Serving as a Christmas after Christmas for me, the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto is my first chance to gain a firsthand view of the most recent products. While many have made global debuts at many prior auto shows, I will attest there is no replacement to setting your own eyes on the presence of great vehicles. Therefore, as a member of accredited media, I set out to the festivities in Toronto ready to be dazzled once again by lovely creations from metal and applicable composites. Fitting for this year, the media day corresponding with Valentine’s Day allowed me to spend a day with ones I love the most from the families of General Motors, Ford, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, just to mention a few.
By entrance into Toronto was confronted by an occurrence that left me feeling a little sore. Getting off a crowded transit train, I attempted to be courteous and allow someone else to step down the stairs from the Toronto’s Union Station first platform. For some reason, the person gave a dirty look at me with a most ungrateful fashion. Chivalry is said to be dead; I am sure people like the one I experienced was the one who killed it. After being in the presence of so many disrespectful people in the past few years, I entered 2013 realizing I need to spend less time trying to be nice to the rotten and rude people because there are too many nice individuals on this planet who deserve respect. The fact that I have written over 500 articles for Automoblog.net and sister site Audisite.com demonstrates mutual goodwill I am thankful to be part of with every project I produce. It was just a bad predicament that shamefully detracted me from my enthusiasm for the 2013 auto show.
There is also the consideration that I believe that the automobile is an exclusive culture. The development of the automobile has always been the result of mass cooperation or mass competition among respectable rivals. For this reason, I looked forward to making up way to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow. From the buzz of this year’s show, I knew it would be a bustling exhibition of vehicle lifestyle. I was not to be disappointed. Rather than giving an hour-by-hour account of everything I had the pleasure to immerse myself in during the Valentine’s Day media festivities at the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow, I can sum up the presentation along several themes.
The first such theme of the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow was more free-spirited automotive creations. The BMW i cars (the i3 hatchback and the i8 sport coupe) were found right beside a BMW Z4 roadster and 560-horsepower BMW M6 Gran Coupe creating a satisfying concentration of the German automaker’s best. Toyota brought their far-out Fun-Vii concept vehicle (a design I continue to liken to a lovechild between an electric car and smartphone). The dynamic screen-like panels of the Toyota Fun-Vii was worth beholding in person. With South Korean brand Kia, their display of family and economy-oriented vehicles (such as the newly revealed Cadenza sedan) was joined by a series of art cars.
It was my plan to regularly update of transpiring activities through Twitter but spotty media WiFi in the complex left me sending far fewer than I wanted. Nonetheless, I was able to send out a few rather eye-catching spectacles from the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow. An instantly memorable example was a Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG treated with a gold exterior. All I could think of when seeing that sport utility vehicle was who would drive something as lavishly but also lovingly pompous as a gold-plated luxury product. As if 544-horsepower from a highly capable four-wheel drive is not extravagant enough. The gold Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG was fittingly placed nearby the SLS AMG GT Roadster and just a small walk away from a disco ball-themed Smart Fortwo.
Aside from the outright showmanship, the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow had many new examples of premium motoring. Maserati held a press conference for the new Quattroporte sedan, Lincoln placed the MKC compact crossover at the centerpiece of their brand exhibition, Acura arrived at the auto show with a detailed prototype of the NSX supercar and McLaren attracted a steady crowd of journalists with the MP4-12C Spider. The ELR plug-in hybrid coupe was one of many vehicles shown by Cadillac in the brand’s floor space. This year, Cadillac was noticeably further from the other General Motors products between Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Topping the premium brands, Audi uncovered the SQ5 crossover, RS7 Sportback and the a red 2014 R8 supercar.
The 2013 show in Toronto also serves as a showcase for two American-derived high performance vehicles. The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in a candy red colour accent to 640 horsepower was understandably the pride and joy of Chrysler’s display. Despite the allure of the Viper supercar (especially in the year of the snake), Chevrolet practically saved the best for last at the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow’s media day. Knowing that everyone in the press were waiting for a special sports car to break away from its concealing sheet, the Chevrolet presentation was actually heavily focused on another vehicles; the next-generation Silverado pickup truck. The reasoning is actually quite excusable based on the fact the Silverado would be a major breadwinner for the brand but this only fanned anticipation for what is the heart of Chevrolet from 2014 and beyond. Finally, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray came to sight needing only a brief introduction. At no other time in the day was there such a media mob surrounding one vehicle and I can‘t blame them (mainly because I, myself, did not let the gray 2014 Corvette Stingray leave my sights for about fifteen minutes). On Valentine’s Day, I stood only a matter of a foot away from one of the special beauties in the modern automotive world.
Every year, I acknowledge the fact it is hard to make these articles engaging when much of the vehicles are not that new to readers. However, every year there is some ‘Canadiana’ present at Toronto’s car show that allows us to stand apart from our northern neighbours. From General Motors, Canada receives the compact utility Chevrolet Trax and Orlando for which are denied a presence in the United States marketplace. In addition to showing off the 2014 Outlander crossover, Mitsubishi has been displaying their newest subcompact car at the Canadian shows ahead of United States presentation in New York later this year. Aside from individual cars, the Suzuki brand of automobiles remains alive and well for the time being in Canada as the United States new car sales have been ending.
During the presentation of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, a guest to the unveiling was Canadian sports car driver Ron Fellows. Having taken a Corvette to victory at sports car races at Daytona, Sebring, Road Atlanta and Le Mans, Fellows is so storied with the Corvette name that a special edition version of the C6 version honoured his devotion to the sports car. I can personally confirm that Ron Fellows is one classy guy who has granted me the pleasure of his time on several occasions.
Best thing about major auto shows is not limited to the new cars. Several exhibitions such as Auto Exotica, Canadian Hot Rod Builders Showcase and Cruise Nationals gave an additional flavour to the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow. Consisting of high-end new cars such the Ferrari F12berlinetta and a Skyfall Silver edition of the Aston Martin Vanquish, Auto Exotica also presented a Maserati MC12 Corsa, Ferrari F40 and a 1989 Formula 1 Ferrari driven by Nigel Mansell.
While I prefer the pristine, stock-level automobile, I am not without appreciation to the personalized efforts that go into customized vehicles. The Canadian Hot Rod Builders Showcase was a scene where mild to more extreme custom cars and trucks were treated with unique touches. One noted vehicle was decked out as a street rod version of a Bell Canada service truck. A Chip Foose modified Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing was another one of many attractive machines.
An annual event for the Canadian International AutoShow again collected a selected is few vehicles from various outdoor car shows over the past summer in the province of Ontario. The 2013 Cruise Nationals combined stock and custom vehicles that are featured in a room opposite of Auto Exotica. This year’s finalists ranged from a 1937 Studebaker Dictator and 1969 Lincoln MK III to a 1955 Ford F100 truck that was rebuilt from scratch into a custom. On display at the 2013 show, the nature of Cruise Nationals insures the owners do not have to maintain their vehicles as ‘trailer queens’ meaning that all the finalists will once again be hitting Canadian roads when the weather improves.
This year’s Canadian International AutoShow was the 40th consecutive edition in Toronto. From what I had been witness to for the 2013 edition of the auto event, celebration is everywhere. For someone who attended the show with little sleep from the night before, overloaded by camera equipment this year, I left the day knowing my love is well placed in automotive culture.
Information, photo, video source: Canadian International AutoShow, Chris Nagy