Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Logano Seals Dirty Deal at NASCAR Cup Series' First Bristol Dirt Race

Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images



The first dirt race on NASCAR’s top series since 1970 (known as the Grand National Series at the time), The 2021 Food City Dirt Race at the Bristol Motor Speedway brought in 2,300 truckloads of dirt to create a spring race unlike any seen prior at the 0.533-mile oval. At the completion of an event that involved several multi-car wrecks and surprises, Joey Logano motored to a clean victory leading the final 60 laps in his #22 Shell Pennzoil-sponsored Ford Mustang. 

Providing a challenge for every competitor and team as they attempt to discover the speed secrets for setting up a 3,400-pound race car on the new surface, the first modern NASCAR Cup Series race on dirt did manage to deliver an untidy yet thrilling experience. NASCAR was required to make several adjustments to the original plan for the race weekend with uncertainty of the Goodyear dirt tire changing the stage format for the Food City Dirt Race. Originally intended to consist a pair of 75-lap opening stages followed by a 100-lap final stage, the revised operating procedure had the race start with two 100-lap runs with a competition caution at mid distance in each stage to allow for a tire change. However, the biggest curve ball thrown to the weekend’s plan came with weather. Thanks to a persistent rainfall on Saturday and Sunday the NASCAR Cup Series as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series were postponed to Monday. 

Finally starting on Monday afternoon, Denny Hamlin’s #11 FedEx Toyota from the Joe Gibbs Racing team would lead the first lap of the Food City Dirt Race before surrendering the spot to teammate Kyle Busch. The yellow #18 M&Ms Toyota Camry led for seven laps but Busch would be a victim of complications relating to dirt track racing as overheating issues resulted in him relinquishing the top spot to Martin Truex Jr. and later pitted a few laps later. The winner of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Truex Jr. picked up from his commanding performance earlier in the afternoon by leading a total of 126 laps and claiming the first stage win. 


Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images




The first caution of the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway flew at lap 41 for a multi-vehicle incident started when the #10 Ford of Aric Almirola had spun out of turn 2 after attempting a move on the inside of the #77 Chevrolet of Stewart Friesen. Almirola’s #10 Smithfield Ford would be impacted by the #38 of Anthony Alfredo and Corey LaJoie’s #7 car. All three cars in the crash sustained race-ending damage becoming part of a retirement list that totalled eight vehicles. This accident occurred just ahead of the leader Martin Truex Jr. slowed down in time to avoid being involved. 

A green flag period following the first caution would be short-lived as a second major wreck when Williams Byron’s #24 Chevy spun the #6 Oscar Meyer Ford of Ryan Newman. In avoiding the spinning Newman, Kevin Harvick squeezed teammate Chase Briscoe into the outer wall. The incident breeding the lap 48 caution would not claim any cars but a crash later on lap 53 would end the day for some potential contenders for the race victory. Christopher Bell lost control of his #20 Toyota in Bristol’s  turn 2 and quickly collected the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy Camaro of Kyle Larson. Ross Chastain would also have no where to go and impacted Bell’s car with his #42 Chevrolet. Chastain and Bell retired from the event but Larson’s #5 Freightliner-sponsored car continued ending the race in 29th place and five laps down from the lead pack.

A new organization for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, Trackhouse Racing Team’s #99 Chevrolet driven by Daniel Suarez arrived at the Daytona 500 touting the expertise of former Dale Earnhardt Inc. vice president Ty Norris, crew chief Travis Mack and the rapper known as Pitbull as a co-owner. Encountering the usual struggles for a new single-car team in the highly-competitive Cup Series, the #99 Chevrolet would thrive on the dirt track. From 18th place, Suarez soared into the top-10 and eventually made it to 2nd place by the early part of the second racing stage of the Food City Dirt Race. Winning an NASCAR Xfinity Series championship with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2016 and racing with the organization’s Cup operation for two years, Suarez was released from the team after 2018 in order to make room for Martin Truex Jr. transferring from the closed Furniture Row Racing. For lap 135 at Bristol the Mexican driver succeeded in an action that could constitute subtle revenge against his former team. The Camping World-sponsored #99 Chevrolet zeroed in and passed the #19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in turn 4 taking the lead at Bristol. 


Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images



On lap 153 shortly after a competition caution, a total of 10 cars was caught in a melee on the frontstretch that included Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon. Kyle Busch, who had been recovering from an early race pit stop for overheating, made contact with the sliding #12 car of Blaney. Both drivers continued and ultimately finished the Food City Dirt Race on the lead lap with Blaney claiming 8th place and Busch bringing his #18 car to a 17th place result. 

With seven laps remaining in the second stage, Daniel Suarez’s fairy tale performance at the front of the field ended as the Penske Racing #22 driven by Joey Logano charged to the lead. Logano took the second stage of the event and would lead NASCAR Cup Series cars into the final 50-lap stage of the monumental short track event. A successful launch for a green-white-checkered finish sealed the race for the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford. In post-race comments released by Penske Racing, Logano said, “There were so many first-time winners and different winners than there has typically been I said, ‘We've got to get a win to make sure we get in the playoffs,' so it's amazing to get this Shell-Pennzoil Mustang into Victory Lane at Bristol. There's nothing like winning at Bristol, but putting dirt on it and being the first to do it is really special”.  

The runner-up in the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway was one of the first of several pleasant surprises amongst drivers and teams looking to achieve a sense of glory in 2021. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. brought his #47 Kroger Chevrolet to his best finish since the June race at Talladega last year. Missing out on victory after being in the best spot to challenge Joey Logano on the final laps, Denny Hamlin settled for a third place. The result is the sixth top-5 for Hamlin in the opening seven events of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series. Leading the third-most laps during the afternoon, Daniel Suarez collected a fourth place finish for his young Trackhouse Racing Team. Taking fifth place, Ryan Newman bounced back from his early race spin to take the position ahead of driver that contributed to the incident. William Byron, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones and Chase Elliott rounded out the top 10 for the first dirt race on the Bristol oval.   

