2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Click image to enlarge

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Article and photos by Anthony Murdoch

Photo Gallery:
2010 Calgary Auto Show

In the year 1981, Calgary was less than half the size that it is today in terms of population. It was a significant year however, as it was the first time for the Calgary auto show, which for 2010 celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Calgarians have always looked forward to this yearly event, using it as both a practical place to shop for a new vehicle in one location, as well as a place to dream and imagine. The beauty of an auto show is that you can view everything under one roof at the same time, and with no hassle from salespeople. It really gives those in the market for a new vehicle the control they need to have a better position once they enter a showroom. It also serves as a good place for future car buyers to get a glimpse and taste of the future of the automotive world.

2011 Ford Fiesta
2011 Ford Fiesta. Click image to enlarge

The show runs from March 10 to 14th, at the BMO Centre and Stampede Corral at Stampede Park. Thursday and Friday’s show times are from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday’s and Sunday’s start a bit earlier, at 10:00 a.m., with the closing time being 10:00 p.m. on Saturday and 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. A discounted price of $10 for adults is in effect for Thursday and Friday, with the price going up to $14 for Saturday and Sunday. Children 10 and under are free, and seniors and youth aged 11-17 pay only $7 for all show dates.

There are many new and exciting models at this year’s show, so make sure to plan a good deal of time so you can enjoy it to the fullest. Below are some of the highlights, along with information that may help you better navigate the spectacle.

One of the main attractions of this year’s show is the astonishing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. This vehicle is located in the main display hall at the Mercedes pavilion, and if you are unfamiliar with it, then perhaps the word Gullwing may ring a bell? This car is styled after Mercedes’ famous Gullwing roadster of the 1950s, and is complete with gullwing-type doors and modern styling. Be sure not to miss out on this exotic.

2010 Acura ZDX
2010 Acura ZDX. Click image to enlarge

Notable new cars showing their metal for this first time are Ford’s new 2011 Fiesta and F-Series Super Duty trucks. Ford also has a cool ‘Hotwheels’ themed F-150 Superlift on display as well. This truck no doubt attracts a lot of attention from the younger generation.

GM has on hand a bunch of new vehicles as well, such as the GMC Terrain, Chevrolet Cruze and Cadillac CTS Coupe.

Other noteworthy new debuts are the Acura ZDX, 2011 Hyundai Tucson and Sonata, 2011 VW Golf and GTI, 2011 BMW 5-series, 2011 Kia Sorento and 2011 Porsche Panamera.

Bentley will unveil their new Mulsanne for this first time ever in Canada. The Mulsanne, which will make its Canadian debut right here in Calgary, will be uncloaked this Saturday, March 13 at a yet to be announced time. Be sure to be there early as the crowds will only grow larger as the day goes on. Also, this will enable you to get a specific unveiling time, as show officials were mute on this exact detail during the Wednesday show opening.

2010 Ferrari 599 GTB (left) and California
2010 Acura ZDX
Top photo: 2010 Ferrari 599 GTB (left) and California; bottom photo: Lambo Murcielago LP640 Roadster. Click image to enlarge

If big trucks are your thing, you will be pleased to know that the heavy truck display is back after an absence of a year. It is located in the smaller, second hall which also houses a new-for-2010 ‘Pit stop,’ a café with abundant seating and (very pricey) food available for purchase. This is good for families with small kids, as stretching the legs after a lot of walking is always a relaxing thing to do.

Mixed in amongst the big rigs are some Mercedes Sprinter vans, along with a selection of Isuzu work trucks. You may notice that the second hall houses more vehicles this year. This is due to the fact that it has been expanded, which makes for a more exciting atmosphere and a less cramped feel compared to years past.

Also of note is that the floor plan has changed somewhat from the familiar format, so that the exotic cars are now on display in the main hall. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bentley and Porsche are all in a prominent location, and no longer confined to the rather dark Corral as in years past.

As always, two cars will be given away in a no-cost draw. The raffle will take place on Sunday, and up for grabs are a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI and a 2010 Toyota Venza V6 with the premium package.

To enter the draws, visit the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald booths respectively, which are both located in the Corral section of the show.

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