• By: Neil Moore

Heads Turn at the Canadian International AutoShow

Photos by Neil Moore / Feature image: Kia Stinger – This five-passenger sports sedan tops the Kia lineup as their highest-performing production vehicle ever. The 2018 Stinger is powered by an available 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 that delivers 365 hp and 376 lb/ft of torque, able to do the zero-100 km/h sprint in just over 5 seconds.

The morning begins with Car of the Year fanfare and a roomful of groggy journalists, but CIAS media preview day always makes my calendar.

It’s a chance to find out – first hand – the results of last fall’s TestFest evaluations, where Automobile Journalists Association of Canada members drove and carefully scored the vehicles vying for these honours. Volkswagen Golf AllTrack got the nod for top car, and Subaru Forester for top utility vehicle.

Media day is also an opportunity to find out what’s coming now and in the near future, along with interesting and sometimes radical concepts that may never see production, but are cool nonetheless.

This year’s event saw 41 vehicle debuts, featuring 25 new production vehicles and 16 concepts. Which is icing on a cake that includes roughly 1,000 cars spread over 650,000 square feet of show space at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Here are a few of the highlights:

First revealed in Montreal in January, the Avista concept is a stunning 2+2 coupe that offers a hint at the future of Buick design. It is powered by a 400-hp twin-turbocharged V6 driving the rear wheels. In short, it’s not granddad’s Buick.
The Genesis New York Concept is long, low and wide with a tapered cabin, powerful shoulders and short front overhangs. It’s a refined performance car that also showcases the company’s next generation driver interface where touchpads, rotary dials and 3D gesture-controls manage vehicle functions.
The Mercedes AMG GT R Coupe is stunning both in design – and power. Powertrain for this production vehicle is a 4.0-litre biturbo V8 (577 hp and 516 lb/ft of torque) mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Suspension is engineered for the racetrack, and the exhaust system delivers a genuine racing car sound.
Honda Civic has always had the performance-oriented Si, but now the automaker has dialed it up with the Civic Type R prototype. This extreme version of the popular sedan features an aggressive front fascia with winged carbon fiber splitter, and unique tri-exhaust pipes in rear. Full specs haven’t yet been released.
Nissan’s Vmotion 2.0 Concept hints at a future sedan, and takes the company’s design language to the next level. This zero-emission vehicle also showcases ProPILOT, which may allow for driverless operation.
Dodge Durango SRT blasts from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and will tow 8,600 lbs, thanks to a 392 cubic inch V8 that delivers 475 hp and 470 lb/ft of torque. It’s family transport that won’t bore.
With massive gullwing doors and drop-down side steps, the Lincoln Navigator Concept is definitely over the top.
Good luck with underground parking if this ever went into production!
The Lexus LF-FC Concept made its Canadian debut. It’s a hydrogen fuel cell-powered flagship that rolls on 21-inch wheels. Inside, the LF-FC’s human-machine interface uses hand gestures to manage systems like climate and audio.
Volvo’s V90 estate wagon is a production model that joins their flagship S90 sedan. Its sport-tuned chassis and lowered ride height provide taut handling and solid driving dynamics to complement its upscale practicality.
Escala — Spanish for “scale”— is a flagship concept that designed to be a driver’s car. It features a new face of Cadillac design with its three dimensional grille and extremely long front bonnet. It is powered by a twin-turbo 4.2-litre V8 and rolls on massive 22-inch alloys with two layers of spokes.
The AutoShow isn’t just about new cars and concepts. This 1967 Corvette 427 delivered a massive 400 hp from its naturally-aspirated V8.
And the Stingray’s back end styling is legendary.
Acura’s Precision Concept was revealed roughly a year ago in Detroit, but it never fails to turn heads. Sure, it’s a design study that will likely never see production – especially with its dramatically-sculpted sheet metal, 122-inch wheelbase and massive 22-inch wheels. But we can dream…
Aston Martin’s lightweight AM-RB 001 is constructed from carbon fibre and will be limited to only 150 vehicles. It is powered by a naturally-aspirated V12 able to achieve one horsepower per kilo of body weight. No hard numbers yet, but it’s obvious this hypercar will be freakishly fast.on
Once the fastest production car in the world, the 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage is now a fascination piece for collectors. It was never a Bond car (he drove a DB5), but is part of a lineage that continues to be part of this movie franchise.
The Bugatti Chiron is insanely powerful. With its siblings delivering a “paltry” 1,000 horsepower (the Veyron) and a slightly better 1,200 (the Super Sport), it became obvious that more was needed. Hence the Chiron makes 1,500, rocketing you to a top speed of more than 400 km/h.