The Chantilly Concours d’Elegance took place this weekend under the record-breaking June sun. In the middle of a heatwave which has seen France record its highest temperatures since records began, a carefully curated field of Concours cars were wheeled out for a grand celebration.
The Chantilly Concours Arts and Elegance is a relative new Concours first organized in 2014. Celebrating its 5th anniversary this year the organizers Peter Auto have announced it will be an bi-annual event from next year onwards taking turns with Classic Le Mans which also takes place every two years. It was my first time at the Chantilly Concours and the location at the beautiful Chateau du Chantilly just North of Paris and the fantastic line-up of cars from all eras was quite surprising. The Chantilly Concours is much larger than Villa d’Este and Salon Prive without any dilution in quality. You will struggle for time to see all there is to see in one day.
The show is split into two parts with the modern Concours running under the banner of “Chantilly Concours d’Elegance” while a historic Concours event runs in tandem, named “Chantilly Councours D’Etat”. With over 100 entries the Concours D’Etat offered a glimpse in over 100 years of motoring history. We particularly liked the Gandini designs and the Avions-Voisins with the unique Aerodyne from the 1930s among others.
Chantilly Concours d’Elegance Nominees
The entrants in the Concours d’Elegance category contains nine concept cars from a range of different brands. Some are very close to production; like the Lexus Concept LC Cabriolet which will hit the market nearly unchanged and the McLaren Speedtail of which 105 cars will be produced. Others are more visions for the future which we will probably never see on the road like the DS X E-Tense with its asynchrone design and the Renault EZ-Ultimo with its yacht like interior design.
We decided to rank the nine contenders based on design, innovation and market significance.
9. Lexus Concept LC Cabriolet (2019)
The Lexus Concept LC Cabriolet is last in our ranking as it lacks innovation and market significance. Going into production virtually unchanged it is just another convertible with a few design gimmicks. Not a car that will stand out in a few years time.
8. Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Continuation (2019)
Aston Martin’s continuation project is an interesting one. Recreating their most successful, significant and stylish cars of the past is something we enjoy. But since we rank the cars by a strict set of parameters it ends second to last.
BMW Vision M Next (2019)
With the last two positions out of the way the competition stiffens and the top 7 contenders all score decent points. The BMW Vision M Next is unveiled only last week at the BMW Next conference in Munich. It continues the concept introduced with the BMW i8; a small combustion engine combined with a battery powered electric drivetrain. The front looks great but the rear design reminds us too much of a Lamborghini even though inspiration is said to be taken from the M1.
6. Honda E Prototype (2019)
6th place goes to the Honda E-prototype. A new close-to-production compact electric cars with a cool retro design, good proportions and a clean interior.
5. DS X E-Tense (2018)
The asynchrone DS X E-Tense is the Ferrari SP1 and SP2 merged into one. Add an electric drivetrain and autonomous functionality and you have the weirdest concept we have seen in years. But it is weird in a funky good kind of way.
4. Renault EZ-Ultimo (2018)
Another concept car from Chantilly’s home soil. The Renault EZ-Ultimo is a full autonomous luxury car that reminds us of the Mercedes-Benz F015. It is by far the biggest car here and features a luxurious yacht-style interior with a combination of wood, leather and marble.
3. Bugatti La Voiture Noire (2019)
One of Bugatti’s highlights this year celebrating the company’s 110th anniversary. La Voiture Noire is inspired by a particular 1930s Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic with the same name whose whereabouts and fate are unknown to this day. The one-off is the world’s most expensive new car with a price tag of 11 million euro excluding taxes. Design highlights include OLED lights and an elegant side silhouette with aggressive front and rear styling.
2. Volkswagen ID. Buggy (2019)
The most eye-catching and fun car of the nine nominees is the Volkswagen ID. Buggy. This full-electric beach buggy has a very clean and functional design inside and out. It is inspired by the Volkswagen Buggys of the 1970s. Like its predecessor VW can imagine providing the chassis to third party companies so they can create the ID. Buggy based on VWs new electric MEB platform like the original buggys who were built by third parties as a kit car based on the Kafer chassis.
1. McLaren Speedtail (2018)
The McLaren Speedtail is the modern reincarnation of the legendary McLaren F1. It comes with three seats and will be the McLaren with the highest top speed (403 km/h). Shown for the first time in a new paint called Saragon Quartz it looks absolutely stunning.
Photo: Yaron Esposito
Official Chantilly Councours d’Elegance Winners
‘Best in Show’
Volkswagen ID. Buggy
Chantilly Councours D’Etat Winners
Bentley 8 Litre Foursome Coupé (1931)
Best of Show (Pre-War)
Photo: New Atlas
Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupé (1948)
Best of Show (Post-War)
Photo: New Atlas
Additional Photos by: Yaron Esposito