November 20, 2012

CIAS 40th Charity Gala | Presented by MegaSpeed

Canadian International Auto Show 40th Charity Gala
Metro Toronto Convention Center
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
November 16th, 2012

Each year the Canadian International Auto Show alongside the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association host a charity gala to raise funds for a good cause. This year the theme (if you will) was all about Canadian motorsport legends such as Ron Fellows, Paul Tracy, Scott Goodyear, Richard Spenard, and Alex Tagliani. Furthermore, our good friends at BASF and MegaSpeed got together with other partners to build an incredible looking Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 that was to be auctioned off later in the evening.

Upon entering the hall where the gala was to take place, there were an assortment of iconic Canadian motorsport race cars like this #43 Chevrolet Camaro as well as Paul Tracy’s awesome looking IndyCar.

Starting off the night was well known Canadian comedian Mike Bullard with some opening words and shots at a few notable guests – in true Bullard fashion of course.

Canadian artist Ron Gibbs of Burlington, Ontario painted a commemorative hood depicting the Canadian motorsports legends honored at the gala along with the graphics on the Camaro ZL1.

The highlight of the auction was by far the custom ZL1 that has been customized with an incredible BASF paint job and graphics to start. The custom carbon fiber bits were produced by Multimatic of Markham and the wheel package courtesy of MegaSpeed thanks to MHT Wheels Inc. It is said that nearly $40,000 went into this one-off project build tallying up the vehicle’s value at nearly $100,000!

President of the Canadian International Auto Show Sandy Liguori and his beautiful wife pose for a photo op while enjoying the evening’s live entertainment.

One of the presenting partners of the charity gala was Nissan Canada seen here posing next to the event’s highlight celebrity and fellow Canadian Dan Aykroyd aka Blues Brother Elwood.

One stage for a good portion of the night was a Blues Brothers cover band that played all the awesome songs one would expect. Not only was their performance on point, but so was their appearance making it seem like the real-deal.

By the gala’s end, it was time for Blues Brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) himself to take the stage and rock out with the band. As if the alcohol and delicious multi-course meal didn’t already make people happy, rocking out to the very best blues n’ funk tunes sure did. People young and old took to the dance floor to strut their stuff – this is what good nights are made of!

A big thanks to the staff of the Canadian International Auto Show and MegaSpeed for the invite. Onto an incredible car show come February where all the new toys will be out on display!

Words & Photos: Giancarlo Pawelec



March 5, 2012

What Are These Things?

If you read the Perks For Us Media Folk post on our blog, you’ll notice that members of the media do get goodies at events we attend especially at international auto shows. Some of the goodies are for us to wear while others are more functional for the work we do as is in this case with a handful of awesome looking USB keys. On these portable storage devices are press releases along with images for our editorial write ups for which you read online and in print.

Over the years, auto makers have taken a key creative interest in the way these portable storage devices look and at times even packaged. The simplest of all is a simple colour-matching USB key with logo branding as is the case with Subaru. The middle ground exists with more custom pieces like the Hyundai blue key, Ford’s oval key, and Kia’s classy stamped leather key chain.

The winners of this year are none other than Audi’s USB key which looks exactly like their vehicle keys (a nice way to trick people into thinking you own an R8, until you show up with another vehicle) and the Chrysler / Dodge key which is a rubber MOPAR spark plug! It isn’t any wonder why auto makers would go to these lengths for something which is a mere handout, but the thought of it is what gets us media folk talking and usually in a positive light. Mission accomplished!


February 27, 2012

More Than A Pretty Face | The Models at CIAS12

Filed under: Models — Tags: , , , — AutoMotoFoto @ 2:44 PM

Many reading this will have been to the show already, having the chance to absorb some of the atmosphere of the show. I’m talking of course about The Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) that has been attracting visitors of all types in droves over the past week in Toronto, Canada. I’m sure most have noticed the rather good looking individuals that one is bound to encounter at a spectacle such as this.

Like everything else at the CIAS, they are highly polished. Both the women and the men. Now I know how that sounds, but before the hate mail starts pouring in let me be more specific. The term ‘polished’ in this sense does not refer only to the outward appearance of these individuals. While this may be the case at some other auto shows, the people working at the CIAS are highly trained professionals. I guarantee the vast majority know more about the cars on display than you do.

Some of the ‘models’ are in fact actors. A short walk through the Chrysler display will confirm any doubts about that statement. Some have been working for a particular company for years, as a regular part of the team that attends such events as the CIAS. Others have degrees in sociology or phycology or some other ‘ology’ that requires much brain power.

