What to do and what to see at the Canadian International Auto Show
Whether you’re in the market for a new car, or just love all things on four wheels, you need to visit the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. It runs from February 13 to 22, and we have the scoop on what to see and do when you’re there.
The show is held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the city’s downtown core. Tickets are available at the door, but if you buy them online at AutoShow.ca, you’ll save time and not have to line up. Check the website for directions and hours.
There are contests throughout the show, where you can win some pretty cool prizes, including cars and gas. Some are out in the aisles, while others are tucked into the manufacturers’ booths. Most are electronic, but bring along a pen to fill out any on paper.
You might want to buy a ticket on this, too. It’s a 2015 50th Anniversary Mustang GT, ramped up with $22,000 in performance upgrades, and it’s being raffled off to benefit prostate cancer research. You can buy tickets at the booth or at RockTheRoadRaffle.ca.
Speaking of prizes, two very important ones were handed out at the media premiere just before the show’s opening. The Automobile Journalists of Canada (AJAC) announced its Canadian Car of the Year award, which went to the Subaru Legacy, and the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year award to the Ford F-150. Both will be in the AJAC Car of the Year display at the show.
Children love cars, but they can also have short attention spans. If they’re getting bored, park them for a while at the Volkswagen Playcare Centre on the 600 Level. It’s staffed by certified childcare specialists and best of all, it’s free.
The show is spread over the Convention Centre’s North and South buildings. You can take a free shuttle between them, but it’s worth taking the escalators. There are vendors and displays on each level, including the fabulous Art and the Automobile exhibit on Level 700. This salon-style exhibit includes an 1867 steam buggy that was Canada’s first car, the 1959 Cadillac Cyclone concept car, 1963 Mustang prototype, 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car, and a 1948 Tucker that’s one of 51 ever built.
Hair getting a little straggly? Come see Yoshi in the Scion display, where you can sign up to get a free shave and haircut at his barber booth. Check out the Scion iM concept car while you’re there.
It was the star of the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, and the stunning Ford GT supercar makes an appearance in Toronto as well. The company has announced that it’ll be built in Markham, Ontario, too!
But the GT isn’t the only supercar at the Toronto event. You can get up close and personal with the production version of the Acura NSX as well.
And if those aren’t enough, head down to the 100 Level to see Auto Exotica. That’s the Maserati Alfieri concept car in front. The gallery also includes such makes as Rolls-Royce, Pagani, Ferrari, Lotus, and McLaren, among others.
The show includes some wild concept cars, this Toyota i-Road among them. It’s electric, has three wheels, and steers by turning the rear wheel and tucking in one of the front ones. Toyota will be giving demonstrations throughout the show.
It looks like a concept car, but you can actually buy the BMW i8, a gasoline-electric hybrid that goes like stink and is made almost entirely out of carbon fibre. The all-electric i3 is here, too.
Drop over to Mazda to have a look at the all-new 2016 MX-5, even if it’s too cold outside for top-down driving. The new 2016 CX-3 is on display too.
While the Auto Show isn’t about test-driving, you can still get behind the wheel. You can take an electric car for a spin courtesy of Plug’nDrive, or even drive the Peel P50, the world’s smallest street-legal production car, on display by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
More plug-in goodness: Chevrolet has announced it will build a version of its all-electric Bolt concept, on display at the show. You can also see the redesigned 2016 Chevy Volt.
Ram gets aggressive with its new Rebel off-road truck. There are several new trucks on display, including the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor.
Need more trucks? Head over to Nissan for a first look at the upcoming Titan XD with its V8 diesel engine.
Volkswagen has its new Golf R on display, along with the T-Roc and Cross Coupe GTE concept vehicles, both of which could potentially turn into production models.
While the first ones will initially go to customers in Vancouver, Hyundai is showing off its Tucson Fuel Cell, which runs exclusively on electricity created from on-board hydrogen.
Honda shows off its new 2016 Pilot, but also has a display of motorcycles, ATVs, and power equipment as well.
Green is good, but fast is fun. Check out the new Cadillac CTS-V and the 640 horses under its hood.
Stop by Porsche and have a look at the new Cayenne GTS, which pulls 440 horses out of its twin-turbo V6.
Although it’s been on the auto show circuit for a while, the Kia GT4 Stinger concept is always worth a look.
Mercedes-Benz’s booth will have a few new models, including one of our favourites, the new AMG-GT.
Concept cars are interesting not just in themselves, but for the styling cues that you’ll eventually see on production vehicles. We’ll just give you a teaser of what you’ll see in Infiniti’s booth.
Audi has the new RS7, along with the redesigned Q7, and TT and TTS Roadster and Coupe models.
Lexus and Toyota are showing several new models and concepts, including the Lexus RCF and RCF GT3.
Several cars now come with cords, and Mitsubishi has its new Outlander plug-in hybrid on display.
Jaguar is only making 250 copies of its Project 7, and fittingly, seven of them are coming to Canada. You can see one here.
See you at the show!