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Premium brands show their wares at Aus GP

Paul Gover
CarsGuide

13 Mar 2015 • 2 min read

Albert Park hosts motoring's finest this weekend - and there will be an F1 race, too.

Some of the world's fastest and most exotic cars will be at Albert Park this weekend -but not as Australian Grand Prix racers.

Instead, the LaFerrari, Porsche 918, Honda NSX and Mercedes-AMG GT will mostly be sitting in the sunshine at an impromptu motor show that could become a regular fixture at the Australian leg of the Formula One championship.

Eleven brands will have displays at the grand prix and there will also be track laps. Renault is going for the road car record at Albert Park, Mercedes-Benz is providing course cars and Mick Doohan is driving an AMG A45 in the Speed Comparison against a two-seater F1 car.

Porsche is handing the 918 to its tame race driver, Mark Webber, to show what it can do. "The 918 Spyder is such an awesome car to drive. I was genuinely surprised by its performance as I'm not that easily impressed by road cars," says Webber, who is racing for Porsche in Le Mans and world championship sports cars.

With the lack of a motor show, car companies are crying out for an avenue to display products and the grand prix fits their target demographic

He's driven the 918 before, even chauffeuring tennis great Maria Sharapova through London's streets, and is looking forward to uncorking a car with a top speed of 380km/h-plus. The LaFerrari is in the same league and is also expected to hit the track but the born-again NSX is only for looking at in the newly created Legends Lane.

"With the lack of a motor show, car companies are crying out for an avenue to display products and the grand prix fits their target demographic," says AGP spokesman Phil Mahoney.

Apart from the exotics, Infiniti will have its full line-up alongside a Red Bull RB10 replica, Volvo has an interactive display with showroom cars and Renault also goes interactive with its F1 Central. Even Hyundai plans to cash in on the event's appeal despite the lack of a true sports model in its range.

Jaguar is expected to preview its compact XE and Land Rover has its Terrapod. Bentley will have a 'Bentley Studio" in the Paddock Club. Well-heeled enthusiasts can check how the cabin of their car could look - at the right price.