Several dirt superstars made NASCAR Cup Series debuts for the Food City Dirt Race including Canadian driver Stewart Friesen. Driving the #77 Halmar International Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports, Friesen started 32nd in the field and stayed on the lead lap for most of the Bristol but would be lapped in the final stage. Friesen’s first Cup event ended with a decent 23rd place finish. 


Friday, March 26, 2021

Canada's Stewart Friesen to Make NASCAR Cup Debut on Bristol's Dirt


Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images


If you’re a professional driver seeking to make their first NASCAR Cup Series start, it makes perfect sense to plan a debut during an event where a variety of unknowns exist. The March 28th Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway is going to be something new for the entire Cup Series field enters with an empty notebook. With varying levels of dirt experience among the regular competitors in the series, this first NASCAR Cup Series dirt race in 51 years provided the ideal time for Stewart Friesen to run his maiden effort in the tour.
A native of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Stewart Friesen will be behind the wheel of a #77 Chevrolet Camaro fielded by Spire Motorsports. A mainstay of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series since 2016, Friesen’s career highlights in his 97 starts in the popular touring division include two victories including his first series win in the 2019 Eldora dirt event. Outside of NASCAR, Stewart Friesen has amassed a large assortment of wins in dirt track racing that includes 26 victories in the Super DIRTcar Series and 22 in the Super Track Super Series. Friesen also won a World of Outlaws Sprint Cup Series event in 2015 becoming the second Canadian to take a feature race in the high-profile dirt track tour. The victory was a source for national motorsport pride in Canada as it came at Ontario’s 3/8-mile Ohsweken Speedway.

The Spire Motorsports #77 car’s driving duties in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season’s six races prior to the Bristol event had been shared by Jamie McMurray and Justin Haley. Driving for the Daytona 500, McMurray scored the season’s best effort for the #77 Chevrolet Camaro finishing 8th surviving a crash-filled race. Stewart Friesen will race alongside Corey LaJoie competing in the #7 Spire Motorsports.

Joining the Canadian during his first venture in the NASCAR Cup Series is sponsor Halmar International. A constructor associated with major civil projects including highways, bridges and buildings, Halmar International has been an ongoing supporter of Stewart Friesen’s racing successes including multiple seasons in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. 

Friesen’s race at Bristol will be the first appearance of a Canadian driver in a NASCAR Cup Series since D.J. Kennington competed in the 2019 STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Coincidently, the car Kennington drove was a #77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.
Stewart Friesen’s first career start and the NASCAR Cup Series’ first dirt race since 1971, the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway is scheduled to start Sunday, March 28th at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time televise on TSN5 and Fox. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Dodge Unveils New Defensive Line Against Theft Using Car Key Fob Spoofing

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Rear
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy



For several decades, automobiles have been introducing motorists to a trendy alternative to the familiar key. Originally allowing for the remote locking and unlocking of doors as well as opening a trunk, the key fob would eventually permit starting of an ignition. The technology of the modern key fob has even evolved beyond its initial buttons with many new vehicles greeting the driver by unlocking and starting simply by an approach. 

Unfairly, with the emergence of new technology, there always seems to be those looking to nefariously exploit it. As the role of the physical key is being usurped by the key fob, a new avenue of car theft has the ability to bypass the long-operating defense of a vehicle. Thieves have been able to use electronic devices to acquire or spoof the radio signal of an automobile’s key fob and proceed to steal a vehicle in a relatively clean manner compared to previous methods of car theft. This type of auto theft has been growing with the adoption of remote or keyless entry technology brought into a deeper focus recently when York Regional Police raided an organized stolen car ring using the high-tech method to take higher end vehicles (73 vehicles collectively worth 4.5-million dollars Canadian was recovered). As the prevalence of the crime is rising, the key fob technology used by many automakers is being exposed as embarrassingly easy to bypass. Making a high-speed catch up against high-tech thieves, Dodge has prepared a new layer of software to deter stealing certain models of their Charger sedans and Challenger coupes.  

The security upgrade will be applied to Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger between the model years of 2015 and 2021 equipped with the higher output HEMI V-8 engines. Models of the Dodge sedan and coupe fitted with the 392 cubic-inch HEMI V-8 as well as vehicles using the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 (namely the SRT Hellcat, SRT Hellcat Redeye and the SRT Demon) will be the recipient of an added level of software enacting several theft prevention measures. Called Security Mode, a secondary encryption system operating on a four-digit code will act as a deterrent to a car thief expecting a quick getaway. While the vehicle may be started by spoofing the key fob signal, the engine’s rev limit is restricted to 675 rpm or the equivalent of three horsepower.

This security software enhancement will be available on applicable vehicles during the latter part of the second quarter of this year. Owners will simply need to bring their Dodge Charger or Challenger to a dealer to have the Security Mode protection installed free of charge.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Car FYI Canada 2021 Vehicle Guide: Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio at 2020 CIAS
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy



Selling a little over 1,400 vehicles to Canadian customers in 2019, Alfa Romeo has a small yet unique footprint in the marketplace in this country. For 2021, Alfa Romeo will continue to import three models consisting of the Giulia sedan, Stelvio crossover and the limited production 4C Spider sports car (advertised as a 2020 model). The Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio are both marketed under a realigned, simplified trim line led by base models typed as the Sprint. In June of 2020, Alfa Romeo began celebrating 110 years of vehicle production.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider  

Photo Credit: Stellantis North America



A low production, mid-engined sports car, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has wonderfully fulfilled the role of providing a true Italian performer on the street. The 4C spider is based on a carbon fiber monocoque frame inspired by Formula 1 race cars creating a well-balanced machine with race-tuned suspension. First arriving in North America in late 2014 as a hardtop model with the Spider appearing a year later, the sports car prepares to make a bold exit in the form of a limited edition special model. Introduced as a 2020 model year vehicle late in the calender year, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider 33 Stradale Tributo pays homage to a prized 1967 Alfa Romeo sports car. With only 33 examples set to be produced in Modena, Italy, the 4C Spider 33 Stradale Tributo wears Rosso Villa d’Este tri-coat paint on its body shell paired with an interior finished in black-and-tobacco. Grey-gold five-hole alloy wheels, commemorative badges and red transparent finish to the cabin fiber monocoque will also define this special sports car. The 2020 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider 33 Stradale Tributo will be propelled by a small yet potent turbocharged 1.75 liter engine generating 237 horsepower. 


