The 20th year of the London Motor Expo did not disappoint with hundreds of amazing vehicles dawning on London’s business hub – Canary Wharf.
In one of the cities most active areas the quality of these vehicles was not lost on a bustling crowd made up of suited bankers, lawyers and general motoring enthusiasts.
With the chance to get inside the cabin of some of these world-class motoring specimens it was perhaps unsurprising the large crowds that formed around some of those vehicles boasting the largest price tags.
With so many cars seen, it would be almost impossible to cover every single one so we went down there to check out some of the star performers making their way to one of the UK’s premium motoring events.
ROLLS ROYCE WRAITH
There is something quite stunning about the Rolls-Royce Wraith, and that’s without even stepping inside it’s unbelievably luxurious and softly furnished interior design. On the outside the class and quality is clear, high-end materials makeup what is a smart and clean design and the shiny, glossy finish is truly astounding. One thing that strikes you is how the vehicle can boast incredibly sizeable dimensions but weigh and feel very light.
On entrance to the interior you’re frankly overwhelmed with luxurious features. Firstly, there are the pockets and storage space for your watches and ties and a high-quality steering wheel that doesn’t feel oversized or bulky. The seats have been crafted with fine leather with the trademark Rolls logo emblazoned upon a silky cream finish. Rolls Royce claim they’re the most comfortable in the business and honestly it’s hard to argue with them. Glance up and you’ll find an interior sky sparkling with lights – Rolls mapped a photo of the Goodwood night sky where their famous vehicles are built and essentially put it inside all of their Wraith vehicles. It might sound tacky, but believe us there is nothing more cool when the sky darkens.
There’s also plenty of exciting features including a button that closes the doors, voice control and a sumptuously smooth eight-speed gearbox.
The NX from Lexus was one of the many star-performers showcased at the show by the luxury division of Toyota. Lexus are fast making serious gains into the mainstream market and the release of the NX, CT and RC-F has resulted in almost a boom-period for the manufacturer. It's difficult to fault the Lexus marketing team - the NX seems to be everywhere; billboards, posters, TV you almost feel like you know it.
However, in the flesh the NX is perhaps even more impressive than you might think. The spacious and bold grille is a trademark of Lexus and we're happy to say it really works on the NX and complements it's rugged and stylish frame. It's not bulky, far from it, with the NX appearing far more streamlined than many percieve. The NX wins a lot of friends for it's safety with five-stars from EuroNCAP obtained and an excellent score achieved for reliability as well.
In terms of the engines, we had a look at the 300h hybrid version which is certainly the NX's champagne model. It'll do 235bhp, 56.5mpg and minimal CO2 figures of 116g/km.
What about the interior? Glad you asked. The NX is tremendously comfortable, you don't feel like you're sitting in a car; just a really comfortable living room. There's plenty amount of storage space and with the 300h you get a series of trims each offering their own enhancement on the NX's interior tech. Even standard will give you a brilliant 17-inch alloys, two touchscreens and LED daytime running lights. The top of the range model will bring you a 360-degree camera, lane keeping assist and heated seats among other exciting features.
RANGE ROVER SPORT SVR
The Range Rover Sport is certainly a vehicle with a lot of quality, it’s dazzling pace and excellent luxury makes it one of the most desirable 4x4s in the world and the SVR only enhances this. It’s a dramatic presence and certainly caught the eye of the crowds in London. The interior is well polished and there is certainly the amount of luxury you’d expect in a vehicle with a six figure price. Bucket seats and expensively crafted materials are perhaps the focal points and there’s an all-serving screen which will help with practicality.
As you would expect the vehicle has quite a roar to it, but luckily Land Rover have accommodated for this with the helpful inclusion of a button which lessens the sound of the exhausts. Dynamic Drive System gives the SVR a good, clean feel when your driving and certainly contributes to the tremendous overall performance.
Underneath the bonnet the “super-charged” V8 provides a brilliant 542bhp and the general handling is responsive and exciting.
VOLVO V60 POLESTAR
The Volvo V60 is a vehicle whose renoun and popularity seems to be growing by the day. The V60 certainly has a lot of style and this was amplified by the version brought by the manufacturer to the MotorExpo. In a stylish and suave black, the V60 oozed class and in a field full of high quality supercars actually managed to stand-out pretty well.
That’s possibly because the R Design level of the vehicle – simply a sportier than usual trim – is a distinctive and identifiable vehicle and is certainly enhancing the already strong reputation of Volvo.
How does this design translate for power? Well, pretty well since you ask. The 3.0-litre T6 R-Design is certainly packing a punch with a hair-raising 345bhp and a 0-62mph time of exactly five seconds.
There is a lot to love about the V60, and one of the such areas is the interior which is brimming with luxury, storage compartments and high-technology. A floating centre console and a host of other tech gives it a classy feel with a soft and simple driving style and seats that are so comfortable they’re almost difficult to get out of!
AUDI TT COUPE
The TT Coupe from Audi has always been one of the manufacturers most famous models and the latest edition is set to only continue this trend. It’s definitely the most imposing version of the vehicle, although perhaps the bold yellow design chosen by the Audi team played a part in this...
The TT has a succession of fantastic engines that seem to only get better and better. The running costs are unbelievably low with the TDI Ultra appealing particularly to those with a concern for emissions. It does 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds and feels good doing it too. For those looking towards economy, you’ll be impressed with the frugal 67mpg return and strong 110g/km of CO2 emissions that the current TT is capable of.
The interior benefits from some of the highest Audi quality with serious luxury and comfort on offer. The driving position is good and the dashboard and dial layout seems clear and looks easy to use. There’s also a 12.3-inch colour touchscreen allowing you to control many of the car’s more technical functions with just the touch of a button. The future has arrived. For a vehicle of the TT’s size there’s actually a very roomy boot with an impressive 305-litres on offer.
MERCEDES E CLASS CABRIOLET
The Mercedes E Class Cab has all of Merc’s traditional consummate luxury and class but combines it with a handy open-top layout. The upholstery and embroidery is strongly luxurious and is one of the more comfortable convertibles that we’ve ever sat in. The driving position is good and despite what could be conceived as a bulky-ish bodyframe the E Class actually looks and feels very sleek.
The E350 CDI is the engine that catches our eye with an impressive acceleration and smooth driving all resulting in a brilliant 0-62mph time of 6.7 seconds. With the wind in your hair at this speed, it's hard to think of anything better. The E Class also comes out on top for convertibles in terms of emissions the E250 CDI easily the best with CO2’s as low as 128g/km and mpg at 57.7.
As you’d expect there’s a fair bit of practicality with the E Class Cabriolet and the addition of a 9G-Tronic gearbox certainly aids comfort and enjoyment when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle whose gaining increasing popularity.