As usual, I returned from the Motor Show with a large
suitcase full of brochures. Fortunately (after repeated bleatings from me for
the past few years) this year the manufacturers had English language press kits.
There were the usual run of the mill motorcars, but for me
the interest came with some of the more outlandish efforts. The Maybach was
there, all 80 million bahtsworth of behemoth. 6.2 metres long and with every
comfort you might need. You sit in the back, the front is reserved for the
chauffeur and the gofer. I have written elsewhere, but it is worth repeating -
this thing has so much torque it could tow the Amari Watergate hotel through the
Pratunam markets. 900 Nm of torque is just mind blowing.
Another big beast, but an exciting big beast, was the Bentley
Continental. 550 hp from the VW sourced W12 engine (but don’t let that put you
off) and 650 Nm of torque are again prodigious figures, and 4.8 seconds to go
from rest to 100 kph shows that this is no slouch of a luxury vehicle. At 20
million baht it is a veritable bargain, compared to the Maybach - and it is the
sort of car you drive yourself, so again there are savings at not having to feed
Benz SLR Mclaren
Honda had the Honda Sports Concept on display. This will be
the new NSX, but was still not the right balance for my money. Most of the other
vehicles on the Honda stand were all the ones we have seen on the roads for
around 12 months, other than their FCV (fuel cell vehicle), but more about that
Toyota had this strange beast, a PM, which I think is
supposed to stand for Personal Mover. Not a successor to the VIOS I imagine, but
an interesting concept, nevertheless.
Mitsubishi showed the outlandish new noses, based on the
American Outlander, which will ensure that sales will plummet. The only
interesting vehicle was the eco car, one that will fit in with the Thailand
government concepts for the auto industry in this country.
However, for me it was the Mercedes Benz stand that had all
the attraction. From the wild outfits on their presenters to the car which was
the Star of the Show. This was the 70 million baht Mercedes Benz SLR Mclaren.
Hold onto your hats while I rattle off a few performance
figures - 626 hp supercharged V8 with 780 Nm of torque. 0-100 kays in 3.7
seconds and 0-200 kays in 7 seconds! Top speed is 334 kph, making it the fastest
production car in the world. If you’ve got the money, put a deposit down now -
there’s a two year waiting list!
More on the Motor Show next week.