Monday, February 22, 2021

In the Spirit of the Canadian International AutoShow

Elevated Shot of 2020 CIAS Floor Space
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada



If not for the ongoing, unprecedented world issue that required our attention, yesterday (Sunday, February 21st), the 2021 edition of the Canadian International AutoShow would have wrapped in what would have certainty been a memorable occasion. 

A little more than a year and a week ago, I returned from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre where I absorbed the science, technology and beauty of the modern auto industry. At the time, I was in the presence of concepts such as the BMW Vision M NEXT and Infiniti QS Inspiration, production vehicle symbolizing Canada’s changing roadways including the Ford Mustang Mach E and Audi e-tron Sportback as well as the super exotics like the Bugatti La Voiture Noire. There was little thought attending the 2020 Canadian International AutoShow that the next year’s event would have been cancelled.

One of many occasions disrupted by the global battle of 2020 that has already claimed too much (admittedly many more important than an auto show), the 2021 edition of the Canadian International AutoShow would be impacted. Despite the best efforts of organizers to turn the 2021 proceedings into a virtual showcase, the Canadian International AutoShow was called off last November. There is little need to mention how the cancellation of the event altogether was deflating news in the wake of this already deeply challenging time. 


Volkswagen's 2020 CIAS Press Conference
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada




Since 2009, the second week in the month of February involved a day that pulled me out of the doldrums of winter. For usually what was a cold Thursday morning, I arrive in Toronto for a massive indoor festival surrounding the motor vehicle and its culture known as the Canadian International AutoShow. In a world where safely congregating was unimpeded, the collection of several hundred automobiles in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre easily lured a crowd young and old over the span of nine days (not including Thursday’s traditional media day and a gala they would have in the evening). 

The Canadian International AutoShow had served as an annual visitation for 12 years where I received a lesson on the evolving automotive culture in the country. I’ve seen brands change as names like Pontiac, Saab and Suzuki left the Canadian automotive market while Tesla, Genesis and Ram emerge. Technologies such as touchscreen infotainment systems, advanced accident avoidance and battery-powered motoring have grown from being a fascination to a commonality. With so many changes, the tastes and attitude of the automobile have undergone a metamorphosis but the soul of the popular mode of transportation remained one we could depend upon. 

Beyond the automobiles themselves, the auto show always provided an opportunity to experience the displays with others. Although I prefer to maintain my own company when I attend shows, I am fully cognisant to which vehicles and attractions that drew crowds. In many cases, the major draws of a show are the natural choices. Every year, the Chevrolet Corvettes, Ford Mustangs, a wide selection of exotic models from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bugatti as well as the hottest concept cars captivate. However, the 


2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Red Low Res
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada



Even though the 2021 Canadian International AutoShow did not take place, there is an exceptional amount of innovation set to transform the automobile awaiting introduction. Through connectivity, occupants can better communicate with those beyond the vehicle’s structure. A chance to better enhance the manner we live, enhanced connectivity appearing on upcoming automobiles will likely enable vehicles to communicate between one another alerting a driver of potential dangers and potentially working by itself to minimize any problems. Already making considerable strides with recent generations of cars, trucks and crossovers with airbags, anti-lock braking system, rearview camera as well as roll-out of advanced collision avoidance technology being integrated into designs, the opportunity presented through additional autonomous driving aids could more further to reduce casualties caused in motoring. The final greatest field of aggressive transformation for the automobile is making them more environmentally minded. Besides their drive systems incorporating much greater electrification, there is also an increasing focus on insuring the construction and use of materials for producing future vehicles can lessen the impact on the ecosystem. Just as it has become evermore clear this that change is an enviable constant in our lives, automobiles are identifying its future prosperity.

Having attended the past editions of the Canadian International AutoShow as a personal indulgence, I also took the position as a member of media wanting to share and chronicle the event so it could be enjoyed by many others. I sincerely hope that my efforts have been appreciated. This past week, I’ve been combing through the media I’ve compiled from my visits to previous Canadian International AutoShows and will share highlights of each year’s event. 

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