Toronto auto show features celebrity rides, quirky concept cars
Celebrity rides, quirky concepts showcased at 2016 Toronto auto show (Photo: Toyota)
Nick Maronese, Autofocus.ca
Published Thursday, February 11, 2016 11:03AM EST
The Canadian International Auto Show - Canada's largest auto show - opens to the public in Toronto on February 12. Highlights and must-see show features include some returning car enthusiast favourites as well as some new exhibits for the 2016 installment.
Art and the Automobile
The gorgeous cars of the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance will return for a second year in the Art and the Automobile exhibit, though this time the theme is vintage advertising. Blow-ups of classic ads and actual examples of the cars they sold will be on display, including a 1904 Oldsmobile, a 1935 Chrysler Airflow, a 1953 Studebaker coupe a 1963 Studebaker Avanti. The centerpiece of the exhibit will be the Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A SS that took home best-in-show at the inaugural 2013 Cobble Beach concours.
Cars & Stars, with a special surprise
A new feature this year will be the Cars & Stars exhibit, which will feature cars with celebrity owners or Hollywood histories. The star star-car is celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s ’69 Chevrolet Corvette, though we’re just as interested in seeing deadmau5’s Lamborghini “Purracan” and McLaren P1. Mississauga-based Sekanskin, which specializes in vinyl car wraps, will also be unveiling a surprise star car on the final weekend of the show.
Concept cars and reveals
Automakers will be bringing several of the newest concept cars through the Metro Toronto Convention Centre doors, including the Hyundai Enduro, which is making its North American debut; the Buick Avenir, the styling cues from which are already finding their way into Buick product; and the Toyota Urban Utility or U-squared, which will be making its global debut in Toronto. The U-squared is designed specifically with mobile entrepreneurs in mind and comes with retractable roof panels.
The 'AutoShow Your Auto' for a $5,000 prize
This is the first year CIAS organizers invited members of the public to compete in a contest to get their car featured in the show. The 'AutoShow Your Auto' exhibit will feature the five finalists, which run the gamut from a vintage French Citroen 2CV to a new custom Corvette, for everyone to see. That includes a panel of judges, who will award their favourite a $5,000 prize.
Hot rods and custom cars (plus a bike build)
The hot rods and custom cars visitors are used to seeing will be back, represented this year by a handful of period-look early Fords and a ’50s gasser or two. Also on display will be close to a dozen high-dollar chopper motorcycles from Etobicoke-based Kreater. In fact, Kreater shop owner George Tchor will actually be completing a bike build right there on the floor over the 10 days the show runs.
Auto Exotica: the most expensive cars on the floor
The high-dollar exotics of the Auto Exotica booth are always a draw, but this year, besides the Aston Martins, Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royces you might expect to see, will be a special guest: a McLaren F1 GTR race car, worth somewhere in the neighbourhood of $15 million (the most expensive car at the show).
All of the new cars you could ask for
As usual, manufacturers will have on display basically every new car you could think to buy (including the forthcoming Tesla Model X SUV). If you're shopping around for a new vehicle, this is the easiest way to compare rival cars parked just feet from each other.
The Canadian International Auto Show takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto from February 12 thru 21. Tickets start at $23.