Next year, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este will continue to take place in the last weekend of May, on the shores of Lake Como in Northern Italy. However, for the 2017 edition, the organizers have decided to change things up a bit and instead of just admiring the brilliant designs of the past, to also try and envision what the future will hold for the cars we’re going to be driving.

BMW, one of the official partners of the venue, just announced that the Motto of next year’s edition will be “Around the World in 80 Days – Voyage through an Era of Records”. The idea behind this new motto is to create a story of automobile production from the early years to the present day, and even extend its trajectory into the future.

2002 Hommage

There will be nine vehicle classes showcased, picked by a Selecting Committee that’s made up of international experts, out of which five have already been defined, as follows:

1. Speed Demons: Endurance Pioneers of the Golden Age: This class features pre-war sports and record cars combining Old World style with rugged performance.

2. Faster, Quieter, Smoother: Heroes of the Jet Age: Beautiful automobiles from the 1950s and beyond that continue to define their raison d’être by long-distance feats.

3. Travelling in Style: Around the World in 40 Years: If Phileas Fogg, the hero of Jules Verne’s iconic novel, had embarked on his epic journey around the world 40 years later, how would he have motored? Help him choose from the best in Edwardian luxury.

4. The Grand Tour Continues: The Next 40 Years: Would Fogg‘s descendants have followed in his intrepid footsteps? And would their taste in motor cars have been as impeccable as Great-Uncle Phileas‘? Unquestionably. Here‘s how they would have traveled between 1946 and 1986.

5. Racers on the Road: Playboys’ Toys: The road-converted racing machines in this category are loud, unsuitable for the public highway and wholly impractical. In short, the perfect match for their exuberant first owners, the playboys of their era.

Mazda concept

The show will also be looking at the future of cars as we know them. The class of Concept Cars and Prototypes presents automobile studies and concepts which showcase the automobiles of tomorrow. No other classic event in the world looks at the sector from this perspective. The class features cars penned by the most prestigious designers of our time. These visions for the automobile design of tomorrow provide an enticing contrast to the retrospective show of important historic vehicles and their epochs.

In many ways, the motto of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2017 connects the cars of the present to the cars in history. In 1873, the novel written by Jules Verne was published for the first time. This was also the year when Villa d’Este opened its doors as the Grand Hotel. The era famous for travel around the world also marked a milestone in the mobility of humanity.

328 Hommage

This was the first time that people other than sailors, missionaries or scientists were able to embark on a journey – it became possible for all those passengers who embarked on steamships or traveled by train. This was an era when a system of global transport was being created together with its network structures. During this time, ground-breaking inventions like telegraphy and the telephone were dramatically changing the world.