Salon Privé is renowned for attracting the greatest cars from throughout automotive history, but this year’s 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 Lotus Evija – the first all-electric British hypercar. With class-leading in-gear acceleration and a target output of 2,000 PS – making it the most powerful series production road car ever built – it sets new standards in the global hypercar market. A technical tour de force, the Evija is illustrative of the innovative thinking and ingenuity that has always been part of the Lotus DNA. It continues the legendary Lotus bloodline that’s rich in firsts and technical game-changers, both in the automotive and motorsport sectors. As well as signalling the beginning of a contemporary new Lotus design language, the Evija is a bold statement of intent about the brand’s future ambition to be a truly global performance car company. The Evija has been designed and engineered in Great Britain. Production will begin in 2021 in a new factory in Hethel, the historic Norfolk home of Lotus since 1966.
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.
Salon Privé Director David Bagley said: “The technology that’s packed into the next generation of performance cars is truly mind-blowing, and we’re incredibly proud that so many manufacturers have chosen to unveil their latest models with us. Hybrid and electric powertrains are the future, and the fact that we can welcome Ferrari, Lotus and Koenigsegg to Blenheim Palace – as well as a host of new manufacturers – proves that there are exciting times ahead in the world of performance motoring. I don’t think you’ll be able to see such a broad spectrum of automotive history and technology anywhere else.”