Words & photos by Chris Miller
The Canadian International Auto Show is the largest consumers’ show in Canada. The first day of the 2018 event, February 16, was packed just like a usual weekend, except it was Friday. This is a sure indication of Canada’s love for autos.
The exotic display was the largest representation I have ever seen in all my years visiting this event, from Rolls Royce to all the Tesla models including the lower-priced model to be introduced for $35,000 U.S. There were Paganis, Lotus, Bugatti, Aston Martin, Porsche, McLarens, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and the world’s fastest automobile, a Koenigsegg Agera RS. In fact, in the time it takes to say that name, the car can already have reached 100 KPH! Its top speed is almost 460 KPH!! Wow.
On display were some of the most beautiful classic cars from Cobble Beach where every September they have the “Concours d’Elegance.” They brought some of the vehicles to this event, an amazing collection of classic cars.
Congratulations to Mattel. Hot Wheels are 50 years old. What a fun display of actual tracks with miniature cars running around at dizzying speeds. Fun for all car lovers, no matter what age.
Interesting trends this year were that some manufacturers had very few sedan cars and lots of trucks and SUV models on display, while other manufacturers were promoting E vehicles, either hybrids or electric. Talk about contrasts. I was surprised by this trend of two absolute extremes. Do we want to save the environment and drive smaller, more economical vehicles, or great big trucks and SUVs? I understand under certain circumstances, for workhorse vehicles and family haulers, you have to go bigger, but I would say only when necessary. Electrics are the way of the future, á la Volvo. Soon there will be no gas engines and others will follow suit or get left behind. Of course some manufacturers covered both spectrums.
One of the most impressive concepts was a 2020 Lexus LS + Concept, a state-of-the-art vehicle, sensibly designed, in fact a beautiful sedan without outside mirrors! There were cameras.
Other concepts by Toyota and Nissan were, need I say, strange! The digital world is alive and well. Almost all new vehicles have large screens in the dashboard or virtual images on the windscreen in front of the driver. This is the way of the future, I mean present. These screens tell you everything about the operation of your vehicle. My Chevy Cruise has two such screens, one in the centre of the dash, pretty normal and one in the instrument panel. The information is interchangeable from one screen to the other and everything from tire pressure to fuel consumption and changing of radio stations plus many more can be controlled from the steering wheel. Emergency braking, pedestrian or bicycle rider warnings, crash evading and of course the autonomous driving ability, is here now, in Mercedes, Cadillac Audi and others.
We have an obsession with speed. The fastest and most beautiful Corvette was on display as well as a new model of the original Bullet Mustang. You could get into a very fast Audi S, BMW M or Mercedes AMG if you have $100,00 plus in the piggy bank.
All in all, this is a fantastic event, sure to break records with attendance and I am sure there will be a few vehicle sales after window shopping. Hyundai offers virtual car purchasing, no salesman, all online!