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This year’s British Motor Show opens next week, promising an extravaganza of motoring delights from stunt driving to showcasing the latest family runarounds and performance cars.
The event is taking place from Thursday (August 18) to Sunday at Farnborough International in Hampshire, just ahead of the new ’72 number plates next month.
Things have moved on from when a motor show was a static display of cars to be gazed at admiringly by visitors. © Provided by This Is Money On offer: Motor shows provide family fun an extravaganza of motoring delights from stunt driving to showcasing the latest family runarounds and performance cars
And they’ve moved even further from the Swinging Sixties and permissive 1970s of my childhood, when a skimpily clad woman posing on the bonnet was the accepted norm for launching a vehicle.
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What's on offer
Today’s visitors still want to see cars, but they also want action, entertainment and a wholly memorable experience.
They want to see and hear the latest and hottest cars on the move. They increasingly want something that will appeal to the whole family. And plenty of diversions for people who may not be interested in cars, or don’t realise that they are until they attend. So organisers are having to adapt.
The British Motor Show is a case in point, featuring:
Organiser Andy Entwistle said it was intentional that the British Motor Show was taking place towards the end of the summer holidays — to attract families — and at a location within two hours of about 60 per cent of the population. He noted: ‘This year’s British Motor Show builds on our mantra to reinvent the concept of motor shows.’
Chris Pratt and 100+ celebs who have voiced animated characters
Oftentimes when you're watching animated films with kids, you end up watching the same film hundreds of times. While you may feel like you know all about these movies at this point, not to mention all the words to every song, do you know who voices all of these characters? Countless A-list actors have stepped out of the spotlight and taken to the mic instead. The beloved orange cat who loves nothing but lasagna is returning to the big screen again, but this time Chris Pratt will be voicing Garfield in the upcoming animated feature. The comic-famous cat, first published by Jim Davis in 1978, had his first silver screen live-action animated hybrid film in 2004, with a sequel in 2006, and both times Garfield was voiced by Bill Murray. Pratt has big shoes to fill, but as you'll see in this gallery, he has a wealth of experience with voice acting. Sony recently announced that the new 'Garfield' will be released in February of 2024. Samuel L. Jackson will voice a character alongside Pratt, and with the writer of 'Finding Nemo' (2003) and the director of 'Chicken Run' (2000) on board, it's all but guaranteed to be a hit. Click through the gallery and find out which of your favorite stars voiced some of the best-known animated characters.
In gear: Organisers say it was intentional that the British Motor Show was taking place towards the end of the summer holidays — to attract families
Pull in: This year’s British Motor Show is taking place from Thursday (August 18) to Sunday at Farnborough International in Hampshire
Tricks: Stunt driver Paul Swift will try to break the parallel park world record in an electric car, before attempting to beat the record for most ‘doughnuts’
Around the world
Since the mid-1990s I have attended scores of shows as the automotive industry’s travelling circus pitched its tents in places such as Geneva, Paris and Frankfurt, Detroit, New York and Los Angeles, as well as Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai, and here from London to Birmingham.
The shows were so important that major car unveilings and launches were timed to coincide with the covers coming off at the stand. Now they increasingly happen online. But motor shows are struggling. Frankfurt was axed, and moved to Munich.
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Once the foremost show, Geneva has been absent for three years —because of Covid — though organisers are planning to return in 2023. But car companies asked to pay millions of pounds for a stand are thinking the cash could be better spent.
Paris is dipping a toe back in the water next month. LA has eclipsed Detroit.
The Shanghai and Beijing shows demonstrate China’s growing importance.
The shift from traditional static shows to experience-grabbing events began slowly, but is now almost the norm.
There is huge interest for electric cars with car-makers such as Alfa Romeo, Ford. Lotus and Polestar all having individual stands.
Getting international car bosses to any UK motor shows was always near impossible. Try keeping them away from Goodwood.
The sister Goodwood Revival, a celebration of cars from the 1940s to early 1960s, is taking place next month, with all visitors in period dress.
5 more big motoring events
Back to the start
There are many more grand, modern events (see sidebar) this summer and autumn but motoring shows have a history that’s more than 100 years old.
From 1978 until 2004, the show was held every second year at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, before returning to London.
And here’s to hoping that this tradition continues long into the future.
Shock in store for Electric car drivers
Motorists who bought fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars to save on fuel bills are now being urged to switch to better tariffs and new smart meters for home-charging as energy costs go through the roof.
Experts warn that bills for the average UK household are on course to hit £4,266 a year in January after a rise to more than £3,500 in October. © Provided by This Is Money Home charger: The cost of charging up electric cars is set to rise
Motoring magazine Auto Express said: ‘Energy regulator Ofgem is set to announce the new energy price cap at the end of August with the change taking effect in October.
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X-rated rants and raving can hit you hard in the pocket, with road rage potentially landing you a fine of £1,000Although from the privacy of your own vehicle, you may feel entitled to say exactly what you think of other people's driving - but a little known law could see you hit with a hefty fine or points on your license.
This could mean bad news for electric vehicle (EV) drivers who charge their cars at home.’
Currently, drivers charging an electric vehicle on an off-peak tariff pay the equivalent of 1.9 pence a mile with Octopus Intelligent at 7.5p/per kilowatt hour (kWh).
That means a typical UK driver’s annual mileage of 6,800 miles in an average EV could cost £129.20.
By comparison, at the current standard variable tariff of 28p/kWh, that same annual mileage would cost a driver £476.
David Watson of Ohme, which sells Home Pro EV smart chargers, said: ‘If, as predicted, that standard electricity tariff rises to 60p/kWh, those same 6,800 miles would cost an EV driver £1,020 — eight times more than on an off-peak tariff.’
He said that EV motorists should speak to their electricity supplier and see if they offer an off-peak tariff to help offset the rises — and if not, consider switching suppliers to one that does.
Queen of Soul: The greatest hits of Aretha Franklin's life .
One of the greatest singers of all time passed away of pancreatic cancer on August 16, 2018. But, of course, the Queen of Soul's legacy would live on. For instance, fans have recently enjoyed a biopic on her life, 'Respect' (2021), starring Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, as well as the anthology series 'Genius: Aretha,' starring Cynthia Erivo, who was Emmy nominated for her take on the Queen. For more on her legacy, check out this gallery to see some of Aretha Franklin's greatest moments.