brands from around the world, and many of the cars will be shown in public for the very first time.
Lotus will be presenting the new Evija – a model that marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the marque’s long history. It’s the first all-electric British hypercar and the first Lotus to use an electric powertrain – a step forward of which the company’s innovative founder, Colin Chapman, would surely have approved. The Evija has a carbon fibre chassis and a target power output of 2000PS, while the mid-mounted position of the battery pack – developed with the Williams Formula One team – echoes the layout of celebrated Lotus models such as the Esprit and the Elise.
Ferrari’s first plug-in hybrid – the hyper-advanced SF90 – has received rave reviews since its launch and is set to be another star at Salon Privé. With its V8 internal-combustion engine working in tandem with three electric motors, it puts out 986bhp and – when fitted with the weight-saving Assetto Fiorano package – can lap the legendary Fiorano test track one second faster than the limited-edition LaFerrari. The fact that it can also be driven using only electric power is proof of its status as a revolutionary new flagship model from the famous Italian brand.
As with Ferrari, performance has been at the heart of everything that Koenigsegg has ever done – and it will be represented at Blenheim Palace with a milestone vehicle of its own. Its new Gemera is being hailed as the world’s first ‘mega GT’ and is engineered to provide immense performance but with a spacious interior and next-generation environmental technology.
The Gemera’s two-litre, three-cylinder engine – named the ‘Tiny Friendly Giant’, or TFG for short – is able to run on conventional petrol as well as the latest CO2-neutral renewable fuels, and designed to be super-efficient, give exceptionally low emissions and able to be packaged in super-small spaces. Koenigsegg’s first four-seater is capable of powering four people and their luggage from 0-60mph in two seconds, and will be making its UK debut at Salon Privé.
Two other sensational newcomers will be receiving their European debuts at Salon Privé. The Aspark Owl is the first Japanese fully electric hypercar with an impressive acceleration of 0-60mph in 1.62 seconds. Production of the lowline Owl will be limited to only 50 cars, with each one being fully customisable and built in Turin in collaboration with Manifattura Automobili Torino – which will also be at Blenheim Palace with its New Stratos.
The second model to be receiving its European debut is the Tushek TS-900. The Slovenian manufacturer has used a combination of steel spaceframe and carbon fibre tub to make the hybrid TS-900 as light as possible. It features a hybrid powertrain comprising a rear-mounted 4.2-litre V8 and a pair of electric motors that drive the front wheels. The technology used in the 236mph TS-900 will inform development of a future all-electric model.
A hybrid powertrain is also at the heart of the Polestar 1 that will be on display. It uses a combination of electric motors at the rear and a petrol engine at the front that is both supercharged and turbocharged to produce a total of 609bhp. With extensive use of carbon fibre reinforced polymer, a 2+2 seating layout and handcrafted leather upholstery, the Polestar 1 has been engineered to blend performance with luxury, and will be joined on the show lawns by the five-door, all-electric Polestar 2.