Quite unexpectedly, considering the crisis we’ve faced these past years, 2013’s spring and autumn came with some delicious auto feasts. Believe it or not, but during the last three months, no less than five large-scale luxury car shows were held. The best Asian, European, and North American brands competed in a race of power, speed, extravagant design, and mind-blowing price tags.
The oldest car show on the planet is the Frankfurt Motor Show, whose roots can be traced back to 1897, when it was known as the Berlin Motor Show. Back then, it was the home of the International Motor Show, IAA, which was later established in Frankfurt and changed its name. At the end of the 19th century, it displayed a total of 8 cars to the public. Nowadays, that number increased by at least ten times.
Over the past years, auto shows have made it their purpose to prove that manufacturers have adopted an environmentally friendly approach. If no more than six years ago electric and hybrid models were a rarity, now one in five models is equipped with an alternative propulsion system. However, all this high-tech equipment does come for a price. Showing off the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive cars to be had, the luxury car shows on our list are the perfect event for the rich to drop some cash on the latest models. However, they are also a tourist attraction in themselves, attracting thousands of automobile enthusiasts from all corners of the world. Despite their jaw-dropping price tags, these cars are not condemned to become museum exhibits. Most of them are actually purchased during the show and taken out for a drive immediately after.
Dubai International Motor Show: 100,000 visitors
Held in the extravagant emirate of Dubai every two years, they couldn’t have picked a better spot for the most luxurious car show on Earth, boasting the most expensive of the expensive. In fact, the biggest price tag in the history of motor shows was put on the gold Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, the most expensive car in the world to date, covered in solid gold, with 700 precious stones woven into each seat, all for $7.4 million. Between the 5th and 9th of November 2013, over 150 manufacturers presented over 600 vehicles. Out of these, 108 were world premieres, setting a new record. The new Aston Martin convertible, Vanquish Volante, was unveiled with a price tag of over $300,000. One of the stars of this year’s show, Bugatti Meo Costantini, costs ten times more, with a starting price of $2.8 million. The most exclusive luxury car show on the planet managed to draw more than 100,000 visitors this year, who admired international supercars with a total value of over $136 million.
Qatar Motor Show, Doha: 120,000 Visitors
The annual motor show held in Doha, Qatar at the Doha Exhibitions Center is a relatively new player on the luxury car shows scene. The first edition was held in 2011, while the third was held between January 29 and February 2, 2013. It welcomed 120,000 visitors who came to see Bertone celebrate their 100th birthday, while W Motors, a Beirut based company, unveiled their first Arab-designed supercar, the Lykan Hypersport, the first Lebanese ultra-supercar. Equipped with LED lights encrusted with diamonds, leather coated interiors, and a roaring engine generating 750 horsepower, it comes with a price tag of no less than $3.4 million.
Guangzhou International Motor Show: 140,000 Visitors
Over the past years, China has become the largest automobile market in the world. It managed to sell an estimated 21 million units in 2013, which is 6 million more than the U.S. Therefore, auto shows have become more popular. Guangzhou International Motor Show is the second largest event of its kind in China after the Shanghai Motor Show. Between the 21th and 28th of November this year, Guangzhou International Motor Show’s 10th edition boasted both low-cost and luxury models, managing to gather over 140,000 visitors during the first two days. The star of the show was the Lexus CT200, Toyota’s luxury brand, a hybrid hatchback aimed at the European market, listed for around $30,000. The most expensive car at the Guangzhou International Motor Show was the five-seat Jaguar C-X17, with a price tag of $50,000.
Geneva Motor Show: 690,000 Visitors
One of the biggest luxury car shows in the world, the Geneva Motor Show opened its doors between the 7th and 17th of March 2013, counting its 83rd edition. Metaphorically referred to as the “spring show,” the Geneva Motor Show has always been characterized by innovation and respect for the environment. This year’s show took pride in its electric and hybrid models, new concepts meant to change the auto industry as we know it. A total of 690,000 visitors gathered around the centerpiece of the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the Lamborghini Veneno, launched on the occasion of Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary. The most spectacular ultra-sport car unveiled this year is also the most expensive, at $4 million.
