SIAM 2017: Monaco’s High-Profile New Car Show

The Principality of Monaco recently hosted its first international car show under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. The open-air Salon International de l’Automobile de Monaco (SIAM) took place from 16th-19th February 2017 and is considered a resounding success. It was the perfect opportunity to rent a luxury car from prestigious marques to celebrate the occasion. More than 50 brands were present at the show, displaying a fine array of concept cars that attracted crowds of enthusiasts coming from far and wide. In fact, this inaugural event garnered 35,494 visitors who attended during four days of shows, debates and conferences.


The SIAM acronym is short for the French language equivalent of “Salon International Autos Monaco”.  As well as having the full support of Prince Albert II of Monaco (who arrived in a Hybrid Lexus) and the local government, it was sponsored by corporate partners such as EDF and Michelin. The Prince is a well-known fan of cars, but he is also a prominent proponent of ecological issues, so the first edition of SIAM was very much focused on environmental sustainability. This was apparent in the number of futuristic cars designed using experimental engineering that reduce the automobile industry’s negative environmental impact. These cars included electric, hybrid, LPG and hydrogen technologies.

Racing car

Some of these innovative cars were available for test drives on the roads that make up the world famous Monaco Grand Prix circuit. The Citroen Mehari Historic was a popular test drive option. Porsche presented its E-Performance range and tests of the Cayenne S E-Hybrid took place.  The best concept cars included the Renault TreZor and the concept car of the year, Pininfarina H2 Speed ​​hydrogen/electric hybrid. There were three world premieres including the Techno MonteCarlo W12 LPG from Monaco’s MonteCarlo Automobile. The other two debuts came from Italian manufacturer DR Automobiles, who displayed two models of eco-friendly SUVs, the DR4 and the Monte Carlo DR5. Visitors could also try driving on a racing simulator at the Michelin stand – perfect for those who didn’t yet have a driving licence.

The most talked about car was the Lamborghini Centenario, which was built as a limited edition to celebrate the birth of founder Ferruccio Lamborghini 100 years ago. This state-of-the-art sports car is worth €2.5 million and can go from 0-100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds with a top speed of more than 350 km/h. Its rarity makes it just as appealing as its high-performance specifications; there are only 40 Centenarios in existence. Other big-name marques included Mercedes, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and McLaren. Nissan and Tesla showcased exciting models: respectively, the Nissan Electric Leaf coupe and the Tesla X and S.

The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation also organised high-level conferences and discussions at the Grimaldi Forum based around the theme of sustainability and innovation. The three main sites of the show were Quai Albert Ier, Place du Casino and the Place du Palais Princier. Free electric shuttles (Bolloré Bluebus) transported participants from one site to another. However, many people took the opportunity to rent a luxury car in Monaco to transport them around the Principality and then further along the Riviera when the event finished.

Organisers scheduled SIAM between big shows like Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in January and the International Motor Show in Geneva during March. Monaco’s new Motor Show is expected to become an annual event that continues to attract an international crowd of visitors. The date of the second edition of the SIAM will be fixed in the coming weeks.

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