The Toronto Auto Show is one of a number of world wide shows that allow the public and those in the industry to the next years models, innovations and concepts that will never be put into production. Toronto follows the Detroit North American International, and precedes the Geneva International Motor Show. While lacking the prestige or cache of other shows, such as Paris or even Frankfurt, Toronto is by no means second rate and this years show was no exception.
If you have not attended an auto show before, you need to keep in mind that there is a lot of walking around, not just to different models and productions but around the vehicles as well. It really helps to be wearing comfortable footwear. It can also be a little confusing but luckily there are plenty of maps to show just where you are. You also need to make sure to visit every single manufacturers concierge where shopping bags, brochures and various goodies can be had for free. It isn’t uncommon to see people carrying three or four bags filled with freebies.
Walking onto the Ford display, it is quickly apparent that their new grill is not so much inspired by, instead it is cloned from Aston Martin. A lot of Focus (excuse the pun) is on green technology and how the engines are getting smaller but maintain or even increase the amount of horse power available. The F150 and it’s brethern are not excluded from this trend. A couple of interesting Mustangs were on display with LED lights as well as a different interior, but no word if this will make it’s way to the production line.
Lincoln and Buick both have some very attractive cars but with modern design and features, it seems that they are trying to move away from their traditionally older demographic, much in the same way that Cadillac did a few years ago. Speaking of Cadillac, their displays included the upcoming ATS and XTS, both attracting a lot of attention. It seemed that the whole range was on display with the exception of the CTS Sportwagon which, despite low selling numbers, has been a huge hit with critics and enthusiasts alike.
BMW had their latest range on display with their M3 getting close scrutiny from a lot of fans. Even with gas prices rising, it seems clear that driving fans are willing to swallow the medicine if it means being able to drive a high performance vehicle. Their Series 7 sedan seems to be longer each year but still retains the air of exclusivity and expense.
Of course, BMW now manufacturer Mini and several models were on display, although it is sad to note that the brand has been severally diluted by numerous models such as the Countryman and the 4×4 SUV version of the iconic car.
Mercedes Benz had a gold finished G wagon that appeared to have been built for a mad dictator but balanced that with the Mercedes AMG SLS Roadster which took attention away from it’s much smaller brother, the SLK. Hyundai’s concept for the next Genesis model was a thing of beauty. A big four door sedan with suicide back doors and a chrome grill dominates the front of the car.
Speaking of jaw dropping concept cars, Lexus had both the LF–LC and the LF-CC on display and they caught the eye of anyone who appreciates a modern design with lots of futuristic technology. The LF–LC in red was a sight to behold.
A month previous in Detroit, Chevrolet had unveiled the brand new Corvette Stingray and it was at Toronto. While quite clearly a Corvette, there appear to be styling cues from Ferrari and the Nissan GT-R which, when combined with the overall design, produces something truly amazing.
The one disappointment was the size of the Auto Exotica displays. One Rolls Royce, one Aston Martin, one Lamborghini, one Bentley. There were two McLaren MP4-12C as well as a duo of Lotus but it just seemed to be lacking something. Luckily Ferrari came with three cars and Maserati had five, including the track racing MC12. There were several other Ferraris on display, including a Daytona.
Even a casual fan of cars will find an auto show interesting and there is always something new to discover.