Canary Wharf Show – June 2010

With no comprehensive national UK Motor Show on the calendar any more, the best that a British enthusiast can hope for is a regional display, where it is up to the local dealer to decide to take part and then to see if he can get anything new or noteworthy to show. Following the Bristol show a few days ago, the spotlight turned to Canary Wharf, a location where the more upmarket cars are much in evidence as many of the target buyers are working in the vicinity. On what looked it could have been the least soggy day of a week of grey skies and plenty of rain, I managed to pop along for a couple of hours to have a look at what was on show.


Sadly, no sign of the new Giulietta, but there were two cars on show, from opposite ends of the Alfa spectrum: a MultiAir MiTo and an 8C Competizione Spider.

Three cars on show, representing history as well as more modern vehicles.

It was the same story chez Bentley, with no sign of the new Mulsanne. The stand staff said that everyone had been asking, but they had yet to receive their first such car. They did have four more familiar models on show, and they almost insisted that I sat in at least one of them. As if I needed to be asked! I spent most time luxuriating in the Flying Spur, and I have to say that it did feel very special indeed. It is a large car, and you would feel very much at ease being chauffeured around as you enjoyed the room in the back of the car, but the driving position also felt spot on, and there was plenty of evidence of classic British craftsmanship to admire from behind the wheel.

Surprisingly, this was not the busiest stand, by any stretch of the imagination, especially as there were several new or interesting cars on show. There was a lone example of the new F10 model 5 series, a 520d. This truly is a big car, and from a distance, it is easy to mix it up with a 7 series until you get up closer and see the details. The inside is nice, but it still does not quite do it for me.

There was also a representative of the new top of the range Z4, the catchily titled sDrive35iS. It was largely being ignored.
Surprisingly, so was the M3. Maybe it is simply because people are familiar with the model. Or perhaps the recession has hit harder than I though?
Given their long standing dislike for overt publicity, this is not perhaps a marque that you would expect to find even at a high end venue like Canary Wharf, but Bristol Cars were there. The display cars were all secondhand, if one can use such a vulgar sounding term to describe these vehicles. Enjoy the sight of a modern update to a prototype from the 1950s, now called the Blenheim Speedster, a 411 Series 3 from the 1970s and the very striking Fighter from more recent times.

There was a further car parked up on the street outside, a Blenheim.
The three models at the event were actually from a SuperCar Club, but made for a striking display as always with Modena’s finest offerings.

Infiniti had a lot of space to show their cars and were taking full advantage with examples of most of their model range. Pride of place went to the new M saloon, which will go on sale in the autumn.

Diesel versions of the EX and FX SUVs were on show, too. When these hit the market, perhaps sales of the marque will take off a little, as my experience of the cars in the US is that they are very good, but this end of the market really does demand the derv burner.
This would doubtless have been the first opportunity for many to see the new XJ in the metal, and the two cars were generating a lot of interest, and nothing but praise from what I heard.

By contrast, the XF and XK models were somewhat in the shadow.
Land-Rover had set up an obstacle course, and had I had a little more time, it would have been good to sample the cars on this, but I had to content myself with looking at the static display where the complete range of models were shown scattered around the park

A low key display, where even the IS-F looked quite restrained, and as such was attracting little attention.

Nothing new from Mazda, but a showing of all models in the range provided a reminder that this marque of all the Japanese probably offers the “best” range of cars, with no weak links

The new SLS AMG was the star of Mercedes’ stand. Just as nice in black as the white one I saw a few days ago at Mercedes-Benz world.

There were plenty of cars from the rest of what is now a very expansive range, from B Class all the way up to the high end S Class saloons.
A Countryman was the star of this stand. I still cannot get terribly enthusiastic about this car, even though it does look better in the metal than in the early pictures. It goes on sale on 18th September.

There were plenty of representatives of the rest of the range, including a John Cooper Works car.
Two Cubes were attracting plenty of attention. This model has been on sale in the UK for nearly 6 months now and is still quite a rare sighting, unlike in the US where is appears to have been an instant hit.

The GT-R certainly is a hit and the two display cars were proving very popular, as you might expect.
There were examples of the coupe and roadster version of the 370Z to complete the display.
Another showing for the new 9.5, and in fact it turned out that this was the same car as had been in Bristol last week. The car goes on sale mid July.

There were representatives of the long running 9.3 as well

Two Superbs, a vRS Octavia and a Yeti made up the display here. Skoda were handing out free ice-creams, and very delicious mine was too!

A couple of the Tesla Roadsters were on show in one of the buildings and were generating a lot of interest.

Pride of place went to the new S60. The display car was a left hand drive D5 model, in what would appear to be the signature colour. I had a good poke around the inside of this car, and I have to say that I rather liked it. The Volvo trait of restrained elegance is there, along with some nicely finished leather seats and door trims, and those seats were supremely comfortable. There is decent space in the back of the car. It goes on sale in the UK in a few weeks time and I wish it well.

There were plenty of more familiar models on show, too. The facelifted front on the C30 and C70 is becoming more familiar and as such I am disliking it less than when I first saw it. I also thought that the XC60 looks pretty striking in bright red.
This indoor display had to be the highlight of the whole show, with a series of Le Mans cars from 1930 to the present day on show.

1930 Blower Bentley

1935 Aston Martin Ulster
Porsche 962
2000 Toyota
2003 Bentley
Audi R10
Certainly a diverting couple of hours, but not really a show that is worth making a special trip long distance to go and see.
2010-06-11 19:48:30

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