Originally published on autoTRADER.ca Feb 12, 2016.
The 2016 Canadian International Auto Show is set to open its doors today, Friday, February 12 with a long list of Canadian debuts, cars to get your gearhead glands churning and special automotive attractions at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and will remain open through to Sunday, February 21st. As always, we like to take our own peek on media day and let you know what to expect, the new cars that will have a huge impact on the market in the coming years, concepts that will inspire our future mobility, flashy performance cars that get our blood pumping and the exotic luxury cars that fuel our lottery fantasies.
Tesla Model X
Tesla’s long-awaited SUV is finally hitting the show tour. First stop: Toronto. The “falcon-winged” Telsa Model X is sure to attract curious people – and not only for those doors. The 2x2x2 seating arrangement (seven-passenger seating is also an option), huge infotainment screens and funky electric doors will all get thoroughly prodded and probed, while a Tesla employee repeats the mantra: “This is a pre-production model.”
Hyundai Enduro Concept
Is this the next entry in the sub-compact SUV segement? Hyundai’s Enduro concept looks well sized to compete with the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V. At first glance it looks a little like a jacked up Hyundai Veloster with body cladding, and the concept is powered by Hyundai’s 2.0L turbo mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The wheelbase of the Enduro concept is the same as the outgoing Veloster at 2,650 mm – so this might be closer to production than expected. The side steps might make it all the way to dealerships, but the side-view cameras probably won’t.
Toyota’s Urban Utility (U squared) concept is a cool example of what you could do with a personal commercial vehicle. They say it’s for “makers” and there is some genuine usability in here for people with a range of cargo-hauling needs, including the ramp/door. We like it.
Nissan Rogue Warrior
There is only one reason you need to see the Nissan Rogue Warrior in person: Because it’s really, really cool. (Get it? Snow? Cold?… I crack me up).
VW GTI Roadster Concept
While we’re on the subject of things that are not really relevant to the real world but still blow your … um… mind… check out Volkswagen’s fantastic GTI Roadster Concept. Warning: Seeing this in person will only make you more angry they won’t ever build it.
Remember last year when Ford owned the show with their GT announcement? The carbon-fibre supercar made right here in the GTA was in attendance again, a vivid yellow setting off this example of Ford’s incredible supercar.
Ford Focus RS
While the GT is a halo for Ford, it’s the Focus RS that has most tongues wagging into 2016. The 325 hp AWD hot hatch is an attainable, excitable, track-ready off-ramp weapon. With really fake-looking engine fluid gauges.
Porsche GT4 Clubsport
The Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport is designed purely for the track. The 385 hp, 309 lb-ft 3.8L boxer engine powers the back wheels via a six-speed PDK gearbox and the entire car weighs just 1,300 kg. It looks fast even sitting still. Porsche purists may say the engine is in the wrong end – driving purists won’t mind. The GT4 will race in the 2016 season of the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada.
It looks like a mobile toilet, if we’re honest. It’s way more fun than one, though. The Uni-Cub exists as a thought exercise in personal mobility. The idea is that a person with limited mobility due to age or injury could use the Uni-Cub for shopping, museums and the like where they’d otherwise have to walk too far for their ability. The Uni-Cub can be used outside and is both stable and rugged enough to take on even Canadian footpaths. It is controlled via subtle body movements.
The Auto Exotica exhibit is a treasure trove of drool-worthy dream machines. Everything from the stunning Maserati GranTurismo GT to the intriguing Tesla Model X. The display is a mix of new and old cars. Luxury car dealer Pfaff has stepped up to the plate with no less than six such treasures, including a 911, a Pagani Huayra and a BMW Le Mans car.
McLaren F1 GTR Le Mans Car
BMW North America and luxury auto maker Pfaff have brought the 1996 McLaren F1 GTR to the show. This car won Le Mans on debut and is worth north of $20m. BMW provided the 6.1L V12 that powered this legendary race car, but McLaren did the rest.
Slot cars at Subaru
There’s plenty of interactive fun to be had, from racing simulators to an arcade basketball game. The real action though is over by Subaru where some genius has set up a massive slot car track. Race your friends. Win. Find new friends. It’s what auto shows are all about.
Art and the Automobile
Presented in conjunction with Cobble Beach, this display of perfectly-preserved historic beauties might make your father cry. Or you cry. Not me though. I’m tough. I didn’t cry.
I lie. I cried. There are 17 different cars here, each more gorgeous than the last.
Indy 500 display
This year is the 100th running of the iconic Indianapolis 500. To celebrate there is an incredible exhibit featuring some of the best and most historic cars from the race, including the car Scott Goodyear drove from last to second in the 1992 race, and the car driven to victory by Canadian racer Jacques Villeneuve.