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What you can't afford to miss at the 97th Brussels Motor Show

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From Saturday 19 to Sunday 27 January 2019, car lovers will make their annual pilgrimage to the Brussels Motor Show, now in its 97th edition. What can you experience at the Brussels Expo this year? Athlon reveals all the new innovations and latest trends for you.

Traditionally, in odd years the “small” motor show takes place. This used to attract fewer people, but the difference is gradually diminishing. Last year, over half a million visitors went to the show; this year the target is 450,000. Pierre Lalmand, director of the Brussels Motor Show says: “For a great many car manufacturers, the period around the Brussels Motor Show accounts for 20% of their annual revenue. Commercially speaking, the show always sets the tone for the coming year”.


Small show or not, this year the organisers have managed to secure a number of firsts. Five world premieres will take centre stage: the hybrid Ford Mondeo Clipper, facelifts for the Hyundai i40 & i40 Wagon, a special version of the Jaguar F-Type Chequered Flag, an experimental Opel GT X and the brand new Range Rover Evoque. They will all be shown to the world for the first time in Brussels. The Brussels Motor Show can also boast the European premieres of the Mazda 3, Porsche 911 and a facelift for the Toyota Prius Hybrid. Furthermore, some fifty cars will be on show in Belgium for the first time.

The main focus of the premieres is the environment. Many manufacturers are bringing hybrid or fully electric vehicles onto the market. The Audi E-tron is the first electric car that is being made in Belgium. Other vehicles have new gadgets that can reduce their fuel use in towns and cities.

Company cars

The Brussels Motor Show is also the ideal opportunity to discover all the new company cars coming out in the next few months, including the Audi A1 and Q3, and Mercedes A-Class Sedan, B-Class and GLE. Belgian premieres such as the Citroën C5 Aircross, the DS 3 Crossback, the Peugeot 508 SW and the Seat Tarraco are also expected to attract a lot of attention. Furthermore, the Kia e-Niro, Kia Proceed and Kia Sportage, as well as the Lexus ES, are appealing options for company car drivers. The BMW 3-series remains a classic, as well as the Renault Kadjar, which will appear in Brussels after having undergone a facelift.

In odd years, light business vehicles  are in the spotlight alongside cars and motorised two-wheeled vehicles. In Hall 12, you will find the newest delivery vans, as well as bodywork specialists, convertors and manufacturers. Furthermore, for the second time, the ‘Most Loved Van’ will be chosen. Everyone can vote  for their favourite, and the winner will be announced on 24 January in Hall 12.


Alongside new cars, this year the Brussels Motor Show is zooming in on innovative mobility solutions. In the temporary exhibition #WeAreMobility (from 18 to 21 January), visitors can find out more about four themes: shared mobility, urban mobility, services and ‘Dream the Future’.

Special attention will be devoted to urban mobility solutions, which have undergone a real revolution in recent times. For example, in the last few years many Flemish towns and cities have integrated a network of shared bikes into their transport networks, and parking bays for shared cars have been popping up all over the place. Also trends such as soft mobility  and e-mobility  will get a prominent place at the show, so expect things like e-bikes, steps and folding bikes.

With shared mobility, the organisers are mainly concentrating on Mobility as a Service (MaaS), shared electric cars and e-scooters. With services, there is a focus on all of the legal and financial aspects of leasing contracts. Furthermore, visitors can see advanced solutions such as docking stations, predictive maintenance and 3D-printing with their own eyes, and get to know innovations in the domains of public transport, road lanes and street furniture. 

‘Dream the Future’ casts an eye further into the future and shows visitors the consequences of autonomous transport, air mobility, smart cities, the Internet of Things (IoT), new materials and new fuels.

Dream cars

This year, visitors to the Brussels Motor Show are in for an extra treat: for the first time, they can feast their eyes on the Dream Cars Show in Hall 1 for the entire duration of the Motor Show. Beautiful cars will be on display on forty different stages, under the theme ‘Magic City Light’.

Entrance to Dream Cars is free of charge for all visitors on 22, 23 and 24 January, as long as they have bought the ‘Bonus pack’ ticket via the online platform. On the other days, the entrance price for Dream Cars is €3 if bought in advance (Dream pack), or €5 on the door.

The Brussels Motor Show opens on Friday 18 January at 1pm with a preview. From Saturday 19 until Sunday 27 January, the Motor Show is open from 10.30am until 7pm. On Monday 21 and Friday 25 January there are late evening openings, until 10pm. A standard ticket costs €15.

You can find a map and list of exhibitors on the Brussels Motor Show website.

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