Originally published January 16, 2015
Article and photos by Mark Stevenson
The Salon de l’Auto Montreal officially opens this week to the public and has a lot more to offer showgoers than last year. For starters, the show sees three separate North American reveals (compared to one last year) to start the Canadian auto show circuit for 2015. Porsche has a booth this year for the first time (previously Porsches were shown by dealers as Porsche Canada did not have a booth all their own) while Quebec’s own Magnum showed off their newest track-bound creation, the Magnum Mk5.
The show starts January 16 and continues until January 25. Doors open at 10:00am and close at 9:30pm, except for the 25th when they close at 7:00pm. Tickets are $16 for adults and $13 for students and seniors. Children between 6 to 12 years old can get in for $6 while children 5 and under are granted admissions for free. Full show details can be found at salonautomontreal.com.
The luxury brand that Honda built arrived in Montreal with their ILX compact sedan first shown in Los Angeles in November. The heavily refreshed entry model at Acura now comes with a 201 hp 2.4L four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission for all trims.
The new A-Spec trim also adds some more sport to the sport compact with side sill garnish, fog lights, 18-inch wheels, Jewel Eye LED headlights, Premium Black interior, perforated black Lux Suede seat inserts, gray interior stitching, and aluminum pedals.
The 2016 Acura ILX goes on sale in Canada in February.
While the storied Italian marque is showing off the new Alfa Romeo 4C Spider in Detroit, Montrealers will have to make do with the coupe version of the high-performance go-kart. Not that “making do” with the 4C is a bad thing. It’s a gorgeous piece of carbon fibre and horsepower.
On the cusp of a design revolution under the leadership of Marc Lichte, Audi is rolling out the latest evolution of its current design language with the new A6, A7, and their S-model equivalents. The S6 and A7 are on display along with the A3 e-tron, Audi’s compact luxury plug-in hybrid.
Like your performance in a sport utility wrapper? Thehave made their journeys to Montreal after debuting in Los Angeles. Both models are powered by a 4.4-litre V8 engine producing 567 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque to ensure your youngins get to their soccer practices a solid hour early.
After its world debut at Pebble Beach in April 2013, the Cadillac Elmiraj finally makes its appearance at the Montreal Auto Show this week. The radical concept car set the internet abuzz when it debuted but it is slowly bringing its concept life cycle to an end. Other models showing at the Cadillac show stand include the ATS, ATS Coupe, and CTS.
While Chevrolet didn’t have much in the way of a press conference during the opening media day at the Montreal International Auto Show, they certainly had some great horsepower on display. The new Corvette Z06 graced its own stand along with two other Corvettes on the floor and the Camaro Z/28 exuded meanness in its all-black paint job.
Chrysler’s gangsterific 300 full-size sedan brings its Los Angeles attitude to Montreal for this year’s show. It hasn’t changed significantly since the previous generation but it’s still worth a look if you like American-sized cars with American-sized style.
Hellcat hellcat hellcat, hellcat hellcat hellcat hellcat. Burble, burble hellcat horsepower. Dodge. Montreal. Be there.
The Fiat 500L was a swing and a miss in my books. But, even though the new 500X uses most of the same formula, it doesn’t look like a bulbous mess. Actually, I kind of dig it in person.
The 2016 Fiat 500X goes on sale in Canada the first half of this year. Pricing has not yet been released.
The Blue Oval didn’t make any newsworthy announcements in Montreal this year but they did show something completely mad and absolutely fantastic. The Hot Wheels Rip Rod is something straight out of the mad minds at Mattel and powered by a 1.0L three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. It might not sound like a high performance powerplant but there isn’t much to this tube-framed wonder other than an engine (behind the driver), some suspension, and a very basic body. If you want to see this in person in Canada, this is likely your only opportunity as we are told it probably won’t make the journey to Toronto in February.
Next year, Honda will be heading back to Formula 1 as an engine supplier with McLaren, so it should be no surprise the Japanese automaker is emphasizing its racing roots by trotting around a 1964 Honda RA271 Formula One car. The vintage racer has a V12 engine in the back displacing — get this — 1.5 litres. 1.5 LITRES!
Do you know what else is powered by a 1.5L engine? The new HR-V. Honda’s newest crossover, based on the Fit compact hatchback, may share displacement measurements with the Formula 1 car beside it, but makes power with eight fewer cylinders.
UPDATE: Oops! The HR-V is actually powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine with 138 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 127 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm. Front- and all-wheel drive will be available along with a six-speed manual (front-wheel drive models only) or a continuously variable transmission. Our apologies to the folks at Honda Canada and those looking at the HR-V for a future purchase.
The 2016 Honda HR-V goes on sale later this year with an undisclosed price. We will have more information closer to launch.
One of three North American reveals at the Montreal Auto Show, Hyundai brought their Intrado Concept out to play. First shown in Geneva in March of last year, the Intrado introduced the world to Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, the latest iteration of Hyundai’s design language now being used on the all-new Genesis and Sonata sedans. It likely won’t spawn a production model in its own right but it’s incredibly cool. If you get a chance to see it in person, the digital dash and tangerine interior are something to behold.
