2018 Cape Town Motor Show review

Mother City motor show opens its doors for the second year and is bigger and better than before

2018 Cape Town Motor Show

Approaching the ten-lane ticket booth entrance at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World is more akin to arriving in Las Vegas than at Cape Town’s second motor show.

But take your parking ticket, find a space and you’ll soon be hit by the screeching of rubber, the roar of exhausts and the boom of speakers.


The show is spread across eight distinct, three inside and the remainder under the dark blue skies of the Western Cape.

After 20,000 people walked through the turnstiles in its inaugural year, organisers hope that the event will attract between 30,000-35,000 this year.

Jaguar F-Type on skid pan

It’s the Jaguar and Land Rover village by the pedestrian entrance that takes the prizes for being the most visually and acoustically impressive while you also get a chance to be part of the action yourself.

Take a passenger ride in the Jaguar F-Type Coupe and you’ll be spun, pirouetted and slid more than a celebrity on Dancing on Ice, while a Land Rover ‘off-road’ course gives you a glimpse into what these mighty machines are capable of with both Discovery’s and Range Rover Sport scaling man-made traverses and slopes.


There’s even the option of taking out a Range Rover Velar or Jaguar F-Pace for a test drive and don’t miss the chance to get a peek at the brand-new E-Pace, Jaguar’s all-new baby SUV.

Land Rover Discovery on off-road course

Move on from here and you’re greeted by the beautiful façade of the Sun Exhibit building before you cross its moat to enter. Inside is dominated by motorcycles, gadgets and historic cars.

Continue through to the Market Hall and you’ll find mostly motor related stalls, although the one selling chutney catches the eye. Buy anything from suspension components, tyres to roadside recovery.

Finally, some fresh new metal is on show in the Grand Arena. The likes of Audi (R8, RS5), Alfa Romeo (Giulia, Stelvio) Peugeot (3008), Lexus, VW (Polo) and Shelby South Africa are all present. Meanwhile, an Aston Martin DB11 and McLaren 570S add some much-needed glitz.

Sun Exhibit at GrandWest

After some audience participation? Then a selection of Audi’s Q2 and Q5, Peugeot’s 3008, Jaguar’s F-Pace, and Subaru’s Outback are all waiting outside to be driven. Subaru even has a test area for its Eyesight safety kit where the car will perform an emergency stop for you.

Staying outside brings you to Sunpark with more Audis on display alongside Tata and Haval Motors South Africa models. There’s a stage with live music and somewhere to get some replenishment.

Cast your eyes over to the drifting arena and observe or be a passenger in a sliding Nissan 300Z or Chevrolet Lumina before rounding off the show with a visit to Dusty Rebel Village. Essentially where hot rods meet tattoos, goths and the 1940 and ’50s theme.

Dusty Rebel Village at Cape Town Motor Show

With the show in its second year, there are certainly areas for improvement. Sometimes it can feel a little too dark inside and subdued with the Grand Arena in need of some added manufacturer glitz.

However, it’s early days and the signs are promising with plenty of interactive events available for visitors.

Now, those manufacturers who benefit so greatly from a strong customer base in the Western Cape, namely Ford and Mercedes-Benz, need to step up and be present, adding further weight to what is a well thought out motor show.

The Cape Town Motor Show is on for the rest of the weekend at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, coming to a close on Sunday 4th March.

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