Monday, June 25, 2012

Canadian Tire Graduates to Driving School Business

Photo Credit: CNW Group/Canadian Tire Corporation Limited

For aspiring young motorists in the Toronto area, later this summer will breed a new choice for professional training to best handle the obstacles and challenges open road can bring. One of the largest retailers in Canada, Canadian Tire has announced plans to take new drivers to school through their new business called Canadian Tire Drivers Academy.

Launching in the pilot stage at the Leslie and Lakeshore Canadian Tire retail store August 13th, the new driver training program institutes the more than just the basic lessons in parallel parking and emergency stops. In what is a total of 20 hours of classroom time, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation's approved Beginner Drivers Education course is merged with hands-on car basic maintenance lessons. In addition, certified mechanics educate and guide students with two hours of teaching to better understand the operations of an automobile. Road lessons are performed under the guidance of licensed, experienced professionals using late model Chevrolet Cruze and Sonic small cars.

According to the website for the Canadian Tire Drivers Academy, the in-class and driving bundle of the course costs $1,324.00. Called the "Value Package" which saves $100.00 off buying all the services separately, this deluxe plan also includes usage of a vehicle using the G1 and G2 road tests. Canadian Tire Drivers Academy also offers students the choice of buying the on-course and road test portions individually. With the Beginner Drivers Course or Value Package, Canadian Tire includes some perks to the Canadian Tire Driving Academy such as 1-year free Roadside Assistance and Canadian Tire Drivers Club Membership.

Testing the response of the Toronto location, Canadian Tire Drivers Academy future outlets for Drivers Academy will be reviewed. Initially planning expansion across Ontario, Canadian Tire has also indicated interest in expanding the program nationwide. The website for the Canadian Tire Drivers Academy have already quoted prices for locations in Kingston and St. Catherines although no branch has yet to be set up in those Ontario cities.

Canadian Tire Driving Academy Website: http://driversacademy.canadiantire.ca/

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Smart Fortwo Electric Canadian Price to Start at $26,990

Photo Credit: CNW Group/Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc

Joining the zero-emissions vehicle trend, Mercedes-Benz owned small vehicle builder smart has prepared their first customer available fortwo microcar. After a Three-Phase process that involved testing the electric powertrain around the world, customer orders for the smart fortwo electric drive is now being taken in many markets including Canada.

While the nearly 8-year presence of the smart brand in Canada is greeted with mixed interests depending on individual motoring tastes, the fortwo electric drive versions of the small two-seat vehicle is priced very attractively. For the smart fortwo electric drive coupe, Canadian buyers will be paying $26,990. About $12,000 the starting price of the gasoline-burning fortwo coupe, smart's electric drive is currently the most reasonable priced fully street legal electric vehicle. For an open-air electric drive, a cabriolet variant of the vehicle is being sold at $29,990.


Photo Credit: Chris Nagy



A 2013 model, the smart fortwo range will expand with the available of zero-emission electric versions of the recognized mircocar. Receiving power from a 55-watt motor, the smart fortwo electric drive will achieve a top traveling range of 145 kilometers (equating to about 90 miles).  Top speed of the fortwo electric drive car is rated at 120 kilometers per hour allowing it to run on major highways.

When the first cars will be delivered to Canadians in spring of next year, the 2013 smart fortwo electric drive will sport a freshened exterior complete with a larger grille and high-efficiency LED lighting. Standard features owners can expect to find in their electric-powered smart fortwo includes air conditioning, heated seats and electronically-adjustable heated exterior mirrors.


Photo Credit: Chris Nagy



The smart fortwo electric drive range will join the Smart ebike that is scheduled for a mid-July launch. Retailing at $3,240 in Canada, the two-wheeled ebike represents the Smart brand's technology in one of the most efficient, lightweight vehicles for urban transportation.

The anticipated new product line for smart will go a long way to increasingly cater to the enivronmentally-minded motorists who had fallen in love with the current gasoline-misting fortwo. Responding to their upcoming vehicle, Tim A. Reuss, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada said, "The new smart fortwo electric drive has garnered significant attention since its official debut earlier this year, and I am extremely pleased that the pre-ordering program we introduced has generated a lot of excitement at our dealerships in anticipation of next year's official launch."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Official McLaren Supercar Dealership Opens in Toronto



Photo Credit: McLaren Automotive



An exotic ride befitting any high adrenaline individual seeking a road missile with $229,000 US, the McLaren MP4-12 is a 205-mile per hour supercar coming from a highly established motorsport history. The McLaren MP4-12C is also known for being one of the fastest accelerating production cars taking just 3.2 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour from a standstill. A rich track pedigree accented by the recent inclusion of the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal on the prestigious Formula 1 circuit, McLaren’s latest road car is the most provocative effort to be recognized on and off the track with the same esteem as Ferrari.

Within a week span capped by Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 victory on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, another momentous occasion for the McLaren Group occurred in the city of Toronto. McLaren Toronto officially opened with the Executive Chairman of McLaren Automotive and McLaren Group Ron Dennis present. “To go from the racetrack to the road with our new 12C is a great moment for us, and it is very fitting that we can open McLaren Toronto in this milestone week,” said Dennis.



Photo Credit: Chris Nagy



Based in Woodbridge, outside the outskirts of the Canadian city’s center, McLaren Toronto is a dedicated location with a customer service team focused on the sales and service of the road-going supercar. A 592-horsepower street car (set to become 616-horsepower in the 2013 model year), the MP4-12C will be efficiently maintained by the McLaren Toronto service staff.

McLaren Automotive officially expands into the largest city in Canada with a permanent dealership channel. One of ten locations chosen in all of North America to retail the MP4-12C, the McLaren Toronto site is founded in partnership with Pfaff Automotive Partners. A premier distribution of the cars of Porsche and Audi in Canada, Pfaff Automotive Partners has 45 years of experience selling high-end vehicles such as the McLaren MP4-12C supercar. “The McLaren brand has built a legacy of producing superior race cars over the last 30 years. With the entry into the super car retail segment, McLaren is setting automotive history,” said the president of Pfaff Automotive Partners Christopher Pfaff.



Photo Credit: McLaren Automotive

The new McLaren Toronto dealership location is less than 100 kilometers away from the Mosport International Raceway (now known as Canadian Tire Motorsport Park). The McLaren name in motorsports has won 5 times in the legendary Can-Am Challenge Cup series plus 3 times when the Canadian Grand Prix was held at the 2.46-mile road course.

In honour of the McLaren Formula 1 team’s win at the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix, the team of McLaren Toronto wore orange shirts on Monday.