Notable Changes for 2021: Production of the Alfa Romeo sports car will wrap with the sale of the 4C Spider 33 Stradale Tributo.


Canadian Pricing:

33 Stradale Tributo: $92,690




Alfa Romeo Giulia

Photo Credit: Stellantis North America


Premiering in the Canadian market for the 2017 model year, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is an elegant sport sedan crafted so gracefully with Italian character. Arriving for its fifth year with a revised trim level grading system, the 2021 Giulia features carefully balanced weight placement for optimized handling, a well-proportioned interior with leather seating and Alfa Romeo’s steering wheel mounted push-button start. Powered by a 280-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s new for 2021 Sprint trim level delivers a high-end entry-level introduction with 10-way power front seats, Forward Collision Warning with Full-Speed Stop and an infotainment system operated through an 8.8-inch multi-touch display. Upgrading to the Ti trim package for 2021 now includes a standard dual-pane sunroof and a GPS navigation system. The 2021 Giulia Ti Sport model consists of a number of performance-tuned accent touches such as a rear diffuser and 20-inch aluminum wheels as well as a newly standard limited-slip differential. Rear-wheel drive is standard while Q4 all-wheel drive is optional. At the peak of the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s 2021 model lineup, the Quadrifoglio model comes alive with a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged engine providing a driver with 505 horsepower to launch the sedan from 0 to 60 miles per hour (69.56 kilometers per hour) in 3.8 seconds. Torque Vectoring, Alfa Active suspension, carbon fiber spoiler and a Race Mode and four-mode Alfa DNA Pro Drive Mode Selector is also equipped on the 2021 Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan. 


Notable Changes for 2021: A simplified trim lineup led by Sprint entry level. Four new tri-coat exterior paint colour. Added standard features on Ti and Ti Sport models. Reshuffled Advanced Driver Assistance System technology packages.


Canadian Pricing:

Sprint: $50,995

Ti: $55,495

Ti Sport: $58,245

Quadrifoglio: $91,895 



Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Photo Credit: Stellantis North America


Alfa Romeo’s mid-sized crossover vehicle, the 2021 Stelvio maintains an awe-inspiring sport focus by drawing heavily on the Giulia sport sedan. Withing the finely sculpted body panels of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a cabin with five-passenger seating and a maximum cargo volume of 56.5 cubic feet. Standard equipped with rain-sensing windshield wipers, bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, power liftgate, automatic dual-zone climate control and an 8.8-inch multi-touch display, the Stelvio Sprint is propelled by an energetic turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 280 horsepower. New for 2021, a navigation system and dual-pane sunroof is now included on the Stelvio Ti while the Stelvio Ti Sport gains a standard limited-slip differential in addition to its performance accent touches such as aluminum paddle shifters. With 505 horsepower of momentum available from a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6 engine, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio provides lightning-quick acceleration. All 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio crossover vehicles sold in Canada come standard equipped with Q4 all-wheel drive. 


Notable Changes for 2021: Simplified trim lineup led by Sprint entry level. Four new tri-coat exterior paint colour. Added standard features on Ti and Ti Sport models. Ti Sport and Quadrifoglio available with new 21-inch wheels. Reshuffled Advanced Driver Assistance System technology packages.


Canadian Pricing:

Sprint: $53,095

Ti: $57,595

Ti Sport: $61,145

Quadrifoglio: $97,845


Thursday, March 18, 2021

Canadian International AutoShow Revisited: 2013 Edition

Mercedes Benz G63 AMG Gold Close Front
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy



Theme of the Show: 40th Anniversary- The Legacy

The Canadian automotive landscape had certainly changed over a 40-year time span (at least that would be my impression despite the fact I wasn’t alive in 1974). The brands, the technology and the diversity in vehicle types present two different worlds of motoring. 

The 2013 Canadian International AutoShow marked four decades of collecting the latest vehicles under a roof during the middle of winter. Humbly started as an exhibition in the International Centre near Pearson International Airport by a local Toronto dealership organization, the modern incarnation of the car show consumed the floor of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre by the time the 40th edition of the show was held. 

As one final note worth mentioning about the 40th edition of the Canadian International AutoShow, Media day occurred on Valentine’s Day so it was an occasion where I spent time with a love in my life.

Notable Vehicles:

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Ron Fellows Posing with 2014 Corvette Stingray at 2013 CIAS
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy

A major attention grab for the audience of the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow would be the seventh generation version of the Chevrolet Corvette. Propelled by the most powerful standard engine to date, the 455-horsepower 2014 Corvette Stingray proudly touted its advancements as an improved performance machine, better luxury car as well as an efficient sports car. The latest Corvette Stingray  LT1 V-8 engine, standard carbon fiber hood, available 7-speed manual transmission and a Z51 Performance Package supplying added brake cooling, electronic limited-slip differential and unique aerodynamic features. As a special treat accompanying the Canadian premiere of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the presentation included an appearance by former Corvette Racing driver and Canadian motorsport legend Ron Fellows. Boasting a host of radical design and engineering changes, the seventh generation Corvette would debut as the last life cycle for the classic American sports car to feature the engine ahead of the driver. 

Ford Transit

Ford Transit Van
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy

 


In North America and Europe, Ford was a steady leader in the commercial van segment over the course of decades. Ford’s foothold in both continents was achieved with two completely different vehicles. Starting in 1960, the Econoline nameplate became the staple for the blue oval’s vans sold in the United States and Canada. Going by the E-Series in its later years, the North American full-sized van’s final generation model was introduced for the 1992 model year and received several styling and equipment updates by the time 2013 started. For the 2015 model, Ford would conclude production of the passenger and cargo van E-Series line replacing it with European flavour. A familiar name on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean, the Transit moniker would be associated with Ford’s newest work hauler in Canada incorporating a unibody frame, a high roof option as well as the choice of an EcoBoost V-6 engine. 


Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept

Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept at 2013 CIAS
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


I guess you have heard the saying or a variation of the phrase “your first impression is your best impression”. Personally, first impressions are frequently unreliable and I have been presented with plenty of evidence only that only confirms it. When automaker Hyundai entered the Canadian market in 1984 (arriving almost two years before they entered the United States) their goal was to undercut the competition on price. Gaining the reputation as a budget car builder thanks to strong Canadian sales for the Pony, Hyundai products would eventually be branded with sketchy reliability. The South Korean automaker spent considerable resources to rehabilitate their earlier image by first improving vehicle build quality and later rising the premium content in the product lineup. In late 2015, Hyundai Motor Company would dive fully into the luxury car market creating the Genesis brand. Prior to the introduction of the new premium marque in 2013, Hyundai unveiled an exquisite design known as the HCD-14 Genesis Concept. The concept’s attractive grille and coupe-like roof and tail section previewed the exterior style that would be exercised in the creation of the vehicle to be known as the Genesis G80 sedan. Driver eye-tracking technology as well as hand gesture recognition for controlling interior amenities was also included inside the HCD-14 Genesis Concept.  


Acura NSX Concept

Acura NSX Concept at 2013 CIAS Toronto
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy

At last year’s Toronto auto show, Acura attracted a massive crowd by showing off a concept for an upcoming revival of the NSX nameplate. This 2012 Acura NSX Concept was mainly a mock-up hinting at the exterior aesthetics but left a lot to the imagination. In the 2013 showing of the upcoming NSX supercar, the Canadian audience got to see full prototype with a detailed interior incorporating a two-tone colour scheme fashioned around what the luxury car brand called “Human Support Cockpit” theme. Greater specifics on the components that will be found in the hybrid sport machine with the arrival of the 2013 concept. The latest concept example detailed propulsion as an Acura Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system featuring a V-6 gasoline engine, three electric motors and control through a dual-clutch transmission. 


BMW i3 and i8 Concepts

BMW i8 Concept
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


Back in 1974, audiences of the Canadian International AutoShow were treated to the sight of a BMW 3.0 CSL coupe that won the 1973 European Touring Car championship. The 3.0 CSL was specially constructed to be lightweight racing machine using thinner steel, aluminum alloy body panels as well as fiberglass front and rear spoilers. Just 1,265 examples of the weight-optimized BMW were built in order to qualify it as a production car making it a precious collector’s item. Starting in the 2010s, BMW would apply similar ingenuity used to construct the 3.0 CSL to unleash their new electrified motoring image. Launched as a sub-brand of BMW in 2011, the BMW i would be used as an enterprise involving the introduction of vehicles that would be known as the i3 and i8. Unveiled to Canada in concept form in 2013, the two vehicles representing a compact car and sports car would employ lightweight yet strong carbon fiber reinforced polymers in a manner applied more consistently to high-performance exotic cars. The use of lighter weight materials on the exhibited BMW i3 and BMW i8 concepts would optimize their electric range. The BMW i range of vehicles was launched to the public in 2014 and would play a major role in BMW Group reaching half a million in worldwide electrified vehicle sales in 2019.


Audi RS7

Audi RS7
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


Introduced for the 2011 model year, the Audi A7 Sportback provided the German premium brand’s customers a vehicle option that fuses the qualities of various automotive segments. Featuring enough similarities to the popular A6 sedan allowing it to effortlessly boast itself as a sophisticated and comfortable cruiser, the A7 Sportback’s unique touches highlighted by its fastback profile gave the vehicle a more provocative sport design that also supported added cargo space. Unveiled a month earlier at the North American International Auto Show, the latest and more powerful iteration of the well-received Audi arrived in Toronto. The 2014 Audi RS7 Sportback received an intelligent, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine that generated a monstrous 553-horsepower roar. The potent engine combined with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and connected to a quattro all-wheel drive could send the RS7 Sportback from 0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds. LED lighting and an RS trim specific interior were also included on the high-performance Audi fastback.  


Cadillac ELR

2014 Cadillac ELR at 2013 CIAS Toronto
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


Part of General Motor’s display at the first Canadian International AutoShow in 1974 consisted of the XP-883 experimental urban vehicle. The compact commuter car weighted roughly 2,100 pounds and featured seating for two adults and a second set of rear-facing seating explicitly explained as for children. General Motors’ XP-883 experimental vehicle was powered by a hybrid powertrain combining a two-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor fed by six 12-volt batteries. While the XP-883 never appeared to have been a serious production possibility, the new General Motors had begun to regularly produce hybrid vehicles 40 years later. On the market for several years, the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid provided the automaker more of a publicity tool than a game-changing vehicle due in large part to a starting price exceeding $40,000 in Canada prior to applicable government incentives. Appearing as a prudent measure to reacting to the higher expense of plug-in hybrid drive technology, General Motors decided to use the Volt’s platform for a Cadillac-branded coupe. The 2014 Cadillac ELR featured styling derived from the 2009 Converj concept car that largely concealed its roots to the electrified Chevrolet sedan. Produced between the 2014 and 2016 model years, Cadillac’s first plug-in hybrid barely made a dent in the growing electrified luxury car category with a nearly $80,000 Canadian base price a key factor. Only 44 Cadillac ELRs were sold in Canada over its three-year production run.    


Lexus LF-LC

Lexus LFLC
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


Lexus entered the 2012 calendar year with many examples of a carbon fiber-laden, V-10 powered LFA supercar finding fortunate customers. On the same year as the 500-vehicle production run of the LFA ended, Lexus teased crowds at the Detroit auto show with the shape of a stunning 2+2 passenger concept. By no means a direct replacement to the LFA, the Lexus LF-LC did exhibit itself to be an infectiously shaped, driver-focused coupe. Created by the talents of Lexus’ Calty design studio, the LF-LC featured, to date, some of the most exaggerated use of the company’s sharp L-shaped exterior details with headlights, grille and side intakes and taillights boldly defined on the concept. The design also boasted minimized roof pillars creating a largely glass greenhouse for the occupant of the Lexus LF-LC concept. The LF-LC sport coupe design was based around what would be a new Lexus hybrid drive system. For the 2018 model, the image of the concept car shown at the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow would heavily translate into the Lexus LC that included the hybrid-powered 354-horsepower LC500h.


