Glamour, glitz and endless sunshine – there really is only one place Top Marques can host their annual supercar show isn’t there? In seven days time the doors will open again in Monaco as its beautiful Grimaldi Forum plays host to the annual global gathering of expensive, luxurious and at times outrageous machinery.
Nestled in the hills on the French Riviera, Monaco will welcome familiar marques such as Ferrari and Porsche, as well as more niche manufacturers and tuners such as Fisker and RUF. The point of Top Marques isn’t to show off hot new models to the world (this is left to Geneva and Frankfurt), but to allow potential customers to get an up close and personal look at what manufacturers have to offer in a glamorous setting.
Having been to this show a few times in the past, I can tell you that if you like to window shop quickly then your Top Marques show experience will be over very quickly as everything is housed within one intimate-sized hall – this is no multi-hall NEC affair. Because of its exclusivity though, the show affords you the opportunity to take advantage of the relaxed atmosphere and sparse crowds and sit in all of the cars on show and speak openly with the representatives on each stand. As an example how easily you can strike up a conversation in the hall, I enjoyed a very much uncensored chat with Lee Noble for a good half hour at the 2005 show.
The manufacturers and customers of these cars are seemingly well insulated from recent global financial storms as shown by the breadth and quantity of exhibitors for 2010. As mentioned earlier, the big players will be there with their stands, so expect Lamborghini to be showing off their LP 570-4 Superleggera, Pagani dominating the entrance with a wild spec Zonda and Rolls Royce to do their usual Top Marques trick of plonking a ridiculous Phantom in the middle of the hall.
What’s most interesting about this supercar show are the weird and wonderful low volume manufacturers it attracts. Fisker returns once again to show off its ‘Karma’ model, which Fisker claim to be the world’s first premium plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Just 83g/km of CO2 is churned out, though it’s not all green talk thanks to 100km/h arriving from standstill in six seconds. Well known hybrid company Tesla will also be in attendance should you wish to sit in one of their Roadsters, as will RUF with its 367hp electric powered Cayenne.
Those of you who nod off at the talk of hybrid technology and just want to ogle at outlandish looks and brutal performance will not be disappointed. Canadian car company HTT will be presenting its Pléthore LC-750, which churns out 750hp from its fully carbon fibre chassis, which is home to a McLaren F1esque central driving position. The GTA Spano we revealed a couple of months ago will be in attendance, as will the Savage Rivale Roadyacht GTS, which is a Dutch four door convertible supercar powered by a not inconsiderable 670hp V8 block. Named Roadyacht after apparently having its interior inspired by a yacht, the Roadyacht GTS in typically Dutch style is available in orange, orange or orange.
More ridiculous cars will be on the catwalk this year in Monaco, including Lexus’ LFA and Brabus’ array of thunderously tuned Mercedes and Maybach cars. Given the clientele likely to visit the show, Top Marques also accommodates an area solely dedicated to high end watches, golfing equipment and luxury yachts, meaning you won’t struggle for products to damage your wallet with.
Despite the eye-watering price tags on many of the cars on show, tickets are more modestly priced at €50, which also gets you the always excellent official catalogue and general goodies bag. You can either click here to book tickets online or ring +377 99 99 30 00.
As stated, you won’t find anything exclusive or groundbreaking at Top Marques, but it’s well worth going for the experience of something completely different to the traditional busy and bustling affair of other car shows. There’s plenty to do and see in Monaco, so if you can find time off next week to take a wander around one of the prettiest places in Europe, be sure to stop in at one of the most opulent shows on the calendar.