Now, marketing and PR people are very clever of course. They only hire the good looking, because like it or not, we respond to good looking people with much more ease than someone less visually appealing. So while you’re walking around a show like the CIAS, trying to take it all in, having all of your senses bombarded, remember that those good looking gals or guys are there to answer your questions too. While they might be great eye candy, they’re certainly more than just a pretty face!


February 17, 2012

The Canadian International AutoShow 2012 – Part 1

The Canadian International AutoShow 2012
Metro Toronto Convention Center
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
February 17-26, 2012

It was the opening day for the Canadian International AutoShow otherwise known as CIAS in the media circle. On hand were over 20 manufacturers displaying their current model line up and as always, new vehicle debuts ranging from all-out concept cars to models soon to be entering showroom floors. As expected, press day (February 16th) had a full line up of press conferences from each auto maker presenting their take on the future of the industry with the common focus once again being fuel efficiency in way of hybrid technology. There were only a handful of brands that cross the ‘green-thumb line’ unveiling powerhouse sports cars which to me, was a refreshing sight.

Scion debuted what is quite possibly the most sought-after vehicle this coming year, the FR-S. Continuing on the heritage of the successful Toyota Corolla GT-S (otherwise known as the AE86) this front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe is said to be in showrooms in a couple of months. The vehicle stems from a partnership between Toyota and Subaru which has allowed for three variations of the same vehicle to be created: the FT-86 for Toyota, BRZ for Subaru and the FR-S for Scion.

Mercedes-Benz introduced a completely redesigned SL model. The most notable changes include the front end whereby the sleek dual headlights of the previous generation have been tossed aside for a single larger assembly, a much bolder front fascia, and softened side profile.

The newest kid on the powerhouse block comes from Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division. As always, AMG went off the wall with this C63 Coupe with a widebody conversion, aero upgrades all around (front splitter, hood, and rear diffuser) and a bump in power. This C63 AMG is otherwise known as the Black Series edition and as expected will be of limited production numbers.

Hyundai unveiled the blue2 (squared) concept at an attempt to hint future styling and technology innovations. Furthermore, the Elantra GT will be priced under $20,000 (CAD) and available shortly alongside the Coupe version although pricing is currently not available.

The Hyundai Veloster is no stranger to the market, especially with its quick fanfare this past year amongst tuner-enthusiasts. This time however, the Veloster comes in way of a a Turbo version with more power and sport-tuned refinement. We look forward to getting behind the wheel of one shortly and putting it through its paces to see if the power plant truly is magical.

Mazda showcased their small 2-series race car new to the Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) as part of the new B-Spec class of vehicles. We’re looking forward to seeing these micro machines battle it out amongst the rest of the pack despite the lower horsepower.

The shocker at the Mazda section is this concept car known as the SHINARI. This four-door, four-seater coupe utilizes Mazda’s KODO design language known as “Soul of Motion” in which it expresses a free flowing form similar to one found in nature. Will this be the new face of future Mazdas to come? That remains to be known, but it certainly captured the hearts of every on-looker – media or not. Stay tuned next week for a spotlight on this incredible futuristic machine, a true exclusive!

The Vision Connect Drive concept from BMW had mixed reviews. Once again BMW has gone above and beyond in expressing not only their design philosophy for future generations, but more so with their technology. Looking inside the cabin feels like a vehicle from TRON as all things are digital including the door release system which can be controlled (as it was during the demonstration) through an iPad. Is the world ready for touch-sensitive and APP-related tech goods with our automobiles? Maybe not today, but the future is most certainly near.

The latest super saloon from BMW, the M5 was out in full glory. This new M5 has gone away with the previous gas-guzzling V10 (although it did sound great) in way of a high efficiency twin-turbo V8 putting out 560bhp and 502 ft-lbs of torque. The same 4.4-liter engine can be found in the M-version of the X5 and X6, although it will surely outperform in the M5 body.

After much anticipation, we are proud to announce that Jaguar is back! No, this is not your typical 60-year old driving to the golf course and back home Jaguar, this is a more youthful and raw Jaguar just as its pedigree dictates. Director of Design for Jaguar Ian Callum presented the ultimate concept from the British wild cat, the C-X16 and to no surprise flash bulbs began bursting. No vehicle in the past two decades from Jaguar has gained the admiration of enthusiasts as this. In the words of Adrian Hallmark (Global Brand Director), “The C-X16 is our compelling vision for a 21st century Jaguar sports car. It embodies the established Jaguar strengths of sensual design, animal-like agility and inspirational performance and combines these with attributes that set us on a course to create sustainable sports cars of the future.”

