Autosport International 2014 Season Opener


January 10, 2014 By Mike Lee
Last updated on January 29, 2017

All motorsport eyes were on Birmingham today, as the a range of major projects broke cover at the NEC during the opening day of Autosport International, Europe’s largest dedicated motorsport trade show.

Approximately 600 performance engineering companies and 30,000 motorsport professionals are expected to attend the show, with international guests joining the renowned British motorsport community to start the new season. Following a second trade-focused day tomorrow, Friday 10 January, doors will open to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

The extent of the sector’s contribution to the UK economy was further highlighted by the release of new data about its growth. In figures compiled and released today by the Motorsport Industry Association, Britain’s Motorsport Valley generated £9 billion in sales in 2012, up £4.6 billion in 2000.

The MIA’s Members Business Lounge and the UKTI’s unique International Business Exchange, facilitating global relationships for the local industry, are among the networking opportunities for professionals at the show.

A number of new projects launched today at Autosport International showcase the strength of the sector.

The new venture for former Caterham Cars CEO Ansar Ali and COO Mark Edwards, Zenos Cars revealed its first model, the lightweight E10 sports car. Track-focused and road legal, the open-top, two-seater is powered by a 200bhp engine, weighs 650kg and covers 0-60mph in under five seconds.

With a unique aluminium extrusion ‘backbone’ chassis architecture, the E10 will be available from just £24,995.

“It’s been a huge day for Zenos Cars,” co-founder Ali said. “As a major event for the UK sports car industry, Autosport International is a great place to make the E10’s presence known. We’re really glad to be here, and hopefully by the end of the four days more people will be familiar with the Zenos brand.

“In designing the car, it was a fine balance; we wanted it to look aggressive without having an outrageous attitude. We’d already communicated the engineering of the car, so people knew what underpins it, but the reaction to the design and the pricepoint from the press, industry and potential customers has been really positive.”

Local race preparation company, JRM launched a brand-new Group N specification Subaru WRX STI rally car, signalling the start of a partnership with Subaru Tecnica International, the Japanese manufacturer’s motorsport arm. The project is unique as a sedan configuration of the current generation WRX STI, rather than a hatchback, to deliver improved aerodynamics, traction and balance.

“The WRX STI is a formidable performance car and we have found there is a real hunger in markets around the world for a latest-specification Gp N Subaru that is strong, reliable and cost effective,” said James Rumsey, JRM executive director.

As part of Ford’s presence at the show, the Radical RXC Turbo was introduced, following the launch of the RXC at Autosport International 2013. The 3.5-litre, twin-turbo V6 engine from Ford’s EcoBoost range produces 454bhp to cover 0-60mph in 2.6 seconds.

“It’s been a fantastic day to start Autosport International 2014, with a host of major projects among the new technology on display and members of the global motorsport industry on hand,” said Ian France, Autosport International Show Director.

“As evidenced by the latest figures released by the MIA documenting the on-going growth of the UK motorsport sector, the industry is in a very healthy state and that’s represented by the atmosphere within halls at the show about the year ahead.”

Autosport International continues tomorrow with a second day dedicated to trade guests, before doors open to the public on Saturday and Sunday. Trade registration is available at the door for £28, visit www.autosportinternational.com for more information.