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The Future's Bright at Your Used Car Supermarket

Sep 13, 2008
The one thing I've always promised myself would never occur happened last week - I became my dad. Now I love my dad and we get on brilliantly, but he does have a tendency to moan. Whether it's being stuck in a traffic jam, the price of milk or the quality of projection at the cinema, my dad can't resist the odd rant. Clearly then I'm my father's son as when we attended the British Motor Show, I had a list of things to have a pop at.

Now the motor show is essentially what a used car supermarket will look like in a few years time so it's important to gauge the quality of metal on show and pinpoint the highlights. Before I do that though, let me re-live my moan. I'm from a large town myself and am often out in a large city so a trip to London doesn't faze me in that respect however it takes forever to get anywhere. The underground network is great - there's always a train, always on time and always gets you to your destination. The problem is that they're cramped, sweaty and it appears that to get from one shop to another type of retailer takes 30 minutes and 30 tube stops.

The motor show was situated alongside the river Thames, snuggled up alongside the Millennium Dome or whatever they've called it this week. In essence then the motor show was in the middle of nowhere. I could've got off a stop too early and never been seen again quite frankly. So off the train I got feeling as though I'd already done a day's work and I was herded towards the exhibition centre. After being bombarded with dozens of flyers for all manner of goods within seconds of my arrival, I spied the entrance a mere 100 metres away and thought if I could keep my head down I'd avoid anymore trees being chopped down and handed to me.

Cunningly though the companies employed the most gorgeous girls to hand out the flyers and try as I might I couldn't avoid sneaking a glimpse at their perfect faces. This of course involved eye contact which might as well have been a signed contract for another ten flyers in my direction. Despite these distractions I made it inside and can report that there are plenty of automotive delights on the horizon.

For a kick off, Lotus premiered their Evora or 'first new car in 13 years'. The Evora is a 2+2 mid engined sports car aimed squarely at the Porsche Cayman. With looks to kill, a 3.5 litre V6 engine and prices starting around the 45,000 mark in the UK; their German rivals must be sweating like a turkey at Christmas.

For the Hyundai enthusiast, the Genesis had jaws dropping. It is envisaged that the orange monster on display will morph into the latest Coupe next year with the aggressive yet curvy styling remaining unaltered. The Genesis is definitely going on sale in the United States - and judging by the reaction it got in London - in the UK as well.

For the more realistic buyer two cars were the definite standouts. Firstly Ford unveiled the long awaited return of the RS badge, this time adorning the new Focus. Developing a staggering 296bhp from just 2.5 litres, the Focus RS is the company's wildest hot hatch yet. Vauxhall offered a more modest new car in the Insignia, the replacement for the Vectra however the word 'elegant' just doesn't do it justice. Aimed squarely the existing customer base, Vauxhall hope the Insignia will entice others out of their Fords and to their way of thinking. With prices set to range from 16,000 to 22,000 they are surely onto a winner.

Speaking of winners, may I be so bold to say that we as paying customers are in a very good position. You see with such an influx of new cars due imminently or in early 2009, establishments such as used car supermarkets will be flooded with the older Vectra or Ford Focus ST as people grab the new stuff. Just because a new car is out, doesn't instantly make the old one bad - the Honda Civic Type R being one strong example. Used car supermarkets specialise in providing a wide choice of cars and the coming months should give the buyer even more variants to choose from. The upshot being that prices will tumble and you'll end up with an exceptional car rather than a dog eared ex-commuter one as all the others have already been sold.

I really enjoyed the show and will enjoy my trip to the used car supermarket in a few months time even more. For a start I won't need to get on the London underground.
About the Author
Ieuan Knox fears the prospect of becoming his father but manages to get back on track with a look at the Used Car Supermarket
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