Volkswagen Golf R Concept
Volkswagen Golf R Concept. Click image to enlarge

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2010 Montreal Auto Show

Montreal, Quebec – The 42nd annual Montreal International Auto Show (MIAS) opens today and runs until January 24, at the Palais de Congres de Montreal. As the first Canadian auto show of the season, the show features a number of Canadian unveilings and one North American premiere.


Volkswagen’s high-performance Golf R makes its North American debut in Montreal. The all-wheel drive, 265-horsepower variant of the venerable compact isn’t a sure thing here just yet; VW says it chose Montreal to unveil the car based on the city’s love for motorsports, so it may get a green light if show-goers respond positively.


The diesel-powered Audi A3 TDI makes a regional premiere in Montreal. The A3 TDI was named Green Car of the Year at last year’s Los Angeles auto show, thanks to its clean-running 2.0-litre diesel engine, mated to Audi’s S tronic dual-clutch transmission.

2010 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo
2010 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo. Click image to enlarge

BMW has given three new models their Canadian premieres here. The ActiveHybrid X6 pairs up a V8 gas engine with an electric motor for a combined 485 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque. It offers the same straight-line performance as the gas-only 50i model, while boasting a small edge in fuel consumption.

The 5 Series Gran Turismo is the newest addition to BMW’s mid-range line. It’s an interesting take on the mid-size luxury sedan, with a two-piece tailgate that can be opened like a full hatchback or as a sedan’s trunk.

The 7 Series was fully redesigned last year, but a new all-wheel drive – xDrive – model gets its first Canadian showing here in Montreal.

2011 Ford Fiesta
2011 Ford Fiesta. Click image to enlarge

Montreal show-goers will be the first in Canada to get a look at Ford’s new 2011 Fiesta subcompact. This little car competes with cars like the Toyota Yaris and Hyundai Accent. Ford is also showing the Reflex diesel-electric hybrid concept.

General Motors

It’s a much smaller GM making the rounds of the auto show circuit this year, and the company’s sole Canadian debut for Montreal is the Cruze compact. The Cruze uses GM’s new family of four-cylinder engines, including 1.8-litre and turbocharged 1.4-litre engines, paired with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.


The P-NUT (Personal Neo-Urban Transport) concept gets its Canadian unveiling in Montreal. This forward-looking little car seats three and is designed to accommodate internal combustion, hybrid-electric or battery-electric powertrains.

2010 Hyundai Tucson
Infiniti Essence concept
2010 Hyundai Tucson (top); Infiniti Essence concept. Click image to enlarge

The 2010 Hyundai Tucson is completely new, and completely different than the model it replaces. This includes what’s under the hood, where a 2.4-litre four-cylinder becomes the only engine, replacing last year’s 2.0-litre (4 cyl) and 2.7-litre (V6) motors. The Tucson will again be offered with front- and all-wheel drive.


The entry-level Infiniti G sedan and coupe get a styling update for 2010, which can be seen in the flesh for the first time in Canada at the Montreal show, as can the Essence concept.


The 2011 XJ sedan can be had with three different engines: a 385-horsepower, 5.0-litre V8, and 470-hp and 510-hp supercharged V8s. The car makes extensive use of aluminum in its construction, which helps reduces the car’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.


The 2011 Kia Sorento is the latest generation of the brand’s largest SUV. News includes the move from body-on-frame construction, to a “monocoque” body shell, a move said to reduce the Sorento’s weight by 215 kilograms. In Europe, it will be offered with a diesel four-cylinder engine, but expect the North American Sorento to be offered exclusively with six-cylinder power.

Land Rover
2010 Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
2010 Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography. Click image to enlarge

Land Rover’s flagship Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models get a new Autobiography Limited Edition trim, which focus on enhancing comfort for rear-seat passengers. Features include electronically-reclining rear seatbacks with heat and cooling controls, and adjustable lumbar supports, and remote controls that allow a rear-seat passenger to move the unoccupied front passenger seat forward for increased legroom.


Lincoln’s Canadian premiere is the C concept, a nifty compact that places the focus on multimedia connectivity.


The Mazda2 is the Japanese company’s version of the Ford Fiesta, and it gets its Canadian debut in Montreal. Also on display is the Active2 Snow concept.

2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
2010 Porsche 911 Turbo
2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (top); 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo. Click image to enlarge

Mercedes has three new vehicles on show for the first time in Canada. First is the awesome SLS AMG roadster, a 571-horsepower hotrod that is a stylistic improvement on the SLR McLaren that it ostensibly replaces.

Benz also has a new Sprinter van on display, and at the smart booth, you’ll find the fortwo highstyle, which gets a distinctive chocolate brown paintjob, unique wheels and an upgraded interior.


The Mini Cooper Camden and Mayfair special editions get their Canadian unveilings in Montreal. These special editions trim packages celebrate the brand’s 50th birthday, and can be ordered on Mini Cooper and Cooper S models.


The latest generation of the 911 Turbo has been unveiled for the first time in Canada. The Turbo’s direct-injected 500-horsepower, 3.8-litre engine is the first entirely-new motor in a 911 Turbo in the model’s 35-year history. Available features includes Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch transmission, and Porsche Torque Vectoring, a system that actively distributes power between the left and right rear wheels, to increase cornering precision.

2011 Suzuki Kizashi
2011 Toyota Sienna
2011 Suzuki Kizashi (top); 2011 Toyota Sienna. Click image to enlarge

The Kizashi is an all-new mid-sized sedan from this small Japanese company that seems big on being different. Case in point: the Kizashi is available with four-cylinder power only, and an interior that is smaller than most of its competitors. Enjoy checking the car out at the show, as it won’t be on sale until later in the first quarter of this year.


The Sienna minivan is all-new for 2011, and is the first significantly-restyled minivan from any manufacturer since Chrysler introduced its latest vans in 2008. Something of a shocker is that the base engine will be the company’s new 2.7-litre four-cylinder engine.

Toyota is also showing the 2010 4Runner SUV as a regional debut, and Toyota’s luxury Lexus division is showing its new GX 460 SUV for the first time in Canada.

Also, Scion, Toyota’s quirky offshoot, has its first Canadian display at the Montreal show, in advance of its xB, xD and tC models going on sale in Canada this fall.


Volvo is showing the restyled, 2011 versions of its C30 and C70 models, both of which are Canadian premieres in Montreal.

There a number of special features at this year’s show, including the 7th Heaven display, where you’ll find high-dollar models from brands like Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz/Maybach, Bentley, Aston Martin, Porsche, Cadillac and Pininfarina/Bollore. Lotus and Lamborghini are technically part of the 7th Heaven feature, but are located on the fifth level of the Palais de Congres. There are also special displays of classic 1930s cars, microcars, built-in-Quebec vehicles spanning the 20th century and the green-centric On Route to the Future display, organized in partnership with Natural Resources Canada.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from January 15 to 23, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on January 24. Tickets cost $15 for adults (13 and older), while student and senior admission is $12, and kids under six to 12 get in for $5 (kids under six get in for free). Families can buy a $35 pass that admits two adults and two kids. Tickets can be purchased online at the Montreal Auto Show website.

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