Toyota Fun VII Concept


Toyota Fun-vii
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


Words that would often describe the vehicles of the Toyota auto company would include practicality, economy and reliability. In some cases, Toyota’s effectiveness in selling automobiles to a worldwide customer base has also caused the word ‘boring’ to be used as their efforts to create everyday vehicles can lead to safe, non-threatening designs. However, attendees of auto shows would often be given a different prospective of the Japanese-based automaker as capable of imagining some radical motoring concepts. For the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow, Toyota brought what could be seen as a futuristic, customizable moving billboard. At a length of 4,020 millimeters with a wedge-like profile, the Toyota Fun-VII was a three-passenger surrounded by body panels acting as a massive viewing screen. Practically any imaginable colour, image or design could be placed on the Fun-VII’s exterior with the ease of a smartphone download. The interior of the concept was equally tech-savvy with a voice interface and a navigational system that utilizes augmented reality.   


Lincoln MKC Concept

Lincoln MKC Concept
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


At the time of the 1974 auto show in Toronto, Lincoln’s product lineup consisted of the 228.4-inch (5,801.36 millimeter) long Continental Mark IV coupe and the Continental sedan measuring 232.6 inches (5,908.04 millimeters). By 2013, even the full-sized, truck-based Lincoln Navigator measured shorter in overall length than the luxury car company’s land yachts of 40 years prior. Part of Lincoln’s 2013 presentation at the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow included what would eventually become the brand’s shortest production vehicle. Based on the platform of the Escape, the MKC Concept was a well-executed transfer of Lincoln’s modern image on a compact crossover featuring striking LED headlights, panoramic roof and an interior positioned in a four-passenger layout. The thinly-veiled concept would be added to the Lincoln lineup as the MKC in 2015 measuring 179.3 inches (4,554.22 millimeters) in length.


2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG (Gold Wrapped)

Mercedes Benz G63 AMG Gold Left Rear
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


During the inaugural Canadian International AutoShow at the International Centre, a main attraction was a Mercedes-Benz C-111 experimental concept car. Never becoming a production car, the C-111 would gain considerable attention as a stylish, powerful aerodynamic Mercedes-Benz test bed. Appearing in its third iteration trim for the 1974 Toronto show, the Mercedes-Benz C-111 was equipped with a Wankel/rotary engine projected to generate 400 horsepower. For the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow, attention inside the Mercedes-Benz display was drawn to a G 63 AMG sport utility vehicle. Operating with a full-time four-wheel drive managed with three electronic locking differentials, the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG received a 544-horsepower, 5.5-liter biturbo engine. A luxury vehicle fetching close to $150,000 Canadian, the shiny gold exterior of the G 63 AMG at the 2013 show was fitting.  

SRT Viper

2013 SRT Viper at 2013 CIAS Toronto
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


As Chrysler Group emerged from its 2009 bankruptcy, the auto company almost immediately created two vehicle brands in addition to the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and the addition of Fiat. In 2010, the Ram pickup truck was separated from Dodge and would later expand to its own brand lineup that would include Fiat Group derived ProMaster and ProMaster City vans. A second, short-lived brand born out of Dodge arrived from the brand’s Street & Racing Technology better known as SRT. Helmed by Canadian Ralph Gilles, the SRT division was intended to feature a sizable lineup of sport-tailored vehicles but was only able to bring one car to the market. Gaining Chrysler’s third generation Viper supercar, the all-new 2013 model year touted greater performance potential than its previous incarnation. Characteristics of the 2013 SRT Viper included an 8.4-liter V-10 engine generating 640 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, chassis with 50 percent greater torsional stiffness, an available two-mode suspension system as well as an interior featuring Uconnect Access with an 8.4-inch touchscreen. This latest version of the Viper was strictly sold as a coupe throughout its production run from 2013 to 2017. Despite rumours of future products including revival of the Barracuda nameplate, SRT would be last down in the middle of 2014.  



Special Exhibitions:


Auto Exotica 

1989 Nigel Mansell Ferrari 640 Formula 1 Car
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


The third year as a part of the Canadian International AutoShow, Auto Exotica once-again held a valuable collection of new and vintage machines. Some of the highlights of the 2013 display were a McLaren MP4-12C Spider, Maserati MC12, several Callaway Corvettes and an Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. Auto Exotica also contained two exceptional Ferrari competition cars. A Ferrari 333 SP prototype sports car and a Ferrari 640 car that Nigel Mansell would have competed in during the 1989 Formula 1 season were positioned beside each other.


Eco-Drive Showcase

Toronto Electric University of Toronto Electric Car
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


Promoting motoring solutions that explores alternatives to gasoline or extends the consumption of a gallon of gasoline, the CAA sponsored Eco-Drive Showcase was a small but important gathering of electric and hybrid vehicles. Besides the Nissan Leaf and Smart Fortwo electric drive, the showcase included a uniquely Canadian vehicle. Created in a two-year collaboration between Toronto Electric and University of Toronto professor Olivier Trescases, the A2B was an experimental electric car designed and constructed in Canada.  


Cruise Nationals

Fiona and Robert Young's Gold Medal Winning 1971 Plymouth Cuda Cruise Nationals
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


Narrowing down a collection of 60 beautiful vehicles discovered at cruise events across Southern Ontario to 10 finalists, the 2013 Cruise Nationals at the Canadian International AutoShow featured classically stock and custom automobiles. For 2013, it the honours of the Cruise Nationals top prize was claimed by the Mopar brigade. A Mopar vehicle took top honours for Cruise Nationals. Fiona and Robert Young’s yellow/black 1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda 383 was the 2013 Gold medal winner ranking above Kevin Saindon’s 1939 Ford Roadster and a 1956 Ford Thunderbird owned by Teresa and Jason Villari. 

