On Sunday, we hit up the 2013 Canadian International Auto Show at the Metro Convention Centre. This thing is gearhead heaven, with (by my count) seven hundred bajillion cars and acres of booths selling cheesy stickers so you can soup up the rear windshield on your ’83 Civic hatchback.
OK, in all seriousness, this fantastic display covers a huge interior space, with new models from every manufacturer you can think of, and probably even more you’ve never heard of. Presented by AutoTrader.ca, this 40th celebration event brought together the best in automotive technology, luxury driving, and of course the popular Cruise International display of classic cruisers.
If I’m going to turn this into a full-blown review, I will say this: the event staff were spectacular and extremely helpful. The event planning, on the other hand, was awkward and confusing. Here’s what I mean:
When we got there (via Toronto’s Union Station and Skywalk), we were directed to the front door…which is outside the building and three stories down. Once inside, there was no real layout or pattern to things. Just, start walking. In fact, it wasn’t until we were three floors up and on the other side of the event (North Building) that we found someone with an event map. Basically it was chaos (until we found the maps, that is).
Having said that, my only personal disappointment was that in the Auto Exotica display of import luxury vehicles, Mercedes Benz didn’t have the new SLS on display. Apparently the Girls of Glam were on-hand at MB’s actual booth, which I’m told was a huge display. Apparently I was too blind to see it because I missed it completely. Then again, we were halfway through the exhibition before we found someone with a map.
While the concept cars are always interesting academically (in a science fiction sort of way), I’m with the kid who said, “but if I can’t drive in it who cares? Let’s go see some real cars!” He was right, of course. There were plenty of “real cars” to sit in, although you had to be very nice to the attendants if you wanted to get into a Maserati or Ferrari. I actually decided against it, because it would have taken most of the security team and a low-grade tranquillizer to get me out once I was in.
One of the coolest cars of the day was the 2014 Fisker Karma. Boasting a stellar 100mpg (thanks to the solar-cell roof design), this bad boy of the electric set still turns in a very respectable 403 horsepower at 959 ft-lbs of torque, and blasts its way to 60 in 6.3 seconds (not as blistering as the 3.6 on the SLS, but still very healthy for a hybrid).
Special thanks to Honda Canada for getting us in the door.