Check my video coverage and pics from this year’s Salon Prive show at Blenheim Palace
Watch till the end to see Bond’s DB5 take me by surprise by deploying the smoke screen!
Although known as a classic car concours d’elegance, the Salon Prive is also an opportunity for premium and boutique car makers to launch and showcase their latest products. So this year they even organisers put on a special day just for media and that’s when we were there.
The Touring Superleggera Aero 3 is the third car from what is essentially a coach-building company. This was the first of three cars made with 15 to be produced in total at a price in excess of a million sterling. It’s based on the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta (I incorrectly stated 812 Superfast in the video). It styling is inspired by the Alfa Romeo 8c Le Mans racer, and I live the fin on the back with the calibrations for the spoiler angles.
Japan’s first fully electric hypercar, the Aspark Owl, had its UK debut – having previously been shown at the Dubai Motor Show last year. It accelerates from 0-62mph in 1.72 seconds. Only 50 will be built to personal specifications in Turin in collaboration with Manifattura Automobili Torino and cost 2.9m Euro.
The latest offering from Danish supercar maker Zenvo is the TSRS-1 offering 1177bhp from a twin-supercharged V8. This one was in ice-white pearl in full carbon, with clever opposing weaves to make unique patterns and spell out Zenvo on the side. The fragmented carbon wheels each take two weeks to make – you DO NOT want to kerb these! Of course it comes with what I call the ‘dancing’ wing too, which looks so odd when used on the track, that it was once red flagged, because people thought it was broken!
It looks like a modern version of the De Tomaso Pantera, because the Panther ProgettoUno is the first in the ‘Legends Reborn’ series from Ares Design, Dany Bahar’s Modena-based coachbuilding outfit. It’s based on the Lamborghini Huracan, and utilises the drivetrain from that car – oddly it appears to have a traditional open-gait manual gearbox. In fact it’s a simulation that retains the sequel changes of the automatic transmission. Quite clever and plus it has pop-up lights. The car at the show is the second in the series, the first being a red one commissioned by a customer in Dubai! There will be seven of these at a cost of just over half a million Euros each, or about 300,000 Euro if you have your own Huracan. Bargain!
Engler brought along its crazed Superquad prototype, powered by an Audi 5.2-litre V10, seating two in tandem and with only handlebars to hold onto for dear life (0-62mph in 2.5 seconds) – I was told production versions would have a harness to restrain the riders. Oddly you need a car licence to drive/ride this – bonkers!
Bentley brought along the Berkin Blower, it set the lap record at LeMans in 1930 paving the way for a podium clean sweep for the official Bentley team. They have taken it apart and 3D scanned everything in order to create 12 new recreation models, but each with slightly different spec.
Bentley showcased the Bacalar, which I think is the wrong title, they should have called it the Bentley Bakhlawa for better Middle East sales – and I told them, so if they do it you’ll know why! LOL. The Mulliner GT featured unique specification, a special grilled, bespoke side plates and improved interior materials – so for example the upholstery 400,000 stitches as opposed to the mere 280,000 it usually has!
The Koenigsegg Gemera is so fast it turned up late to it own UK debut! 1700bhp from a three cylinder engine dubbed Tiny Friendly Giant and 3 electric motors. One gear but All wheel drive, all wheel steering all wheel torque vectoring and and 0-100 in 1.9 – your passengers will scream for mercy!
This is the McLaren Elva, a limited edition extreme sports car. They were going to make 399, now they say 249 because customers demand exclusivity – I think maybe because it’s too demanding on customers. The lightweight 800bhp speedster is inspired by the open top racers from the 60s and Elva means ‘she goes’ – this one didn’t though, it’s just a mock-up.
Based on the same aluminum platform as the Phantom and Cullinan, the new Rolls-Royce Ghost replaces the marque’s most successful model in its 116-year history. It’s all supposed to be about being more subtle, but it’s a Rolls, so it as well as a 6.75-litre V12, it also gets all-wheel drive and a starfield now not just in the roof lining, but also the dashboard. Sweet.
Oh yeah, there was a flying car too. Not quite the stuff of my Bladerunner dreams it’s more a car-copter when it’s all unfolded, but this is a production model. The Pal-V Liberty is about 450,000 pounds, only 90 will be made .
The Ferrari Roma is sexy as hell, and unsually for a Ferrari best not in Rosso Red. Based on the Portofino it’s named in honour of Italy’s capital city. Yeah it’s got a 620bp v8 but who cares this thing is an influencer’s dream because it’s less about being a sportscar and more about a ‘pleasurable way of life’ or la nouva dolce vita inspired by Italy in the 50s and 60s, oh behave!
Of course this show is not just about new cars, but classics, like the oh so pretty little Citroen Le Paris, based on the DS and one of my only three that survive, these were rebodied by Henri Chapron.
And finally there was this:
‘Do you expect me to talk?’
‘No Mr Bond, I expect you to get me one of those clever little Aston Martin DB5s of yours’
‘Oh… well as it happens, Q Department and Aston Martin are making a limited run of 25 continuation models!’
In fact these actually do come with rotating numberplates, an oil spray system that deploys from behind the tail-lights and a smoke screen, joined by ‘machine guns’ that pop out from the front bumper, a ‘bulletproof’ rear deflector that raises from the boot, front and rear battering rams, and simulated tyre slashers. There’s even a removable roof panel representing the original DB5’s famous ejector seat, although it won’t actually launch your passenger out of the car – shame that, I know. The cars are priced at £3.3 million but you can’t take them on missions, they’re not road legal. Foiled again by Spectre!