Some days, I don’t know if I adequately express my love for automobiles in every post I authored. I am truly a car fan and it is an auto show that reminds me just how much I cherish that interest in automobiles. Knowing that so many Automoblog.net followers feel the same sense of emotion with a prized auto make or even the vehicle in general, it was a pleasure to attend media day of the 2011 Canadian International Auto Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
While many vehicles are making Canadian debuts, many of the cast and faces have risen to idolization already across the auto show world. Nonetheless, when you truly set eyes on something so beautiful as a new car design, even the best LCD screen or finest glossy magazine paper does not completely radiate the full meaning of automotive existence. The scene at the 2011 Canadian International Auto Show media day provided the most upbeat messages to the future of the automobile.
Starting with an opening ceremony as well as a press conference with Ford Motor Company, media day of the 2011 Canadian International Auto Show supplied more energy than perhaps the entire 2010 exhibition. Unveiling first the Ford C-Max, a kinetic display at four acrobats brought a spectacle back to auto industry. A bright spot in American motoring, the Ford Motor Company’s engineering pride was more than evident through their use of floor space. Cutaway of a 2011 Ford Explorer, a simulator of Ford’s stability control program, engines and other various car components including their seat belt airbag were featured with as much attention as the whole vehicles.
Right after the Ford conference, BMW and MINI were next to highlight their showcases of 2011 so far. Presenting the BMW M6 convertible, the BMW 1M and the MINI Paceman concept, there was also details on the BMW X1. Reported by some publications earlier this year as being delayed until 2012, the compact sport activity vehicle X1 is set for release late this year starting at just under $39,000 Canadian.
Starting with the unveiling of the MINI Paceman, the automotive marketing of presenting beautiful women alongside the glorious new vehicles. Land Rover and Chrysler later in the day would also enlist the assistance of some photogenic females. With absolutely no offense against the women, my attention is only planted on the automobiles. Using star power, Kia Motors called in sports athletes from the professional soccer team Toronto Football Club to show off a special edition Sportage. For all the people able to present the vehicles during the press conferences, I keep in mind the numerous individuals behind the scenes of the auto companies as well as the Canadian International Auto Show.
Through a stop at the Honda exhibit, the 2012 Honda Civic Si coupe concept in between a tuned Honda Insight and Accord decked out in a white/carbon black paint scheme. Seeing the Civic concept up-close, there is no doubt this vehicle is be the dead-ringer for the upcoming production car. The only thing needed for the final 2012 Civic will be an interior.
Not seen at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Nissan came to Toronto presenting Canadian debuts of the 2011 Quest minivan and the Infiniti M35h. An enthusiastic Alfonso Albaisa, Vice President of Nissan Design America, eagerly presented the Ellure concept. Viewed as a designing precursor to a future Altima or Maxima, Albaisa brings much of the passionate new styling direction that was exhibited on his other creation, the Nissan Juke. Along with the NV commercial van, the new Nissan GT-R and the Nismo 370Z coupe, another live act stole the press conference. Influenced by a new advertising campaign around the all-electric Nissan Leaf featuring a polar bear, a bear-suited individual quietly wondered out bringing a welcomed comic relief to the morning surrounding the car business.
The second-to-last exhibit of the media day morning was General Motors. President of GM Canada Kevin Williams introduced Canadian press members to the Buick Verano as the company’s new theme was discretely unveiled. The trucks and large sport utility vehicles General Motors once depended upon as profit centers were moved literally pushed to the corner. It’s obvious that bets are being hedged on the new Chevrolet Cruze . At least 9 Chevrolet Cruze sedans of varying colours and configurations were scattered across the expanded GM exhibit (including a highly-modified tuner and a touring car version). The Canadian International Auto Show also saw GM feature the Buick Regal eAssist as well as the ‘not-for-the-United States’ Chevrolet Orlando.
Grant the fact the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette are strong brand symbols, it is a relief those vehicles were prominent in Toronto. In fact, on special display for 2011 was an separate exhibit called Icons: Camaro and Firebird. Dedicated to an smaller floor of the convention center were special edition, Indianapolis 500 pace cars and vehicles relating to show business highlighting the best of almost 45 years of the General Motors pony car. A Pontiac Firebird paying tribute to the Knight Industries Two Thousand (affectionately known as K.I.T.T.) from the 1980s TV crime-fighting show Knight Rider and both Camaros representing the vehicle modes for the 2007 Transformers movie character Bumblebee are some stars of the special display. A more modern superstar, the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 surprised with its appearance within the Icons: Camaro and Firebird section. Less than a week prior to its debut in Chicago by General Motors, a blue coupe version shown is actually linked to aftermarket company SLP. Only an hour down the road, the Oshawa, Ontario plant will produce the factory version models of the Camaro ZL1 in very limited quantities.
Three and a half hours of press conferences and vehicle unveils concluded with the Kia Motors exhibit. Covering only a small space of the convention center, Kia’s new Optima and Optima Hybrid supplied a big sense of growth for the South Korea-based auto company. Providing a guide to the brand’s styling direction, the concept Kia Ray was included within the showcase.
For part 2 of this journey, I’ll steer you through an afternoon with Canadian premieres or up-close looks at Mercedes-Benz, Audi and the Concorso Exotica.
Photo Source: Chris Nagy