Shanghai Motor Show: 813,000 Visitors
In the summer of 2013, between the 21st and 29th of April, the Shanghai Motor Show brought together a series of cars that are specially designed for the blooming Chinese market. Both innovative hybrid cars and amazing new concepts were unveiled in front of no less than 813,000 visitors. Ford launched their Escort Concept, specially designed for the Chinese roads, local manufacturer Cherry Automobile launched their Cherry QQ, a low-cost at $4,000, Geely, the company that owns Volvo, presented their EX8 SUV, and Audi revealed their R8 V8, on sale for $114,000. The star of the show, and the most expensive car presented at the bi-annual Shanghai Motor Show, was the Ferrari 458 Spider, with a price tag of $300,000.
Los Angeles Motor Show: 900,000 Visitors
This year, both the Los Angeles Motor Show and the Tokyo Motor Show had coinciding dates. However, this minor detail didn’t prevent any of the shows from attracting the minimum number of visitors they aimed for. Held between November 22 and December 1, the Los Angeles Motor Show welcomed 900,000 visitors. One of the most luxurious car shows in the world saw the world premiere of the BMW 4 Series Convertible, with prices starting from $60,000, the new MINI, Porsche Macan, Jaguar’s coupe version of F-TYPE, the Mercedes S65 AMG, at $200,000, summing up 56 world and North American debuts. The most expensive car on display was the massive $1.1 million Youabian Puma.
Tokyo Motor Show: 902,800 Visitors
The annual auto show held in Tokyo is Japan’s premier and most exclusive event of its kind. Between November 22 and December 1, 2013 the 43th edition opened its doors for 452 exhibitors to display a total of 802 vehicles in front of no less than 902,800 visitors. Subaru officially launched their BRZ model and Audi launched their Quattro Concept at $204,000. Among the most stunning apparitions there were the Honda Vezel, Lexus RC, Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV, and Honda S660 Concept. Kode Japanese cars played an important role, while the ultimate attraction was the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, covered in solid gold, previously unveiled at the Dubai Motor Show, with a price tag of $7.4 million.
New York International Auto Show: 1 Million Visitors
Welcoming an average 1 million visitors each year, the New York International Motor Show is America’s biggest event of its kind. Boasting super-luxurious cars only the rich can afford, it is nevertheless worth a visit if you are a true car fan. Between the 6th and 15th of April 2013, almost 1,000 vehicles have been on display. The new generation of Azera was unveiled, as well as the SRT Viper, the Range Rover Sport, Acura MDX, and the most elegant version of the Discovery 4. However, the attractions of the show were the Cadillac CTS Berlina 2014, at $64,000, the new Lamborghini Gallardo at $191,000, the $450,000 Ferrari 450 Italia, the Rolls-Royce Drophead Phantom Coupe with a starting price of $469,000, and the Bugatti Veyron with a stunning price tag of $1.6 million.
Frankfurt Motor Show: 1 Million Visitors
Held every two years, the Frankfurt Motor Show is the oldest and most renowned auto show in the world. Organized by the Auto Industry Association in Germany, VDA, in Frankfurt, Germany, it reunites local manufacturers, as well as world-renowned names and tuning brands. Between the 12th and 22nd of September 2013, the Frankfurt Motor Show celebrated its 65th edition. While it was dominated by Teuton manufacturers, it also welcomed high-class luxury cars. Lamborghini presented their special edition Gallardo Squadra Corse, Maserati presented their Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna, Porsche presented their 911 Porsche Carrera S 50 Years Edition, and Rolls Royce boasted their special edition Phantom Celestial, one of the most expensive cars at the show. Although the price tag had not yet been revealed, it will surely cost a lot more than the basic Phantom model which is listed for $500,000. Almost 1 million visitors came to see the nearly 1,000 cars on display this year, out of which the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse Legend was the most expensive, at $3 million.
Paris International Motor Show: 1.2 Million Visitors
Unofficially known as the international cars championship, one of the most important motor shows in the world is unfortunately only a bi-annual event. The latest edition was held between September 29 and October 14, 2012 at Paris Expo. The Paris International Motor Show is the most visited in the world, counting a remarkable number of 1.2 million guests in 2012. Showing off both modern and classic cars, the 2012 edition was dominated by the world’s most expensive Rolls Royce cars. Mazda 6 Wagon saw its world premier, while McLaren P1, a hybrid, was the most expensive at $1.15 million.