Hot Rod: Canadian Builders Showcase

Boot Hill Automotive Resurrection Custom 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS SS
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy


Unrelated to the Cruise Nationals event, the Canadian Hot Rod Showcase presented by Castrol gave attendees of the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow an opportunity to see some truly creative custom cars and trucks. Some examples of note included a 1939 Chevrolet Bell Telephone Service Truck prepared by Dream Machines Ltd of Toronto, a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro with a 502 cubic-inch V-8 engine created by Boot Hill Automotive Resurrection and Oddball Kustoms 1932 Buccioli called “The Bootch”. Also exhibited with the display was a BASF-owned Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing that was custom prepared by Chip Foose. 


Sport Compact Evolution

Canadian Sport Compact Series No 76 Subaru Race Car
Photo Credit: Car FYI Canada/Chris Nagy

 

A special exhibition located on the same floor of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre as the Hot Rod: Canadian Builders Showcase that involved many cars from the 1930s to 1960s, Sport Compact Evolution gave attention to later model machines. Honda-badged NSX supercars, a wildly styled Scion FR-S and a Renault Clio race car were along the thrilling examples of modern performance tastes. 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Canadian International AutoShow Revisited: 2012 Edition

2012 Canadian International Auto Show Mazda Show Space
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada



Theme of the Show: The Next Dimension


By the time of the 2012 Canadian International AutoShow, I have attended the event for three consecutive years prior and twice on media day. There was a heightened sense of pep during the 2012 festivities each year since 2010 at this show featuring a lot of new vehicles with bold personalities. Between the manufacturer displays and the special exhibitions giving up a rare opportunity to see many historical vehicles for myself, the single day I attended the show flew by. 

With the notable vehicles I’m highlighting in this recap of the 2012 auto show in Toronto, there are a few omissions I’ve decided to leave out due to the article already being longer than I intended. The Mercedes-Benz SL 550, Audi Allroad, Scion FR-S, Infiniti Etherera and Mazda Shinari are among the splendid vehicles I regret having to cut. 



Notable Vehicles:


Ford Fusion

2012 Canadian International Auto Show 2013 Ford Fusion
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada


Showcasing the Focus compact in 2010 as well as the Focus Electric and C-Max at the following year’s Canadian International AutoShow, Ford Motor Company’s 2012 presentation at the event was one even more busy. In the middle of Ford’s ambitious plan of rolling out completely new or heavily-updated vehicles, the auto company’s attention turned to a dramatic redesign of their mid-sized sedan. Instantly creating a sensation with its Aston Martin-influenced exterior design that also married cues from the Evos Concept, the 2013 Ford Fusion featured a longer stance and increased powerplant diversity. In addition to three gasoline engines arriving with the Fusion for the 2013 model year, a hybrid and plug-in hybrid version would also be sold on the sedan’s architecture. The Ford Fusion would become a casualty of the automaker’s refocus on constructing crossover and trucks for the North American market with exception to the Mustang. Being a strong seller, the Fusion mid-sized sedan’s demise outlived the Focus and Taurus (both continue to survive overseas). Sales of the Focus in the United States dropped almost 64 percent from its peak between 2013 and 2020. In Canada, the sales decline of the Fusion was more substantial during the same time period with 5,152 sales in 2020 accounting for almost a quarter of the vehicle’s sales peak in 2013. 


Acura NSX Concept 

2012 Canadian International Auto Show acura nsx concept 3
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


At the arrival of the 1990s, Honda would enter the decade with a vehicle that tested the limits of the auto company’s engineering and design in a manner no other production car had done at the time. An all-out high performance sports car, NSX was more than an attention-grabbing mid-engined machine. The sports car would be an exhibit in motion of innovations such as VTEC engine, electric power steering and extensive aluminum construction that Honda would adopt across their vehicle line in the future. For Canadian audiences, the NSX was a stunning halo vehicle in the lineup of luxury brand Acura until 2000. At the 2012 Canadian International AutoShow, a full-size concept mockup of the resurrection of the Acura NSX hinted at the exterior for what would become a hybrid, all-wheel drive performance car. The NSX Concept’s 2012 appearance in Toronto would be part of a journey of development that would not bear fruit for Acura dealerships until the middle of 2016.


BMW Vision ConnectedDrive

2012 Canadian International Auto Show BMW Vision Connecteddrive image
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


Debuting to the world in Geneva almost a full year prior to the 2012 Canadian International AutoShow, the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive concept was a two-door roadster that was not meant to dazzle with speed. Instead, the stunning low-profile vehicle served as an exercise for how BMW could create a design that merges time-tested elements of sport driving with sophisticated technologies. In addition to the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive’s long hood and short windscreen, the exterior design also featured sensors embedded into the front and rear lights while antennas are located where the side mirrors would normally be placed. The driver of the Vision ConnectedDrive would have access to a programmable instrument panel and a three-dimensional Head-Up Display system. A unique information centre on the passenger side of the concept allowed for a co-pilot experience where the occupant could process navigation details. 


Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

2012 Canadian International Auto Show camaro zl1 2012
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


Unwilling to allow the Ford Mustang-based Shelby GT500 to continue to go uncontested as a super-high performance pony car, Chevrolet revived their ‘ZL1' moniker as they unveiled the most powerful Camaro ever built. Dropping a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V-8 engine under the uniquely shaped hood of the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, up to 580 horsepower and 556 lb-ft of torque would be available to the driver. Capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in four seconds, top speed for the 2013 Camaro ZL1 was 184 miles per hour (296.1 kilometers per hour). Beyond the LSA powerplant, key components for the Chevrolet ZL1 included a beefed-up differential, Brembo brakes, coolers for engine oil, transmission and differential fluids as well as optional Magnetic Ride Control. Arriving for sale first as a hardtop, a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible would be offered for the 2014 model year.  


