Arguably Southeast Asia’s most anticipated automobile event, the Bangkok International Motor Show wrapped up in Bangkok on 8 April with more than 30 of the world’s best automotive brands bringing their sleekest, sexiest new models to Thailand. The 39th edition of the show saw a number of regional debuts from manufacturers including BMW, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce. If you weren’t one of the 1.62 million petrolheads to attend the 14-day show and feel you may have missed out, do not fret, we’ve rounded up five of the finest cars on display. Here are our favourites:
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Rolls-Royce revealed its all-new luxury behemoth to the South East Asia market at the show, drawing attention not just for the Phantom’s sheer size but also its striking redesign. Designers have conjured the majesty of the classic phantoms of the 1950s and 60s with a sweeping rear, while keeping the car cutting edge up front with LED headlights. Rolls-Royce delivered the opulence we’ve come to expect in the interior — fully customizable leather, wood, and silk trims. The Phantom VIII includes more than 130 kg of sound deadening tech, including insulating glass, to keep the noise of the outside world at bay. This extra weight is countered by Rolls-Royce’s trademark all-aluminum structure — which the manufacturer dubs ‘Architecture of Luxury’ — a design that is light weight and offers a smoother ride. Powering all this opulence is a 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 engine which transfers power to an eight-speed automatic transmission, allowing a rather impressive (considering its size) 0-100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds.
It may be one of BMW’s largest estates, but with a two-liter, four-cylinder twin power turbo petrol engine, the 530i retains its sportiness and can accelerate to 100 km/h from a standstill in 6.5 seconds with a top speed of 250 km/h. Its longer, wider, taller, and more lavish, than its predecessor with 30 liters more luggage space — ideal for adventurers. The lush interiors of cream leather and dark wood are studded with state-of-the-art tech including a 10.25-inch touchscreen display, gesture control, wireless charging, parking distance control, and rear-view cameras. The high-tech continues outside with a hands-free tailgate opening, just flick your foot underneath the rear bumper. The family car’s sporty look is completed with extra-wide headlights that extend as far as that famous kidney grille and a twin exhaust pipe at the back.
Twelve years after the original Vantage was launched, Aston Martin held the South East Asia debut of the all-new iteration at the Bangkok International Motor Show. With a sleek, sporty redesign and plenty of new tech to complement its twin-turbo engine, the car was a real head-turner at the show. Outside, the redesign features an athletic-looking long hood and low-slung front grill. Inside, there’s sharp-lined interior of carbon fiber and leather. Beneath that long, stealthy hood is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 which doles out an impressive 510 horsepower. The car’s top speed is 312 km/h and can sprint between 0 and 97 km/h in 3.5 seconds. It comes with a seven-speed manual transmission as standard but an eight-speed button-controlled automatic is also an option.
BMW presented the sixth generation of the high-adrenaline M5 at the show, the first with all-wheel-drive capabilities. BMW’s ‘M xDrive’ system keeps most of the super-saloon’s power in the rear wheels, with the front only coming into play when the rear wheels are unable to transmit any more power. The intelligent system gives ‘incomparable stability and control,’ that is ideal for both the track and the road, according to the manufacturer. The 4.4-litre V8 with a pair of turbos helps the car accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds, 0 to 200 km/h in 11.1 seconds, and an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h. The car weighs in at 1,855kg, light for a big executive saloon, in part due to its carbon-reinforced plastic roof. Other new design elements include a new front with large air inlets and a new lightweight exhaust system with quad tailpipes.
Porsche‘s most powerful production 911, the GT2 RS, made its Asia-Pacific debut at the Bangkok International Motor Show this year. The car’s 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged engine gives a whopping 700 horsepower and broke the record for a lap of the Nurburging Nordschiefe circuit in a production car when it was launched last year. The car’s body is honed for aerodynamics and keeping the weight down: Large front air intakes to aid cooling and a giant rear wing give it an aggressive feel. It can make 100 km/h from a standstill in just 2.7 seconds and has a top speed of 338 km/h. Inside its part race car part commute car, with both leather upholstery and a roll cage.