British Motor Show opens its doors for 2008

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Mazda Furai at the 2008 British Motor Show

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July 22, 2008 Honda's Open Study Model sports concept, debuts aplenty from the likes of Alfa Romeo, Lotus, SEAT, Ford, Cadillac and Vauxhall, a swag of supercars and not surprisingly a focus on greener leaner motoring marked the first day of the 2008 British Motor Show at ExCel in London today. A number of concept cars shown on the world circuit over the past year also made their UK appearance for the first time at the show including Peugeot's 308 RCZ concept (which will enter production in 2010), Nissan's Denki Cube, Mazda's stunning Furai and Renault's Megane. The all-electric motoring charge includes exhibits by TH!NK, ZEV, GEM, UK based NICE (No Internal Combustion Engine) and the 125mph Tesla Roadster.

Honda took the wraps off the OSM (Open Study Model) but details were still thin on the ground on the exact nature of the design study (the folks at the Honda stand were reluctant to even label it a full fledged "Concept" at this stage - but it certanly generated a high-level of interests amongst the press contingent attending day 1).

As of this morning Lotus' new mid-engined 2+2 first revealed as Project Eagle finally has a name - the Evora. The company's the recently announced Elise hemp car - a project which got underway only at the beginning of this year - also on display.

Alfa Romeo's new MiTo, which takes elements of the 8C Competizione and puts them in a compact format, is expected to hit the streets in the UK in 2009 with prices beginning at around £11,000. Mazda Furai Fresh offerings from the extensive Ford exhibit include the new Fiesta and the 300hp Focus RS. SEAT are showing the Ibiza SportCoupe for the first time, Vauxhall the new Insigna and also debuting is a new company known as IFR Automotive with its 400hp Aspid open wheeler.

Also noteworthy for those in the London vicinity who are heading to Docklands this week are the Hummer HX, Saab Provoq concept, soon to be released Honda DN01 superscooter and the V10 Lexus LF-A.

See the gallery for a selection of snaps from the first day and check back for further details of these and other show highlights as we roll towards the weekend.

View gallery - 15 images
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