2013 Ford Escape

2012 Canadian International Auto Show ford escape blue
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


Ford’s small sport utility vehicle, the Escape, had grown to become a hot-selling product in the major American auto brand’s lineup by 2012. In 2011, the Ford Escape sold at a record high number in the United States even as a complete re-engineering for the vehicle was planned for the 2013 model year. This all-new Escape appearing at the 2012 Canadian International AutoShow was more than just a substantial styling update. Available power from a new line of turbocharged EcoBoost engines, hands-free power tailgate and carpets made from recycled plastic bottles are some of the features incorporated on the 2013 Ford Escape. Although the 2013 Escape immediately continued the momentum of the previous generation vehicle, vehicles equipped with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder powerplant would be subject of several recalls. In the first issued in July of 2012, Ford Escapes packaged with the before-mentioned engine for a fuel line defect led the automakers to instruct owners not to drive the vehicles. Later in the same year, a coolant leak concern was the source for a second recall. The troubles with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost powerplant didn’t appear to affect sales for the new generation Escape. More than 52,000 Ford Escapes were sold in Canada through the 2014 calender year. In the United States, the crossover vehicle sold more than 300,000 units each year from 2014 to 2017. 


Jaguar C-X16

2012 Canadian International Auto Show ford escape blue
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


By 2012, British luxury car brand Jaguar was on course to revitalize their entire product line. A new Jaguar XJ sedan was released two years earlier and there were several hints at possible products for the future. The Jaguar C-X16 concept car shown on the floors of the 2012 Canadian International AutoShow drew crowds to what would be the shape for the marque’s upcoming sports car. The C-X16 concept car’s contribution to Jaguar’s F-Type is impossible to miss. The headlamp design and front air dam on the Jaguar C-X16 are identical to the production car while the entire silhouette shares its adherence to the timeless style of the E-Type hardtop. One characteristic found with the C-X16 that has yet to translate into one of Jaguar’s sports cars is a hybrid powerplant. A supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine was paired with a 70-kilowatt electric motor succeeding to propel the Jaguar C-X16 from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 4.4 seconds while obtaining impressive fuel mileage.


MINI Inspired by Goodwood

2012 Canadian International Auto Show MINI Goodwood 2
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


Have you ever wondered how a MINI Cooper would appear if Rolls-Royce built it? In 2011, the fantasy was brought to life thanks to BMW Group’s ownership of both brands. The Diamond Black Metallic MINI Inspired by Goodwood brought to the 2012 Canadian International AutoShow would be one of only a thousand examples of one of the most extravagant compact cars on the market. Lounge leather seats finished in a Rolls-Royce sourced colour scheme Cornsilk, Lambwool floor mats, cashmere headliner and sun visors as well as interior grab handles made in a burr walnut veneer are among the unique luxury touches applied to the cabin of the exclusive Mini Cooper. A turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder propelled the MINI Inspired by Goodwood that rode on 17-inch light alloy wheels. American pricing for the limited edition MINI was $52,000 including a $700 destination charge. The MINI Inspired by Goodwood may be one of the smallest vehicles to feature such a strong linage with Rolls-Royce.


Subaru XV Crosstrek

Subaru XV Crosstrek at 2012 Canadian International AutoShow
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


An auto brand credited in part for pioneering the modern merger of a car-like profile with truck-styled versatility, Subaru made an addition to the North American crossover vehicle portfolio for the 2013 model year with the XV Crosstrek. Based on the same platform as the compact Impreza, the Subaru XV Crosstrek boasted an appearance combining elements of ruggedness and sport. The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek distinguishes itself with a uniquely aggressive front end, 8.7 inches of ground clearance, body-colour matching spoiler and an interior featuring a multifunction display as well as plenty of storage. Subaru’s newest crossover incorporated the brand’s customary Symmetrical All-Wheel Driver paired with Boxer engine. Achieving a fuel economy of 7.1 liters per 100 kilometers on the highway, the XV Crosstrek lineup would add a hybrid model for the 2014 model year improving city fuel consumption. The ‘XV’ was dropped from the Subaru Crosstrek brand in 2016.     


Dodge Dart

2012 Canadian International Auto Show Toronto Dodge Dart by Mopar
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


Almost named the Zipp at its name of release in 1959 for the 1960 model year, the Dodge Dart was an instant sales success being a stylish, powerful and versatile model. The Dart played a major role in cementing the Dodge brand as the sixth most popular in the United States during 1960 selling 210,000 vehicles more than the previous year. In 1963, the Dart name would be attached to Dodge’s dependable compact entry and would remain in the role until 1976. In 2012, the Chrysler Group/Fiat Group merger was still on a path to determine how to revibrate the North American product lineup by finding synergies with vehicles from their Italian suitor. Replacing the aging Dodge Caliber, the new 2013 Dart would use a modified platform based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Existing only as a four-door sedan, the 2013 Dodge Dart featured standard power from a 2.0-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission. A larger 2.4-liter powerplant and a turbocharged engine were also offered on higher trim levels. Starting price for the 2013 Dodge Dart was $15,995 in both the United States and Canada. Though the vehicle attempted to capture Dodge’s brand personality and boasted an available taillamp assembly with 152 LEDs, 8.4-inch touchscreen and customization offered with more than 150 Mopar accessories, the Dart failed to resonate with drivers and the model was dropped in Canada after the 2016 model year.

Volkswagen Bulli Concept

2012 Canadian International Auto Show volkswagen bulli concept small
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


Currently in 2021, Volkswagen is actively at work introducing a fully electric vehicle family under the ID brand with the ID.4 set to be sold in Canada this summer. Back in 2012, the German auto company’s push to be acknowledged as a more green automaker was largely focused on their TDI diesel engine program. However, following the much-publicized ‘Dieselgate’ emission scandal where an investigation found Volkswagen had installed software that greatly concealed real-world NOx emissions, the auto company largely abandoned their TDI engines in favour of electrified motoring. About three years before the genesis of Dieselgate, Volkswagen had done some exploration into battery electric vehicles with the Bulli concept being one of the most attractive examples. Debuting at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Volkswagen Bulli was clearly a vehicle for the future with a sleek, compact profile and LED lighting but contained a healthy dose of the German automaker’s classic styling DNA. The Bulli concept’s two-tone red and white paired with a large Volkswagen crest on the front calls back to their famous T1 microbus. Capable of transporting six occupants, the Volkswagen Bulli concept’s power comes from an 85-kilowatt electric motor fed by a 40-kilowatt-hour battery with an estimated travel range of 186 miles.


