Top Marques Monaco was founded 13 years ago by an experienced team with a background in international exhibitions. The concept behind what is now one of the prestigious auto shows in the world was to create an exhibition which goes beyond the static events of Paris, Frankfurt, Geneva and Detroit; where visitors can actually test drive the vehicles that catch their eye.
Monaco, the international capital of luxury, hosts arguably the most famous Grand Prix in the world. So it was the obvious choice of venue for the live auto show, with test drives even taking place on the F1 circuit. During last year’s edition of Top Marques, approximately 1,300 test drives took place over the four days. Anyone with a driving licence, and who is over 21, can request to test drive one of the cars, but it is ultimately down to the discretion of the manufacturers as to who they choose to take out.
Last year approximately 42,000 visitors attended the show. Organisers expect even more people to visit this year’s show, with an even greater number of pre-sale tickets already having been sold to date than ever before.
“I would estimate that up to 20 percent of the visitors are from the supercar industry, with the rest being car enthusiasts,” says Manoj Bairstow, managing director of Top Marques Monaco. “We now have a huge following amongst supercar ‘spotters’ who come from around the world to see their favourite supercars – or just to hear them in the street. There is also a small percentage who come to Top Marques to actually buy a supercar,” he adds.
This gets me thinking about the attendees; I wonder how many of the fans are women, compared to the percentage of men. Is it a show angled at ‘boys and their toys’, or does it attract an even number of both genders? Let’s not forget that televised car shows such as Top Gear have a large female following. “It is not really accurate to say the show attracts more men than women,” says Bairstow. “Perhaps it’s the men that initiate the visit, but they like to bring their lady-friends with them – which is why we created a section for luxury products, including watches and jewellery, so that the female visitors didn’t get frustrated that Top Marques was all about the cars! It is definitely a supercar show, but with elements now to keep everyone happy.”
The 2016 edition is set to be a belter, with at least half a dozen supercars poised to steal the show, including the Icona Vulcano; a stunning supercar which has been made entirely out of titanium. Mazzanti Automobili, from Italy, will also be bringing its latest Evantra supercar to Top Marques, as well as the Falcarto, launched by a Germany’s Halcon SuperSport, and the Donkervoort D8 GTO, one of the fastest (street-legal) cars in the world, with an acceleration of 0-100 kmh in an incredible 2.8 seconds.
In addition to all of the adrenaline-pumping, spine-tingling excitement that these vehicles of beauty bring to the event, Top Marques also has a softer side. It also presents a platform for green technology. This includes cutting-edge innovations. “Top Marques is extremely proud of its green credentials – we try to every year shine the spotlight on a number of ground-breaking technologies that are respectful of the environment, an issue close to the heart of H.S.H Prince Albert II, under whose High Patronage the show is honoured to stand,” said Bairstow.
In fact, for the 13th edition, Top Marques will be showcasing the first ever all-electric Fiat 500, which would look perfect, says its designer Massimiliano Grand, ‘coming out of a 165-feet yacht and being driven along the ports of the most exclusive locations around the world’.
Top Marques has a reputation for opening a window onto the future, and showcasing daring innovations of the future. So what will else do you have in store for us this year?
“We are delighted that ArcaSpace, the New Mexican team behind the world’s first truly flying hover board, the ArcaBoard, has chosen to launch its product at Top Marques this year; says Bairstow. “This groundbreaking and green technological innovation runs entirely on electric energy and launching it in Monaco mirrors the values of the Principality as a beacon in the green movement.”
And there you have it; a showcase of innovation, driven by an infectious passion and enthusiasm. It’s hard not to get goose bumps at the very thought of it.
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