Monday, February 20, 2017

CIAS 2017 Info: Looking Forward Through A Review of 2016

Maserati Display in Auto Exotica
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy

All the pretty motorized horses are rolling into the City of Toronto this weekend. Drawing what should be guaranteed to be another stellar collection of new and collectible automobiles, the 2017 edition of the Canadian International AutoShow has opened with a new sense of new while what was new in 2016 begins an unfortunate transition to being outdated.

Although one year is not a drastic distance back in time, consider the fact the generational life of an automobile is roughly 6-10 years. As the 2017 Canadian International AutoShow is now underway, let's take some time to reflect what transpired at the 2016 gathering of motoring excellence in Toronto

Civic Responsibilities: 2016 Honda Civic Wins Big

2016 Honda Civic at 2016 CIAS
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy


The 9th generation version of the Honda Civic released in 2011 was an example where a devotion to a proven formula almost proved poisonous. Although the 9th generation Civic did not deviate from its solid build quality or practical nature, a changing driving world requested more from the car considered long as the benchmark for the compact category, For the 2016 model year, Honda launched their 10th generation with a much greater punch. The radically characterized 2016 Honda Civic came first as a sedan and was quickly joined by a coupe. Turbocharged engine power was introduced on the North American Civic for the first time and a new hatchback arrives for 2017.

In 2016, the Canadian International AutoShow served as a love fest for the compact sedan built approximately an hour away from Toronto in Alliston. AJAC (Automotive Journalists Association of Canada) named the 2016 Honda Civic Sedan the Best Small Car last year before presenting the vehicle the highest honour of Canadian Car of the Year. The last time the Honda Civic won the overall award at the Canadian International AutoShow was in 2006.

Following the Canadian Car of the Year award, the Civic went on to defend a sales streak. For the 19th consecutive year, the Honda Civic was Canada's best-selling car.


Electrified Motoring Found More Traction 

Kia Niro Hybrid at 2016 CIAS
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy

Electrified automobiles have evolved to become a permanent fixture of auto show floor space. These days, almost every concept car involves either an electric or some kind of hybrid powertrain configuration. The trend towards electric-assisted motoring is also commonplace with production vehicles.

At the 2016 Canadian International AutoShow, Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model X were two major all-electric vehicles making splashy appearances in Toronto. During the 2016 Kia press conference, a same-day world debut in North America featured the Niro. A more traditional gasoline/electric hybrid powered vehicle, the Kia Niro presented an affordable, versatile option for efficiency-driven drivers. While not the first Kia hybrid, the Niro was the first model from the automaker to be solely based on a hybrid powertrain. Whether calling it a wagon or a crossover, the Niro's urban-friendly design can travel approximately 957 kilometers on a tank of gasoline.  

Dieselgate Leads to Volkswagen Smokescreen 

Volkswagen Golf SportWagen ALLTRACK
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy

When the 2016 Canadian International AutoShow transpired, the scandal of Volkswagen's so-called 'Dieselgate' emissions rigging was still a leading headline. Months after the revelation of the TDI engine emission cheating was revealed, German auto company now faced the need to discontinue their popular diesel powerplant availability in the United States as well as Canada. By 2016, expectations existed that word of a settlement would be presented to Volkswagen owners of the affected TDI models. A preliminary settlement had been presented to American owners but no announcement was made to Canadian owners.  

Needless to say, the 2016 Canadian International AutoShow's presentation by Volkswagen was tainted by the diesel engine scandal. A company that once highly-promoted their TDI technology, Volkswagen appeared without their once-hailed diesel powerplants. A diversion of focus on the troubles of the brand, the Toronto auto show showed off the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen Alltrack and a real-life GTI Vision Gran Turismo Roadster.

Canadian Volkswagen owners with affected would not gain a proposal to settle from the automaker until the end of 2016.




Toyota U Squared Concept Global Auto Show Debut


Toyota U Squared Concept at 2016 CIAS
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy


While the Canadian International AutoShow's positioning after the prestigious events in Los Angeles and Detroit as well as one held in Montreal means a great deal of vehicles have been visible to North American audiences before the mid-February exhibition in Toronto, there is usually a few vehicles automakers are tempted to save a global or significant North American debut.

Toyota gave media at the 2016 Canadian International AutoShow a reason to light flashbulbs in Toronto by unveiling the U Squared Concept. Along with creating a nightmare for new media to properly express the U Squared name, Toyota promoted the utility vehicle as a hip but spacious option for work or play. A highly adaptive rear cargo area with a ramp-like rear tailgate and a retractable roof panel demonstrated the Toyota U Squared Concept's creative van-like practicality. Only a concept design, Toyota has not given much indications towards adapting a large deal of elements in a future production vehicle.

For 2017, utility shifts to performance as Aston Martin will headline the auto show in Toronto.






Fans of the Van: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica


Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Canadian Premiere at 2016 CIAS
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy


Considered the biggest all-new product introduced since the Fiat-Chrysler merger, the Pacifica minivan carried a weight of expectations. A drastic rethink of the pioneering family vehicle that gave Chrysler Corporation salvation from financial woes of the early 1980s, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was first of all given a more premium character. High-tech convenience features such as a rear entertainment system incorporating unique games, Stow 'n Vac and standard Active Noise Cancellation are included on the 2017 Pacifica. Arriving initially with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, a Pacifica Hybrid operating as a partial plug-in electric is expected to appear soon at dealerships in 2017.  


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