Sadly I never even finished my 3 post text-heavy coverage of the Detroit Autoshow from January, but at least I can do up some brief coverage of the Toronto Autoshow. Tom and I did our yearly pilgrimage last weekend. As always, the show was packed, in fact its a much ‘larger’ show than Detroit, all be it less important to the industry. Detroit also lacks the hooligans posing on the hoods of cars throwing up gang signs, go figure on that one.
ANYWAY… here we go.
We started off with the boys at Mercedes. The C/A4-A5/3-series segment has, as always, been one of the most important to the industry. Mercedes face-listed C63AMG is really looking fantastic, and is the real ‘heavy hitter’ in the segment:
Onward to Volkswagen, who is intent on making more and more crap in our market to become the next Toyota. Aside from joining into an argument with a *very* rude Volkswagen rep who was intent on explaining that the Routan was not really a Chrysler (well not so intent after being argued with he said he ‘Didn’t care what we thought’), Volkswagen was debuting (well Canadian debut) the 2012 Big-Jetta, er Passat.
Having sat in one in Detroit, the interior quality is worse than the previous gen Jetta, as are the engine choices and suspension. The only ‘decent’ engine is the TDI. Onward to the real Toyota, who is too boring to really discuss. One of their most boring displays was the Lexus LS, who’s interior seems to wow people who like “80s luxury” (how could you even compare it to an S-class, 7-series or A8) and who’s engine bay is as sterile as can be:
Tom had snapped the one side back down, someone had obviously pried it up. They had some (tons of) other cars too, but I’m totally not interested in discussing them. Next up was Audi. Audi had two big unveils, the A7 and the TT-RS. The front of the TT-RS was pretty mean looking, and the current (2nd gen) TT isn’t as terrible a Golf derivative as it’s first version was (a fancy leather wrapped Beetle)
The A7 was a nice looking car, but kinda boring drivetrain options considering its market position. Not totally sure where it slots between the A6 and A8, a sportier (but still 4 door A8?). It’s not even one of the now-trendy 4-door coupes. Onto BMW, who I won’t spend too much time on. They had a lounge for customers which featured rather nice drinks and snacks. The 1-series M was of course the big draw, as was a matte finished M3. I hope to take a 1-series M out in May and review it, so we’ll discuss it then. The big reveal was the X1, an SUV for people who dislike station wagons, like this new pig-nose look, and don’t mind a lot of cheap looking plastic.
Buy a Volkswagen Golf Wagon (not the hatch, the wagon), it’ll be an equivalent drive, more space inside and frankly isn’t hideous. Spend the rest of the money on coke. Onward to Nissan who had some silly concepts (as they always do) as well as the unveil of the NISMO 370Z. Amongst the actually upgraded engine (software/induction/exhaust), brakes and suspension, you net yourself a ridiculous spoiler and a pair of coffee-can exhaust tips. I’m sure this was a big deal to the sort of people who drive around with sunglasses, a baseball cap and use way too much hair gel.
Next up is Hyundai, who I didn’t take any photos of. They were showing off the Genesis Sedan and Coupe they are so proud of. We were rather amused with all the electrical tape under the hood of a Genesis Coupe. Hyundai, who lacks an innovative bone in their corporate body, had their Genesis Coupe 3.8 painted in Interlagos Yellow. Onto their buddies over at KIA, who were showing off a bunch of dreadfully boring cars, including a “Toronto FC” edition of some SUV thing. I guess you might want a painted valve cover…. My big amusement was that their kiosks did not feature activated (cough pirated) versions of Windows…
GM had all the Corvettes out. I have to say the Z06 is one awesome looking car now, and the ZR1 is an insane performer. I never thought I’d see the day where Corvettes were really appealing packages. They also had the coolest display of the entire show, a guy tearing down and rebuilding the LS7 (7L V8) from the Z06. He could do it in about 4 hours. Pretty awesome.
Ford’s big thing was the new Focus, which I covered pretty well in Detroit. I really like the car. They had a video stream of Ken Block drifting the rally version on loop. The one cool display they did have was a cutaway of one of the hybrid+CVT four bangers they’re shipping. Was one of the best cutaways I’ve seen.
All and all was a good show. I will leave you with some car porn: