Friday, February 15, 2013

2013 Toronto International AutoShow

Some may consider Groundhog Day as the first event signaling the approach of Spring but I see the Toronto International AutoShow ( at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre as the real indication that Winter is on its last legs.  The AutoShow opened today and runs until Sunday, Feb. 24th.  I spent some time there today and here are a few of the things that caught my eye:

  • HOT ROD - Canadian Builders Showcase.  For nostalgia buffs, there is always a great showcase on the 700 Level of the show.  This year, it celebrates that enthusiasm with a feature exhibiting original customized cars and trucks and the Canadians who built them. This exhibit is located on the 700 level South Building.  Every one of these pieces is an exquisite masterpiece of restoration and customization.
  • SPORT COMPACT EVOLUTION.  North American automotive enthusiasts have always been behind the movement of the Sport Compact car. It began in the 80’s where these little cars were tuned with chest thumping sub woofers and an array of accessories. You were cool if you had one and envious of your friends if you didn’t. With an exciting 30 year history, the AutoShow is presenting a rich and exciting automotive showcase that recognizes the transformation of the Sport Compact car from Revolution to Evolution. If you are (or were) one of those "tuner duds", you're going to love this showcase.
  • ECO-DRIVE SHOWCASE.  Because car companies in Canada and the US are mandated to get their fleet-average fuel consumption to 4.3L per 100 Km by 2025, every conceivable fuel economy technology is being  explored and implemented.  Electric and hybrids are only part of the solution.  It is nice to see that the showcase includes developments in conventional technologies because there's still plenty of life left in gasoline engine development as automakers rethink even basic principles.  The result is that every manufacturer at the show has one or more solutions to the fuel consumption and emissions challenge.  This showcase is on Level 800 and features the vehicles and the supporting technologies in this segment.
  • AUTO EXOTICA.  Exotics have always been a major attraction at the AutoShow and this year is no different. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, Aston Martin, Bentley, Fisker, Bugatti and Rolls Royce-- they're all at the AutoShow on the 100 Level along with the Cruise Nationals finalists. 
  • MAZDA SKYACTIV and iACTIVSENSE Technologies.  The Mazda stand was buzzing on Day One as everyone got a look at the new 2014 Mazda6 with the  full range of SKYACTIV Technologies as well as a range of available electronic safety features marketed as iACTIVSENSE Technologies,  There were also some cool interactive displays using holographs and "x-ray" representations of the various SKYACTIV Technologies.  Models being shown for the first  time included the 2014 Mazda6, 2013 MX-5, 2013 CX-9, and 2013 MazdaSpeed3.  The other big news at the Mazda booth was the 2014 Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D (Clean Diesel) (arriving this Fall) that Jim Kenzie said "might be the most significant car on display at the show".  He commented that "it might finally move diesel into the mainstream where it belongs".

There is lots more to see at the show including interactive displays and presentations as well as more vehicles in every category than you can imagine.  Every manufacturer has at least one jaw-dropping concept vehicle to show plus several innovations to feature.  It's a great opportunity to learn about the new technologies that are changing how the automobile impacts your life.  If you are in the market for a new car, the choices are virtually endless.  The Toronto International AutoShow is on until Sunday, February 24th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  I will be on duty at the Mazda stand (Level 3) on Saturday, February 23rd from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm so come by and say hello.

Check out the short video I did earlier today for a sneak preview: