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Extravaganza to rev up


At $1.3 million the V12 Pagani Zonda roadster, pictured, one of the most expensive cars to be revealed in Queensland, will roar to life among close to 20 environmentally friendly diesel and hybrid (petrol/electric) examples.

Queensland's annual motoring extravaganza has drawn a record number of cars making their Australian or Queensland debuts which reflects the buoyant state of the local new car market.

More than 216,000 (22 per cent of the national market) new vehicles were purchased in Queensland last year, with the Sunshine State leading the way in growth.

What has also helped build the imposing list of Motor Show exhibits is the scheduling of the show a month later than normal because it swapped dates with Melbourne which avoided clashing with the Commonwealth Games.

"Visitors this year will see more than 50 cars that either are just released or still to be released, while there are quite a few more they may never see on the roads, such as the Holden Efijy concept or ultra-rare exotics like the Pagani Zonda," Chris Beecham, chairman of the motor show organising committee said.

"By putting on their best displays the companies are acknowledging the growing influence of Queensland car buyers.

"From the industry's viewpoint, the show provides a strong kick-start to the sales year."

Also competing for exotic bragging rights will be Ferrari's 612 Scaglietti and F430, the $650,000 Bentley Azure convertible, Maserati GranSport Spyder, the Lamborghini Gallardo Roadster and Murcielago, Jaguar XK convertible and Australia's 300km/h Redback Spyder which is featured on the cover of the motor show program in The Courier-Mail today.

The Porsche range returns after several years which features the all-new Cayman S coupe which sits between the Boxster and the 911.

The traditional display of motorcycles will have a spectacular star, with predictions the "Croc Chopper", being custom-built on a special show stand, could fetch up to $120,000 when it is auctioned on the final night for the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation charity.

Fuel-efficient, environment-friendly cars will appear in record numbers.

Lexus debuts Australia's first luxury sedan with petrol-electric hybrid power, the 450H, and Honda with an all-new Civic hybrid.

The latest examples of clean, powerful and economical turbocharged diesel engines will be displayed by traditionally sporty brands BMW, Alfa Romeo and Jaguar.

Citroen, Peugeot, Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda and Holden will show "oil-burners".

An added attraction will be the staging of the official V8 Supercars championship launch featuring all cars, drivers and transporters at South Bank from 10am-2pm on Saturday.

Both Little Stanley St and Glenelg St, just outside the motor show, will be closed for the free event.

While the V8 launch only runs on one day the motor show continues until Saturday week.