Auto 2017 attendance hits high!

Tooting the car horns marked the official closure of the Riga International Motor Show “Auto 2017”, the biggest motoring event of the year in the Baltic States that offered four theme sections – "Auto", "Transport Engineering", "Auto Mechanics" and "Auto Exotica".

“Auto 2017” was attended by 203 participants showcasing the latest car models, tuning masterpieces, classic vehicles, commercial vehicles, garage equipment, tools and other automotive products and services.

This year, the three-day attendance hit 40,987, which represents a 20% increase compared to last year. Moreover, 26% of visitors were invited professionals and business customers. Other visitors represented varied circles of motoring audience – from experienced drivers and motorsport enthusiasts to young and aspiring motorists.

"It was our pleasure to work with you reaching so good results – quality exhibition content, diversified offer and a major increase in the number of visitors," tells Gints Šāvējs, the Motor Show Director.

Pan-Baltic premieres of new cars
“Auto 2017” offered a number of pan-Baltic premiers! The hottest novelty was the new Renault Koleos SUV that arrived straight from the Geneva Motor Show. Honda premiered the all-new 10th generation Honda Civic hatchback completely redesigned to new technology and features. The new Civic, by the way, is equipped with a turbocharged engine.

Return of the premium segment was marked by Jaguar and Land Rover. The latter premiered the new Land Rover Discovery SUV combining British luxury and uncompromising functionality.

Among other things, visitors had a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the newest car models shown around by the well-known automotive journalist Normunds Avotiņš.

Ambitious "Transport Engineering" exhibition
The “Transport Engineering” part was much wider this year providing an insight into such brands as Mercedes-Benz, MAN, MAZ, Fliegl, Iveco, Otokar, Solaris Bus and Scania. The latter has just modernized all the family of its cargo trucks. This is a great event in the heavy machinery segment. Shows are not deluged with new truck models so often.

Batmobile steals the show!
News about the Batmobile showcased at “Auto Exotica” sounded out loud. A million worth of the Batmobile is not only visually impressive, but also a functioning car.

Batmobile rolled all the way from the Port of Riga down to Kipsala International Exhibition Centre and the video shook the media and social networks within couple of minutes. Leif Garvin Alderskans, an owner of the Batmobile, wrote to his followers on Facebook after the show, that “Auto 2017" was one of the best and most professionally organized motor shows he had visited. He would love to come back to Latvia in the years to come.

More than 100 masterpieces of tuning
“Auto Exotica” presented more than 100 masterpieces of European and Scandinavian tuning. Unlike previous years, "Auto Exotica 2017" presented more hotrods. The most powerful of them was the Estonian-built Funny Car boasting 4500 horsepower and intended only for drag race competitions.

The Chrysler PT Cruiser was one of the most controversial and discussed exhibits. This wedding limo/carriage thing was a real head turner!

Sometimes it is quite enough, if a car is just well groomed and restored in its original version. Alongside tuning masterpieces and hotrods, "Auto Exotica 2017" also showcased artfully restored standard vehicles, for example, the 1990s Honda NSX, known as the Japanese Ferrari and created in collaboration with the F-1 driver Ayrton Senna and the legend of racing – the 1960s AC Cobra.

Auto Exotica 2017 Award Winners
The Auto Exotica 2017 Awards took place in six categories and the winners are as follows: the Best Car Of The Event – Premium Performance Race Car (Estonia); the Best Japan Tuning Car – Nissan 300 zx (Lithuania); the Best European Tuning Car –Mercedes Benz W126 AMG (Latvia); the Best American Car Tuning – Ford Mustang Roush Supercharged (Lithuania); the Best Sports Car – Nissan 200sx Pro Drift (Latvia) and the Best Vintage Car – Cadillac Calais (Lithuania).

The best young car mechanic
The best young auto mechanics from all over Latvia came to Kipsala to take part in the finals of the professional mastery competition "Young Auto Mechanic 2017". Twelve finalists competed for the title of the best young car mechanic. The winner – Gunārs Filoņenko from Kandava Agricultural Technical College; the first runner-up – Audars Kārlis Klintis from Priekuļi Technical College; the second runner-up – Toms Vanags from Riga State Technical College.

“Auto 2018” will take place from 13–15 April next year.

Riga Motor Show is held by the International Exhibition Company BT 1.