First Salon Prive London draws crowds with supercar debuts

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New models from Ferrari, Aston Martin, Alpine and Range Rover are among the highlights of the first high-end motor show on the banks of the Thames

Aston Martin DBX707

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Against the backdrop of the breathtakingly imposing Royal Hospital Chelsea, the inaugural Salon Prive London delivered a stunning array of new car debuts. From handcrafted, zero-emission, all-electric cars to the world’s most powerful luxury SUV, plus a surprise appearance by a Ferrari, London had it all.

A total of 12 new cars made their debut on the sacred greens of the hospital’s 66 acres of beautifully manicured lawns, which flow down to the River Thames in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. And when the Chelsea Pensioners’ iconic red coats – proudly worn by British Army veterans – complemented the lush green grass and gleaming metal of the new cars, car lovers could be forgiven for rubbing their eyes in disbelief.

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Whilst a number of appearances by the debut cars had been announced in advance, HR Owen Ferrari surprised attendees by bringing two Italian Thoroughbreds, the Ferrari Daytona SP3 and Ferrari 296 GTB, to the event for their static UK debuts.

Already dubbed one of the most beautiful cars of its generation, the Ferrari Daytona SP3 is the third in the Icona limited series. Paying homage to the mid-rear Ferrari V12 sports prototypes that earned the famous marque its unrivaled motorsport status, it was shown for the first time last November as part of the 2021 Ferrari Finali Mondiali, but has not been shown to the public since. The 296 GTB, on the other hand, is Ferrari’s first road vehicle with rear-wheel drive plug-in hybrid architecture (PHEV). Making its British debut at the event, it features an exceptionally wide V6 design that contributes to the car’s compact overall dimensions. The internal combustion engine is integrated into a single electric motor and together they develop 818 hp, propelling the Ferrari 296 GTB from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds.

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Ferrari Daytona SP3

Slovenian racing champion Aljoša Tushek, who founded his hypercar company in 2008 not to be outdone, made a global public debut with his updated model of the Tushek TS900 Apex. A progressive evolution of its previously shown cars, the Tushek TS900 Apex is currently the lightest hybrid hypercar on the market. It has the powertrain with the highest power density in the world and uses electric propulsion technologies from aviation. Together, the total output is more than 1,350 hp in a vehicle weighing less than 1,350 kg. Only 36 examples of the unique and ultra-exclusive hypercar will be built.

In contrast, Morgan gave a first public viewing of its new Super 3, which continues the 113-year legacy of the Malvern-based three-wheeler manufacturer. Powered by a 1.5-litre Ford three-cylinder engine, it significantly surpasses the power and performance figures of previous three-wheel Morgan models. Prices start at £41,995.

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Morgan Super 3

Meanwhile, Alpine made its UK debut of its new A110 range, which has been updated with three different new versions, improved performance and more features than ever before. The new A110 range now consists of the A110, the new A110 GT and the new A110 S. The entry-level A110 gets a 249hp engine, with the other two being powered by a 297hp engine. The A110 S accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 270 km/h. Prices start at £49,905 for the A110 and rise to £59,955 for the top-of-the-line A110 S, which is just £600 more than the latest A110 GT.

In the luxury SUV battle, Land Rover has unveiled its new flagship model, the Range Rover SV. Land Rover is the first vehicle to feature the distinctive SV ceramic rim and says it “represents the pinnacle of design and engineering expertise from the company’s Special Vehicle Operations team, offering customers a new level of craftsmanship and enhanced functionality.” Range Rover SV engine options include the new 523hp V8 Twin Turbo and the efficient D350 Ingenium Diesel, and the 503 Electric Hybrid on the standard wheelbase model with an all-electric range of up to 70 miles. In addition to the five-seat configuration on LWB models, the optional four-seat SV Signature Suite configuration is also available.

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Aston Martin countered Land Rover’s unveiling by unveiling its DBX 707. With 707 hp (or 697 hp) from its 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine, it’s the world’s most powerful luxury SUV. Counting? How about 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds; top speed 193mph; Fuel economy of 19.9mpg (I reckon you’ll struggle to match that in ‘real’ driving) and a price of £190,000.

Perhaps the craziest public debut was that of the spectacular new Prodrive Hunter. Introduced by Prodrive Chairman David Richards, the Hunter is the world’s first all-terrain hypercar. The all-wheel-drive off-road adventure vehicle was developed from the Bahrain Raid Xtreme competition car driven by nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb in the world’s toughest motorsport event, the Dakar, developing more than 600 hp. Excluding the bespoke 35-inch off-road tires designed to optimize grip on loose surfaces, Prodrive says its revolutionary new model can sprint from 0-100km/h in under four seconds and have a top speed of almost would reach 300 km/h.

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Prodrive Hunter

Two all-electric cars made their debut at Salon Prive London. For Genesis, it marked a European debut for its GV60, the company’s first dedicated platform-based electric vehicle. Available in three models: a rear-wheel drive model, an all-wheel drive model and a performance all-wheel drive model, each features a 77.4 kWh battery that can be charged from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes. The RWD model has a maximum range of around 280 miles per charge.

The much-anticipated production version of the Electric Mustang from Charge Cars, which also made its global debut at Salon Prive, understandably drew a lot of attention. Only 499 examples of the Restomod electric car will be built by hand. With a range of 200 miles, the Electric Mustang uses a 64kWh modular battery, and up to 50kW of fast charging is possible. In addition to 536 hp, London-based Charge Cars says 1,106 lb ft of torque ensures its muscle car status remains secure, while the dynamic aids of the quad motor setup include all-wheel drive and torque vectoring. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes less than four seconds.

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Another global debut was the public unveiling of Coventry-based Caton’s ultra-exclusive reincarnation of the legendary Austin-Healey 100 sports car. Only 25 models will be built. Each starts at £395,000 but you’ll be pleased to know the Austin-Healey donor is included… but excludes local taxes and postage. Each car gets a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter four-cylinder developing 185 hp and 195 lb/ft of torque, based on an original Austin-Healey block but heavily modified. There’s also a new five-speed manual gearbox. Thankfully, the classic 72-spoke wheels with spinners have been carried over from the original. They are studded with “period correct” (but modern) Michelins. And while the dashboard and door panels get the leather treatment, there’s even better quality leather – from Bridge of Weir Leather – on the seats because it “adds a leather scent to the cabin”.

Healey by Caton

Of course, there was a lot more to see at Salon Prive London than just cars making their debut. There was the one-of-a-kind Concours de Vente, a ground-breaking concept with over 20 leading specialists and 50 of the best classic cars all on sale during the three-day event. My personal favorite was the highly original 1936 Delahaye 135 CS by Fiskens.

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And as the world watches as Ukraine struggles to retain its independence in Russia’s onslaught, Salon Prive London donated 20% of all ticket proceeds to the Disasters Emergency Committee through Work for Good. There is no doubt that the first Salon Prive London was a resounding success. Now I only have to wait five months for the annual Autumn Salon Prive to take place at Blenheim Palace. I’m looking forward to it!

1936 Delahaye 135CS

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