With over 1,000 vehicles crammed into the Toronto Convention Centre at the 2012 Canadian International Auto Show, there’s no chance of seeing everything in one day even if you’re careening around corners on a Segway. Let us save you the idling and drive you straight to the must-sees.
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept
Seemingly carved from a solid chunk of steel, the simple beauty of the Stingray concept is a stunning throwback to 1970s die-cast Hot Wheels. It has been decades since a side tailpipe looked this sexy.
2013 Scion FR-S (FT-86)
Slated for showrooms by summer 2012, the FR-S (Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive Sport), although styled similarly to the Mazda RX-7, is a tribute to the Toyota AE86. Fans of “drifting” will recognize it as the standard of 1980s Japanese street-racing circuits. The AE86 revolutionized the sport with its sub-compact, rear-wheel drive design that allowed the driver to purposely over-steer and “drift” through corners. This fiercer and revitalized racer is sure to turn heads and scorch radar guns when it goes on sale in Canada.
2012 Jaguar XKR-S Coupé
This is the fastest and most powerful production car Jaguar has ever built. The 550-horsepower V-8 tops out at 300 km/h with 0 – 96 km/h achieved in just 4.2 seconds. Painted French Racing Blue, the car placed second to the Hyndai Veloster in the Best Design category at the 2012 AJAC Awards. Despite missing out on the big prize, it remains one of the most eye-catching cars in show, even without the addition of smoky-eyed models draping themselves over its luscious curves.
Acura NSX Concept [pictured]
The NSX embodies the new style direction for Acura’s sport vehicles. Though at first glance evocative of the Audi R8, the car’s suspension is lower and its grille reminiscent of the Acura TL. Some may be disappointed with the automaker’s choice to dispose of the iconic oversized headlights, but who are we to stand in the way of LED-lit progress?
Volkswagen Bulli Concept
Volkswagen’s idea of the future is to take us back to a better time, in a really cool time-machine. The Bulli Concept is, of course, the re-imagined Volkswagen Microbus. Not only is it designed to look like the Microbus, it follows in its predecessor’s ‘flower power’ footsteps by being powered by a zero-emission electric drivetrain. This Concept is one that will actually hit the roads in the near future; Volkswagen isn’t afraid of reviving its beautifully styled classics, and we like it.
2013 Dodge Dart GTS 210 Tribute by Mopar
The 2013 Dodge Dart makes its Canadian debut at CIAS, but the Mopar-modified tribute makes its first-time-anywhere debut. This incarnation of the Dart emphasizes performance with Alfa Romeo DNA and fuel-efficient powertrains; not bad for a compact with an under 16K tag.
Mazda SHINARI Concept
The 2012 CIAS sees three vehicles sporting Mazda’s deservedly well-reviewed SKYACTIV technology (runner-up for AJAC’s Best New Technology of the Year), including the outstanding impressive SHINARI Concept, rumoured to be heading to production for the 2014 season. That’s our kind of rumour.
Mercedes-Benz smart ebike
Not to suggest that the smart car is yesterday’s news, because it remains very much of the moment. Still, urbanites, particularly Torontonians, need the kind of forward-thinking, super-small and easy-to-use progress that the smart ebike represents. A terrific addition to the already impressive smart branding initiative.
Cruise Nationals and Exotics Showcase
A must-see for the kid inside, this is the most expensive automotive exhibit ever displayed in Canada. Featuring names like Ferrari, Bugatti, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini and Fisker, all the gear-head chatter will supercharge your automotive knowledge along with your desire for a supercharged paycheck.
2012 Canadian International Auto Show: Feb 17 – 26, Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Image courtesy of Autoviva.com.