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Brussels Auto Show: Revamped salon revving up for sell-out event
The inaugural edition of the Brussels Auto Show at Brussels Expo is a motoring spectacle that’s geared to enthusiasts rather than buyers.
Running until 21 January in five of the exhibition space's halls, it boasts more than 150 companies with 400 cars, motorcycles and trucks all on colourful display.
For the first time at a car show in Belgium, a car catwalk shows off parades of high-performance and luxury supercars and hypercars by brands including Bugatti and Pagani. The roar of their engines adds to the excitement as a variety of sleek and souped-up models take to the raised podium each day of the event.
When the Brussels Motor Show announced last year that it would not be staging its habitual event in 2024 due to a lack of interest among dealers, Dutch company 402 Automotive stepped in with this new version of the popular fair.
Aimed at motor fans, the focus is on show and entertainment rather than the traditional presentation of manufacturers and their latest car models.
The new event - clearly targetting a younger audience - is packed with high-octane displays. As well as luxury and sport cars, there’s an impressive range of classic and vintage models, many of them from the Netherlands and a few from Belgium. They include some extravagant and fun sights, such as a flying vehicle – a tricycle that converts into a mini helicopter – plus film set cars.
Also on the roster of the five day event, are trial and dirt bike displays and plenty of other demonstrations that will keep the crowds entertained. New constructor Fisker is offering trials of its Ocean model, while other super-sized US brands Dodge and RAM vie for attention.
A smattering of passenger cars around the halls is topped by a line-up of seven finalists for the renowned Car of the Year award. Dominated by SUV models from familiar brands such as Volvo, Renault, Toyota and Peugeot, they are joined by a saloon car from Chinese manufacturer BYD.
There’s a topical nod to the future with stands presenting the latest technological developments in the auto industry, in particular the electric vehicle sector.
While an extensive motorbike section is accompanied by a few truck models, the outer displays lack the star quality of the showcase exhibits. The fair is clearly positioned for auto afficionados; a driving theme for the event has yet to be developed.
Nevertheless, the organiser hopes to meet its target audience of 100,000 with tickets for Saturday already sold out.
Brussels Automobile Salon
Until 21 January
Place de la Belgique
Photos: ©Damien Maguire / Image Digital