2015 Ford Mustang
1963 Ford Mustang
205 Volkswagen Beetle
2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI
2015 & 1963 Ford Mustangs, 205 Volkswagen Beetle, 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI. Click image to enlarge

Article and photos by Paul Williams, additional photos by Mark Stevenson

It’s Canada’s auto show season, and first off the mark, as always, is the 2014 Montreal Auto Show. Open to the public January 17–26, it’s located at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, downtown. If you’re in the area, why not check it out?

As I say, Montreal is the first of the annual Canadian auto shows, giving car manufacturers an early opportunity to introduce new vehicles to our market. This year there are 48 Canadian introductions including one North American introduction among the full range of current vehicles and special exhibitions on display. While there wasn’t a lot of news at the show from a journalistic perspective, there certainly were highlights for consumers and general car enthusiasts.

The all-new 2015 Ford Mustang will attract big interest, for sure. This is the sixth generation Mustang, and speculation as to its appearance and features has been going on for years.

The Ford stand features a red GT and – a nice touch – a fine red classic 1965 Convertible. Check out the wheels on these cars and you can see how the new car’s wheels are similar in appearance to the classic’s styled GT wheels from the 1965 and 1966 model years.

The Mustang is lower, wider, sleeker; it finally gets a modern multilink suspension, paddle shifters, remote start and is not the radical design departure that some expected. Many Mustang fans are surely breathing a sigh of relief. Initially, the V8 and V6 engines carry over, but a new four-cylinder Ecoboost generating over 300 horsepower is expected subsequently.

Volkswagen has several new models to see, including R-Line versions of its 2014 Beetle and Beetle Convertible, the 2014 Jetta GLI and the new GTI. It’s the GTI that’s going to interest enthusiasts of the brand as this higher-performance version of the seventh-generation Golf is due this spring.

The GTI is another vehicle that’s nudging “iconic” status – heck, it’s almost as old as the Mustang! And like the Mustang, the 2015 model is lower and wider, with power up to 210 horsepower from its turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. The transmissions remain the same: six-speed manual; six-speed twin-clutch automatic.

At the Hyundai stand, and if you’ve heard of Pikes Peak, don’t miss the RMR Genesis Coupe Race Car. It’s the very car driven by Paul Dallenbach to a world record in the Time Attack class in  June 2013. His time to climb the 4,302 m (14,115′) mountain was 9:46.001. Very cool!

Over at Jaguar, the new 2015 F-Type V6 Coupe debuted. At a starting price of $72,100, it goes head-to-head with the similarly-priced Porsche Cayman S, and while I love the Cayman, this F-Type Coupe is a beautiful creation indeed. The F-Type Convertible was introduced last year to a very positive reception, and it’s a sweet car, don’t get me wrong. But I think the coupe is a fantastic design and arguably what chief designer Ian Callum, Design Director of Jaguar, has wanted to see in production for years. The front’s great, the side’s wonderful, but that rear-end is a work of art (although I doubt you’ll be able see much out of its tiny window). See it at Montreal in British Racing Green Metallic.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe Race CarHyundai Genesis Coupe Race Car2015 Nissan Micra2015 Jaguar F-Type
Hyundai Genesis Coupe Race Car, 2015 Nissan Micra, 2015 Jaguar F-Type. Click image to enlarge

At Nissan, the big news was the tiny Micra. Many will remember the name, as this model was sold in Canada from 1989-1995, and very popular it was! Nissan’s not had a genuinely subcompact contender for a while, even though demand in Canada is growing for such cars. The “Micra” project took three years of stickhandling by Tim Franklin, Nissan Canada’s senior manager of product planning, before the Canada-only model debuted at Montreal. It’s on the Versa Note platform, smaller than that car, and by design, has a rear hatch that perfectly fits a loaded hockey bag with the rear seats up (let’s hope it has cupholders to fit a medium Tim’s…).

Availability? April 2014. Price? They won’t tell us, but it’s got to be less than the Versa, right? There were some suggestions by journalists that $9,995 would be pretty awesome. Only in Canada, you say…

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