Jaguar always makes an effort for its home show, and this year unveiled three new models including the eagerly anticipated XKR. Uprated to 420 hp, the supercharged V-8 was undoubtedly one of the stars of the expo. Next to it was the first diesel version of the XJ LWB saloon, plus a special edition XJR Portfolio
Fancy the ultimate in luxury race cars? Ford's other British division, Aston Martin, announced it will be making the V8 Vantage that recently competed at the Nuerburgring 24-hour event in Germany available to customers. Built to order from next month, the car comes with a roll cage, special fuel tank and fire system, racing seat and built-in air jacks for pit-lane efficiency. The car will still be completely road legal. There's no word on cost yet, but the company said it expected the figure "to be close to the price of the standard production car" which is £82,800 ($113,200).
The global premiere of Land Rover's LR2 - to be badged Freelander 2 here - was the big news on the company stand. But it wasn't necessarily the main talking point. With more than a nod to its critics, the firm is piloting a carbon dioxide offset scheme. "It's the biggest and most comprehensive program of its kind by a U.K. car company and will allow both the firm and its customers to contribute to a cleaner environment," said managing director Phil Popham. The initiative is in addition to Ford's £1 billion environmental investment in the U.K., announced on Monday. So what does it mean for the British customer? In the showroom, he or she will pay up to £165 ($300) on top of the price of the car. That money will be used by partner organization Climate Care to fund sustainable energy schemes. Land Rover has faced the wrath of eco-campaigners in the U.K. over the last couple of years for producing SUVs that allegedly harm the planet.
Most unlikely launch of the day had to be BykaTryka
, which is hoping its SK8 concept will revolutionize the image of the tricycle. A company spokesman said: "If you thought trikes are only ridden by bearded weirdos, you couldn't be more wrong. This trike is for your daughter, when you are worried she would fall off a motorcycle. They are cool enough for your son when it's too expensive to add him to your insurance and his mother won't let him have a bike." The words cute and fun were also used. Most cynical hacks remained unconvinced, to say the least.