The sun shines as Salon Privé London gets off to a glittering start with multiple UK debuts and luxury showcases.

The sun shone on Royal Hospital Chelsea as Salon Privé London opened to guests on the first day of the 2023 season-opening spectacle. The second annual Salon Privé London event is presenting a glittering collection of new automobiles for guests to enjoy over the coming days, including multiple UK debuts, plus more than 60 of the world’s finest collectors’ cars in the Concours de Vente central attraction, and finery from leading global and British luxury brands.

Guests and media gathered early on Thursday morning for a formal welcome by show Director David Bagley. ‘It’s great to be back in the capital and in the picturesque grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The must-attend automotive event has got off to a fantastic start. We officially opened today with over a dozen launches featuring some of the world’s greatest marques and luxury retail brands. Once again, Salon Privé is proud to deliver a spectacular event in the heart of the city, packed with superb cars, first-class hospitality and a prestigious location, which you simply won’t find anywhere else.’

The exciting Abarth 500e Scorpionissima charged into Chelsea and made its UK public debut at Salon Privé London. The first ever electric Abarth was presented in vivid Acid Green paint, with its ULEZ-friendly zero tailpipe emissions combined with 155bhp to serve up city centre acceleration a full 50% faster than the existing Abarth 695 petrol car. The future is, literally, bright!

American hypercar and high-performance brand Hennessey revealed its sensational new Venom F5 Roadster – with the help of Founder and CEO John Hennessey. He also announced the 1,817bhp open-top hypercar will be sold in partnership with H.R. Owen. The new Hennessey London store officially launched at Salon Privé London ahead of welcoming customers from all over Europe.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars gave the new Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended its UK debut. The Goodwood-based car company said the “highly exclusive” Salon Privé London event is a fitting launchpad for its new super-luxury motor car, which was shown in striking Belladonna Purple. A Sagano Green Rolls-Royce Ghost was also on hand for guests to review.

The all-new Maserati GranTurismo was yet another car to make its UK debut. The four-seat grand tourer was shown in high-spec V6 turbo guise – and Maserati experts were on hand to tell Salon Privé London visitors about the forthcoming pure electric Maserati GranTurismo Folgore, too. All new Maserati GranTurismo variants share the same evocative styling and classical lines.

The new Wiesmann Project Thunderball thrilled Royal Hospital Chelsea visitors thanks to its unmistakable styling and proportions. The world’s first pure electric roadster, Wiesmann CEO, and owner Roheen Berry presented the new 680bhp, €300,000 car, which already boasts a growing waiting list. Deliveries will begin in 2024, he explained – and described Salon Privé London as “the perfect event for our UK public debut”.

Fast-growing luxury brand Genesis presented the pure electric GV60 in 2023 model year guise. This includes unique face recognition technology as standard. Similar to smartphone facial recognition tech, the Face Connect feature is first in Europe and the UK; instead of having to press a key, owners simply walk up to the vehicle and look into a camera on the B-pillar. A novel feature that certainly wowed the crowds at Salon Privé London.

Another striking UK debut was the first public showcase of the new Polestar 3 electric luxury SUV. It’s due to arrive on UK roads in early 2024, meaning Royal Hospital Chelsea were treated to a noteworthy early preview of the exciting new high-performance SUV from this exciting sporty EV brand. Polestar also showed the new Polestar 2 BST edition 270 ultra-limited edition.

Theon Design, the Oxfordshire experts specialising in delivering bespoke Porsche-based commissioned, presented its new ITA001. A Porsche 911 964 Carrera 4-based commission, it boasts a 400bhp 4.0-litre air-cooled flat-six engine, and weighs just 1,152kg thanks to its lightweight carbon body. “We are looking forward to meeting enthusiasts at Salon Privé London to share our obsession about Porsche,” said Theon Co-Founder Adam Hawley as the covers were pulled off – adding that shortly after, ITA001 will be shipped across to Italy for its new owner to enjoy…

The Grand Tour star Richard Hammond bought real celebrity status to Salon Privé London, as he showcased the latest creation from his The Smallest Cog restoration business, a Chapron-bodied Delahaye. The firm is fresh from restoring it to its original colours, as chosen by 1930s motor racing hero Louis Chiron. “We’re delighted to have the chance to show off these colours in front of a discerning audience at the fast-becoming-legendary Salon Privé London in 2023,” said Richard Hammond.

Luxury brands also rolled out new products for their UK debut. Montblanc grabbed headlines by presenting its new 8000 Capsule collection, a timepiece tribute to the world’s 14 highest peaks and the alpinists who scaled them. The collection comes fresh from its world debut just weeks earlier in Geneva. Horologists also showed keen interest in the new Montblanc 1958 Iced Sea Collection, at which a new dark grey dial choice was presented at Salon Privé London.

Coachbuilt Whisky is a new blend launched by Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button and whisky expert George Kotusakis. The blend is from five Scotch regions and demonstrates the immense skill required to piece together a beautifully crafted whisky. “I’ve always loved my whisky,” said Jenson who added that, after he met George, “the parallels between blending and coachbuilding became pretty apparent.”

Headline cars making their UK debut joined the unique Salon Privé London Supercar and Manufacturers Parade, so guests were able to see the varied line-up of automotive icons in action. Attention then turned to the famous Salon Privé London Concours de Vente, a unique showcase of more than 60 collectors’ cars – all of which are for sale and can be bought in person from Royal Hospital Chelsea.

And for those looking for excitement beyond the world of cars, Salon Privé London’s unmatchable gathering of luxury brands offers something for everyone – including fine jewellery from Boodles. The long-running family-owned brand, established in 1798, is now preparing for Friday’s Boodles Best Hat Competition, in which the 2023 prize is a classic diamond set pendant worth £2,600.

Salon Privé London is one of the world’s most prestigious automotive events and the sister event to the globally renowned Salon Privé at Blenheim Palace which is now in its 18th year.

The capital’s most exclusive automotive party, Salon Privé London offers plenty to see and do in addition to the motoring attractions. There will be a luxury shopping village featuring brands such as high-end British Jewellery designer Boodles, and watches from famed luxury brand, Montblanc.

Food and hospitality will also be first class, in the famed Salon Privé tradition, with a three-course luncheon, delicious Pommery Champagne, cocktails from the London Essence Co and fine wines from Château la Gordonne.

Further highlights include fun for all the family during Saturday at Salon Privé, plus exclusive VIP hospitality at The Sloane and DJs keeping the party going well into the evening on Thursday and Friday.

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