On the opposite side of the Jaguar show floor is their latest super car dressed in a jelly bean blue, the XKR-S. Under the bonnet sites a 5.0-litre, supercharged V8, that outputs 550bhp and 501 ft-lb of torque. 0-62mph launches are achieved in impressive 4.2-seconds and a top speed of 300km/hr (186mph). For an estimated $139,000 this boosted Jaguar could be yours – not bad considering its bite.

Ford showcased their Focus ST although not much information was given. We previously saw this awesome machine at Ford Canada’s ‘Blue Party’ last week. This European turned North American model boasts a turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine that packs a 247hp punch and 250 lb-ft of torque. This spruced up Focus is set to be available late 2012 as a 2013 model and we can’t wait to get behind the wheel.

For the Mustang fans, Ford will be releasing the Shelby GT500 later this year as a 2013 model. Big notable changes are under the hood in way of a bigger V8 (5.8-liters) and matted to an Eaton TVS supercharger for the tune of 650bhp – yes, you read correctly! Although not much is known yet, it is certain that Ford is gunning their pony against the Camaro ZL1 which doesn’t seem to be a challenge now that there’s 100hp thanks to Ford’s SVT team. Recreational burn out sessions anyone?

Ford’s luxury brand Lincoln unveiled the MKZ concept. After speaking to the chief designed named Max, it seems clear that Lincoln is back in the game and hoping to capture a slightly younger demographic with its sleeker-fluid design concept. Although minimal wouldn’t be the word to describe this MKZ concept, it is stylish and does scream for attention while wearing mother of pearl cufflinks, but of course.

Honda unveiled their latest concept creation, the Accord Coupe. Despite never being a fan of the Accord model in any variation, this concept is breath taking. The lines are perfect, the proportions are on point and the luxury exterior styling is far more appealing than that of their luxury sibling brand Acura. Like most concepts, the final production version of the Accord Coupe will differ from this – hopefully not by much.

The pièce de résistance at this years CIAS is the Acura NSX concept. Having been introduced nearly 20-years ago, Honda / Acura is celebrating a mile marker with this latest rendition of the famous mid-engine super car from the Japanese automaker. Powering the NSX will be a high-revving V6 engine matted to a hybrid motor for torque in the low end and power on top. We can’t wait to see what the final version looks like, we just hope it will captivate the hearts of consumers as with the original version developed by now deceased Formula One legend Aryton Senna.


February 11, 2012

Aston Martin to Showcase One-77 at the Canadian International Auto Show

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — AutoMotoFoto @ 12:59 PM

Aston Martin will premiere the company’s ultimate supercar; the One-77 at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto next week as the 750bhp sports car makes its public debut in the region.

Joining the British marque’s presence at the show in conjunction with dealer partner Aston Martin of Ontario, the appearance marks the culmination of a One-77 tour of the Americas which started late last year and affords Canadian enthusiasts a rare opportunity to see the car in person. The One-77 will be joined on the stand by a new Virage and V8 Vantage S, both of which were launched last year.

The One-77 is testament to Aston Martin’s combination of advanced technological processes and highly skilled workforce. Formed around a full carbon fiber monocoque, the One-77 is immensely strong and light, with 3,500 carbon fiber elements combined to make up the car’s structural elements. Giving added resonance to the car’s appearance in Toronto, this carbon fiber basis has been developed and produced in conjunction with automotive specialists, Multimatic (MTC) of Canada.

Julian Jenkins, Vice President Aston Martin the Americas said: “Whilst our time with the One-77 in this region was limited we were keen to show this very unique Aston Martin in Canada before it returns to the UK and the Canadian International Auto Show offered the perfect showcase. “We are therefore delighted, in conjunction with our dealer partner Aston Martin of Ontario, to offer enthusiasts the opportunity to see the One-77 for the first time in Canada.” Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams have overseen the intense One-77 development program throughout the three years it has taken from the car’s initial conception in October 2007 to commencing the first production of the strictly limited 77 examples in late 2010.

The example of the One-77 to be displayed in Toronto is the final pre-production engineering development car, which has covered some 14,000 miles incorporating extensive endurance testing at Nardo in Italy and the Nürburgring in Germany. While the car will not be offered for sale in Canada this pre-production car showcase offers an insight into the testing and development carried out on the One-77 project, with this particular car still having been painstakingly assembled over approximately 2,700 man-hours by a team of 27 technicians inside a purpose-built facility at Aston Martin’s Gaydon, England headquarters.

The One-77, powered by a 7.3 liter V12 engine producing 750bhp and 553lb.ft of torque, is being built to order for no more than 77 customers and is Aston Martin’s ultimate expression of design, engineering and craftsmanship. With its handcrafted aluminum body and full carbon fiber monocoque chassis, the One-77 is the most powerful naturally-aspirated road car in the world today.