We’ve already driven the Infiniti Q70L (a long-wheelbase version of the once-named Infiniti M) earlier this year. But, Montreal is the first time Canadians will get to see the car in person. Prices still haven’t been set even though it goes on sale fairly soon. If you are an airport limo driver with an aging Lincoln Town Car Executive L, this might be your next stop.
One of the most Canadian-style debuts at the Montreal show was Kia and their “snow” covers for the new Sorento. Entering its third generation, the 2016 Kia Sorento will be powered by a choice of three engines — a 2.4L four-cylinder, a 3.3L V6, or a new turbocharged 2.0 four-cylinder — on sale later this year. Kia hasn’t confirmed any pricing yet on the new utility model but we expect it will jump ever so slightly when it goes on sale this spring.
Britain’s iconic builder of off-roaders has brought their all-new Discovery Sport to Montreal. Powered by the same 240-hp 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the Range Rover Evoque, the Disco Sport replaces the outgoing Freelander/LR2 in Land Rover’s lineup this spring with a starting price of $41,490.
The luxury division of Toyota is making some great strides in performance product as they also refresh and add to their line of utilities. In Montreal, Lexus brought out the RC F that went on sale this past fall for $80,800. The NX 200t and NX 300h also made their Canadian debuts in Montreal sporting very handsome shades of brown and blue.
Unlike many of the offshoots in the automotive industry in Quebec, Magnum prides itself on craftsmanship and it shows in the Magnum Mk5. The track toy from the once-builder of full-on race cars are displaying their car for the first time in Montreal. Last year, there were a few cars at the show built by newcomers to the market with questionable manufacturing skill. But, if I were a betting man, I wouldn’t bet on Magnum to fail. The man behind it, Bruno St-Jacques, and the car seem like the real deal.
The most important North American debut of the Montreal show comes from Mazda with their all-new Mazda2. The Japanese automaker chose Quebec for the car’s debut due to the province’s thirst for small cars. Available later this year, the Mazda2 expands its trim lineup and will come with a serious roster of premium features when it goes on sale with a yet undisclosed price. But, we are told base model pricing likely won’t change much.
Making its Canadian debut was the Mazda CX-3 originally seen this past November in Los Angeles. The Mazda2-based crossover slots below the CX-5.
One of the most curious parts of the Mazda booth were the inquisitive bilingual robots. Basically an iPad mounted on a stick with wheels, the robots would roll up to you and try to strike up a conversation (whether you wanted to talk or not). Mazda will have a number of these robots running around the booth during public days.
Mercedes has given the newest member of the AMG family a thorough welcome in Montreal. The C 63 and C 63 S will arrive later this year with 476 hp and 510 hp respectively.
The little Japanese automaker that could arrived in Montreal with their next model to join the Canadian lineup — the Outlander PHEV. Mitsubishi says “when Outlander PHEV arrives in Canada next year it will look (and drive) quite differently from the European model” they’re displaying in Montreal. Let’s hope those changes are for the better!
Last year, Nissan had the biggest announcement of the show with their new Micra and its base price of $9,998. This year, the Micra gets its own racing series. Called the “Nissan Micra Cup,” the series will be comprised of six separate events, all held within the borders of Quebec.
Nissan also showed off their BladeGlider Concept (basically a streetable
DeltaWing ZEOD RC) we first saw in Tokyo in 2013.
The biggest news from Porsche at the Montreal Auto Show is that they were attending it. As stated above, local Porsche dealers have represented the brand in Montreal in the past. This year, Porsche Canada made sure to bring a Porsche Carrera 4 GTS for those who love the sound of flat-six engines.
What Scion lack in new product in Montreal they make up for in style — #ScionStyle to be specific. The young brand is giving away free barber-style haircuts at the auto show this week. I’m still not sure how this relates to their brand… but, hey, free haircuts!
The Viziv2 Concept makes its North American premiere in Montreal bringing the total count of North American debuts to three. Making its initial debut last year in Geneva, the Viziv2 wears very similar design features as the Legacy Concept before the production version. It’s been on the auto show circuit for 10 months now so this will likely be your last chance to see it in person.
Refreshed versions of the Prius c and v are the meat and potatoes of Toyota’s booth this year in Montreal. But, those are boring hybrids. You want to see the exciting stuff.
After debuting in Detroit last year, the FT-1 concept is gracing the stand in Montreal this year along with their WEC winning TS030 hybrid racer.
Last but not least is Volkswagen with three important vehicles in their booth. The T-ROC utility concept sporting a removable roof and radical styling takes the stage front and centre. But, it’s the Golf Sportwagon and Beetle Classic that are the real news here in Montreal.
As we told you last week, the Golf Sportwagon will be available for ordering in March with deliveries the following month. The Beetle Classic, with a price of just under $22,000, sports a 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, navigation, unique interior, and alloy retro wheels that look more like the steelies of yore.