Canadian International AutoShow 2013 – Part 1
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
February 15 – 24, 2013
Marking its 40th anniversary this year, the Canadian International AutoShow kicked off once again with a great opening ceremony revolving the changing times and trends. The first of many press conferences began at the Nissan booth whereby three vehicles were unveiled along with the latest winners of the Grey Cup, the Toronto Argonauts.
The first of many vehicles unveiled was the Nissan Juke now offered as a NISMO version. This sporty looking crossover was designed and developed with the same passion that has made NISMO synonymous with motorsports. Powered by a 1.6-litre, four cylinder matted to a turbocharger good for 197 horsepower. This limited edition Juke will be available in Canada later in the year although pricing has yet to be confirmed.
One of the highlights this year was concepts from every maker. Nissan unveiled the Resonance which was created at Nissan Design America in San Diego, California. This futuristic looking sport utility vehicle features a floating roof design, beautiful wood trim interior, and all the tech-happy gadgets one would expect. Powering it is a hybrid electrical system that includes Nissan’s proprietary “one motor, two clutch” system that combines a gasoline engine with an electric-battery motor which sends power to all wheels. According to Nissan, this is their new philosophy for future production vehicles both in way of styling and drive train offerings.
After much anticipation, Infiniti revealed the latest creation in the luxury sports sedan segment – the Q50, a vehicle which will replace the long standing G nomenclature. The Q50 defines Infiniti’s future leap into design philosophy, technology innovations, and ultimately performance. The Infiniti Q50 will be made available with a choice of either their 328 horsepower 3.7-litre V6 engine or new hybrid engine featuring Infiniti’s Direct Response Hybrid System™ in either rear wheel or all-wheel drive. Sales of the Q50 are said to begin during summer of 2013 and by the looks of it, we’re sure it will do well against more mainstay luxury sport sedan competitors.
No auto show would be complete without some beautiful ladies, in this case a blonde and brunette smiling proudly in the Chrysler / Dodge booth.
It was no wonder why the press gallery was packed in the Chrysler / Dodge booth, the all-new Dodge Viper SRT was on hand for all to gawk and admire. After years of waiting, journalists and enthusiasts alike can breath in the fresh air from this 8.4-litre V10 powered snake. Power numbers are set at an impressive 640 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, making it the most torque of any naturally aspirated production car engine in the world! This new SRT is better in every way than its predecessor by roughly 50 % in way of chassis stiffness and performance. The new snake will be available this year with an MSRP of $97,395+
Over at the Acura booth, the NSX concept was once again revealed. It was first seen last year at the auto show, although it was merely a clay dressed up model on exhibit showing the styling cues. Unfortunately, that is all that is still known other than the fact that it will most likely be powered by a hybrid type drive train.
The reason for Acura bringing it out once again was to unveil the interior of it. Comprised of fine leather and carbon fiber material, the fit and finish of the NSX concept seems to be on point with the likes of current benchmark standards like that of the Nissan GT-R. Unfortunately this was a mock-up so the final production version will most likely differ, but it is reassuring to know that Acura is on the right path with the NSX – if it only went into production sooner than later.
Good news for Ford fans, the Fiesta will now be offered with an ST version. First revealed last year as a concept, the Fiesta ST is a more sports hot hatch than its normal sibling and one set to rival the likes of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Mini Cooper S. Under the hood will be a 1.6-liter four cylinder good for roughly 130 horsepower (albeit the European model packs 178 horsepower) matted to a manual six speed transmission. Compared to its base version, the ST sits lower by 0.6-inch, has a limited-slip differential, stability-control system, sport seats, new front and rear fascias, and bigger wheel package. Need a hot hatchback this coming year? Well this is definitely one to consider.
Also found at the Ford booth were a selection of modified “tuner” Ford Fusion models like this slammed metallic black one. Each Fusion was built by a leading industry group ranging from an air ride to aero kit design companies. What’s Ford trying to say with these creations? Simple; that the Fusion is a vehicle which can be versatile in function and still friendly to those wanting to modify it. There’s little left to say other than the fact that they have our vote!
A couple of Lincoln promo reps smiling always make these press conferences go smoother. It’s good to note that Lincoln is making a come back and trying to capture a younger demographic with fresh designs and technology offerings, but this is surely one way to do it as well.
Over at the Auto Exotica gallery at the auto show, there were plenty of high priced beauties scattered about. McLaren Toronto (Pfaff) brought out two prime examples of automotive engineering in way of the MP4-12C coupe and the spider. V8 twin turbocharged goodness and Formula 1 inspired engineering doesn’t get any better than this!
Known as the fastest Ferrari ever built, the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta was also at the Auto Exotica gallery next to other V8 and V12 Italian siblings. Under the hood is a 6.2-liter V12 engine (shared with the Ferrari FF) that puts out a massive 730 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 509 lb-ft of torque at 6,000 rpm. Such figures translate to a launch from 0 – 100 km/h in just 3.1-seconds and a top speed of over 340 km/h (210 mph). Yes, we’ll take two please!
Want the best track car that money can buy? There is nothing better than a Ferrari 599XX EVO! This all out race car from the Italian prancing horse takes a normal 599 and turns up the heat with the rev limiter raised to 9,000rpm of its V12 high performance engine and peaks with 720 horsepower. Thanks to the use of composite materials and carbon fiber body panels, the 599XX is truly the end all and be all of track cars – as well as being limited production. The 599XX had completed the Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring in a time of 6 minutes and 58.16 seconds – the second fastest time ever recorded for a production-derived sports car!
No you’re not dreaming, this is the real deal Maserati MC12 race car also known as the MC12 Corse. Consider this, a $1.7-million Maserati masterpiece (similar in almost every way to the Ferrari Enzo) and put on a race bred diet. Developed from the MC12 GT1 that took the 2005 FIA GT Manufacturers Cup, this track warrior is said to be used exclusively for track sessions and exhibitions. Considering only 12 units were ever produced, this makes it one rare machine and possibly the only one ever to be seen in Canada!
Quite possibly the best car ever for any automotive enthusiast – the Ferrari F40. This 471 horsepower V8 twin turbocharged monster dating back to 1987 was offered at $400,000 and now sells upwards of $1.6-million amongst collectors. Thankfully it exists thanks to Ferrari of Ontario!
The revised Lamborghini Gallardo sporting a new aero package and wheels also had onlookers amazed. It was first unveiled at the Paris Motor Show and is a hit or miss restyling change for the now decade old V10 Italian supercar. Regardless of one’s take on the different styling, it is still a raging bull that does 0 – 100 km/h in 4-seconds and tops out at 201 mph!
One of the most beautiful cars in the last decade is without question the Maserati GranCabrio. Here is the latest offering with a fresh from fascia and sporting a drop top design. If you’re a fan of the GranTursimo, you’ll love this overly stylish drop top. Powering it a 454 horsepower, 4.7- liter V8 mated to a six speed automatic transmission with paddle shift. Performance figures are rated at 0 – 100 km/h in just 4.9-seconds with a top speed of 180 mph. What more could one ever want in a perfect summer cruiser like this?
Be sure to check back tomorrow for Part 2 of our coverage from the Canadian International AutoShow!
For more information, please visit Canadian International AutoShow
Words & Photos: Giancarlo Pawelec