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Host of classics lined up for Gold Coast Motor Festival in Hong Kong

Plus Renault taps the city’s electric-vehicle heritage while McLaren’s new miniature P1TM shows that electric vehicles can be child’s play

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 9:10pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 10:35pm

Classics to pack Gold Coast Motor Festival

At least 60 collectors’ cars are expected at Sino Group’s two-day Gold Coast Motor Festival, outside Tuen Mun, this weekend. The Hong Kong Gold Coast hotel, marina and residential development’s “picturesque waterfront precinct will be transformed into various dynamic lifestyle and entertainment zones, each with a different motoring experience”, Sino purrs.

There is a lot to see. The Aston Martin Owners’ Club is expected to park 17 of its members’ models alongside a line-up comprising a La Ferrari, Porsche 918, Pagani Huayra BC, McLaren F1, Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, Ferrari Daytona and Nissan R34 Z Tune.

Collector Joseph Fung and a panel of experts will judge the cavalcade for several category awards and “best of show”.

The picturesque waterfront precinct will be transformed into various dynamic lifestyle and entertainment zones, each with a different motoring experience
Sino Group

Sino says the event will also be thoughtfully curated with car talks by automotive leaders to help visitors learn more about the latest in motor trends and innovations while enjoying a weekend with families and friends.

The developer also promises live jazz and Latino music, pro-racing simulators, test-driving zones with a range of Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen cars, a “retail lifestyle zone” and an electric-vehicle laboratory. Japanese model car brand Tomica will set up a children’s “motor fantasy world”, the organisers added.

Festival tickets include a free shuttle and drink, but they may seem expensive at HK$100 and HK$60 when the upcoming Hong Kong Motorcycle Show (November 6 at Edinburgh Place in Central) and the Classic Car Club of Hong Kong’s Chater Road Show (November 20 in Central) are both free. Sino, meanwhile, offers further incentives such as a “Motor Festival 20 per cent discount voucher from 11 participating Sino Malls upon spending HK$300 or more”. The development’s hotels also offer rooms at HK$1,850 to HK$1,988.

Renault “ding dings” Hongkongers’ electric heritage

Renault dealer Wearnes Motors (HK) tops the podium for Hong Kong Formula E publicity this week, with its picture of a sponsored tram. This particular electric vehicle, commonly known locally by the term “ding ding”, carries the World ePrix Champions’ name at about 16km/h and reminds Hongkongers that they have more than a century of electric motoring heritage. After all, Hong Kong’s 163 trams teach the basics of electric-vehicle driving to about 180,000 people a day. They remind passengers to brace for the sharp acceleration and braking of electric power. Trams also condition passengers to the gentle whine of an electric motor and the rumble of the road without the jarring “vroom” of a petrol engine.

Hong Kong Tramways drivers also teach the electric-vehicle world to drive smoothly. If you observe a tram “captain” closely, you might soon be impressed by his or her patience, traffic anticipation and gentle motor control in some of the densest traffic in the world. Such time-honoured skills are increasingly key to the enjoyment of the latest electric cars.

Electric vehicles for all ages

The October 1-16 Paris Motor Show promises several electric-car launches. Mercedes-Benz will reveal its range and plans for electric drive; Smart is launching its new, fourth-generation Fortwo and Forfour electric cars; and the Opel Ampera-e promises to unveil a BMW i3-challenging battery range of over 400km. Meanwhile, McLaren this week unveiled its electric P1TM – a miniature car for glamour-seeking drivers-about-town over the age of three. “The young will be able to experience what adults never could: an open-top McLaren P1,” the marque says. “Yet cleverly the design still retains McLaren’s signature dihedral doors. And like every McLaren, its acceleration is startling. The zero to maximum speed dash takes just two seconds.”

The young will be able to experience what adults never could: an open-top McLaren P1

The halo kindergarten car “surges into life via a one-button stop/start function”, automatically activating the lights and air-conditioning unit, the marque adds. “An MP3 player and audio system is standard and helpfully already pre-programmed with every popular nursery rhyme. The must-have also features a reverse gear, in addition to its three-speed, forward transmission. Handy if you’ve arrived at the wrong playground.”

The word at milk break is that the McLaren P1TM can top at 4.8km/h and will be available at international McLaren outlets later this month. It is already£in London (going for the equivalent of HK$3,775). However, six-year-olds seeking Sunday drive thrills could soon find the law on their tails. We hear Toys ‘R’ Us now stocks the Little Tikes police patrol car at HK$999.90.