European Motor Show 2012 – The Brussels Salon


Whilst lacking the publicity of Detroit, the fervor of Tokyo and the glamour of Geneva, the European Motor Show – otherwise known as the Brussels Salon – continues to impress in it’s own unique way.

This year marks the 90th edition of the show and an estimated 600,000 automotive fans and prospective buyers will show up.  This means that Brussels tops the list of international salons in terms of visitor numbers compared to the number of inhabitants in the country (something that the organizers, FEBIAC, are very proud of).  And whilst the Brussels salon may not feature high-profile global unveilings ad infintium like the aforementioned shows, more people here will go on to buy a car they have seen at the show.  Now, how many people at Detroit have put their name down for Lexus’s LF-LC?  Didn’t think so.  It’s for this reason that the European Motor Show is firmly on the manufacturer’s radars.

This year’s show acts as a curtain raiser for the Cleaner Mobility exhibition.  This themed segment of the show gives visitors an excellent idea of how environmentally friendly mobility products are materializing, as well as tangibly showing the advancement of a number of commercially viable alternative fuel solutions.  As you might imagine, the majority of vehicles in this section are electric and with many manufactures agreeing to exhibit their green vehicles here in addition to their conventional stands, there’s certainly no shortage of things to see.

The focus is on small cars and urban mobility – vehicles such as Renault’s Twizy runabout and Citroen’s all-electric C-Zero city car, although the usual suspects are on display also – BMW’s i3 concept and Nissan’s dramatic Leaf Racer.  Many EVs can be test driven in the Cleaner Mobility exhibition.

On par with the ‘small’ theme, face lifted versions of Citroen C1, Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo accounted for half of the world premieres this year and, although not much has changed in regard to styling (see for yourself), they’re all available with a 1-litre engine that emits just 99g/km CO2.

This year’s salon is certainly embracing a green philosophy, which nicely makes up for the relatively low number of EVs at Detroit.  Take a look.