2013 Ford Shelby GT500 

Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible at 2012 Canadian International Auto Show
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


While the Ford Mustang became an instant success as a sporty and affordable vehicle that catered to a large young driver market of the 1960s, it was the work of Carroll Shelby that made the pony car into a ferocious performance machine. On May 10th of 2012, the famous Texan would pass at the age of 89 leaving a legacy on the street and the race track. One of the last Ford Mustangs to wear Carroll Shelby’s name, the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 arrived as the zenith of pony car muscle. The Shelby GT500 became one of the most powerful Ford Mustang available through showrooms propelled by a supercharged 5.8-liter V-8 engine generating 662 horsepower and 631 lb-ft of torque. With this power production, the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 could launch from 0 to 60 miles per hour (96.56 kilometers per hour) in 3.5 seconds. In order to handle the excessive power Ford added an upgraded six-speed manual transmission and a carbon fiber driveshaft. Standard Brembo six-piston aluminum front brake calipers, forged aluminum wheels mounted to Goodyear F1 SuperCar tires and optional Bilstein adjustable dampers are also linked to the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500. On display at the 2012 Canadian International AutoShow was a Deep Impact Blue Shelby GT500 convertible. With only 808 total Ford Shelby GT500 convertibles made for the 2013 model year, 135 was matched with the Deep Impact Blue colour combination.


Bugatti Veyron

Bugatti Veyron 16.4 at 2012 Canadian International Auto Show
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


A French automaker that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans wins and a number grand prix victories prior to the modern Formula 1 championship, Bugatti was such a finely-engineered luxury vehicle that an engine gasket was not required. A brand revived as a subsidiary under Volkswagen AG, the Bugatti created a hypercar of incredible prestige and performance called the Veyron. Named after early French race car driver Pierre Veyron who was also a test driver of Bugatti vehicles during the 1930s, the nearly 1,000 horsepower performance car commanded the attention of the truly rich. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 featured a W-16 engine mated to a dual-clutch transmission and permanent all-wheel drive combining to propel the vehicle to 253 miles per hour. First sold in 2005, the Veyron 16.4 hypercar was still observed as a world-topping machine that also included faster editions in later years. Valued at a cost of roughly 2-million Canadian dollars, a blue Bugatti Veyron 16.4 with its trademark horseshoe-shaped grille created quite a stir as a centerpiece of the Auto Exotica display for the 2012 edition of the Toronto auto show. 



Special Exhibitions:


Classic Concourse: Triumph 

1935 Triumph Gloria Black at 2012 CIAS
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


A space that celebrated American predominantly American performance the past two years, the level 700 of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre hosted the vehicles of a former British auto brand for 2012. Best known for the Spitfire, Sprite and the TR6 sports cars, the Triumph Motor Company had roots dating back to 1885 but was dissolved in 1984 by its eventual parent British Leyland. A marque defined by small, sporty coupes, Triumph’s Canadian International AutoShow presence would consist of a collection of vehicles dating back to the pre-second world war Gloria. Altogether, the display contained several Triumph Standard variants, a pair of stylish Italian-constructed Triumphs called the Italia, a race car version of the GT6+ and the V-8 powered Triumph Stag. Of course, a full range of sports cars defining the brand’s iconic ‘TR’ family also featured prominently ranging from the TR2 to the TR8.      


Eco-Drive Showcase

2012 Canadian International Auto Show Eco Drive Showcase Fisker Karma
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


A product of the first modern push towards electrified by major automakers as well as variety of new start-up companies, the 2012 Canadian International AutoShow gathered mild hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully battery powered vehicles in the Eco-Drive Showcase presented by CAA. Along with the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf as well as hybrids from Kia, Honda and Porsche, the Eco-Drive Showcase shined light on some opportunistic companies looking to grab a piece of the growing transportation pie. Via Motors (a company with former Chrysler and General Motors executive Bob Lutz recently installed a chairman in 2012) presented the VTRUX Crew Cab Truck based on the Chevrolet Silverado operating as a plug-in hybrid. Perhaps the most captivating item on display in the exhibit was the Fisker Karma luxury sport sedan. While Fisker Automotive would collapse in 2014 after a series of setbacks, the car produced by the automaker endures as the similar Karma Revero. In 2021, a new auto company wearing Henrik Fisker’s surname is slated to make its debut with the Ocean, an all-electric crossover vehicle. 

Auto Exotica

Pagani Zonda at 2012 CIAS
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


For the second year, Toronto’s grandest auto show assembled a high-end collection of old and new exotics in a special exhibit. Stepping inside Auto Exotica, the sense of automotive wealth and prestige surrounded occupants. In addition to the previously-mentioned Bugatti Veyron 16.4, exotics part of the 2012 Auto Exotica presentation included a Pagani Zonda finished in a carbon fiber exterior finish, a Ferrari 458 Spider, Bentley Mulsanne and a Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale.


Cruise Nationals 

Cruise Nationals 1969 Camaro RS Z28 at 2012 CIAS
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

 


The eighth iteration of Cruise Nationals consisted of 10 great examples of the classic and custom cars are carefully selected from 60 finalists from regional cruise events held during the summer of 2011. The featured at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto included a red 1934 Ford with a supercharged GM 355 engine, a 1960 Ford Sunliner Convertible and a 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 recreation. For the 2012 Cruise Nationals, the grand champion gold medalist was the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z/28 owned by Mira and Blair Bozak. A Plum Crazy Purple coloured 1970 Dodge Charger R/T SE took the silver medal while the bronze was given to a 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner with a retractable hardtop.