2018 Canadian International Auto Show (Toronto)
As we fought through the rain that morning we thought that it couldn't get any worse. Well wrong again, we wound up meeting morning traffic in Toronto. And when there's only one major highway for a city of 2.7million, your going to have problems. Sure we could have taken the 407 over to the 427, but who wants to give their money away to a private company who gets subsidized by the government who sold it to them.
After a short stop at the corner of the QEW and 427, we moved forward down Lakeshore Drive and onto the show.
This year wasn't much different than any other, as it was still lacking any major concepts of cool Canada only unveilings (well except the Ram 1500 Sport). But this year there was one cool change for the kid in all of us. And that was the 50th Anniversary display from #HotWheels50. They did have a cool track display in the middle of level 700, but the real treat was the one and only Darth Vader car. Sure the 67 Camaro was cool, but you can't say no to Darth Vader. Hot wheels spared no expense on their display as they handed out free design your own hot wheels cars which were a great treat for all us fans out there. Anyone with kids probably loved the hot wheels play zone, as this was a good way to kill an hour if you wanted to relax. After that you could browse the minor store, then move onto the wall of cars. This wall was apparently made up of cars from their famous vault. Too bad that was a lie as my 5 year old has at least half of the cars from the display. Guess I should have brought some from my extensive collection to show off.
After spending some time playing with hot wheels, we moved out and onto the North Convention Centre's basement. This is where you will always find the collection of exotics, supercars and high end automobiles. Too bad the map we had in hand was lying to us. That's 2 lies from Toronto and were only an hour into the show. The lie came from where they outlined who was included in this area. The map said that Rezvani was going to be there. Nope the Beast or Tank were not there. Too bad as we were really looking forward to seeing them in Canada. But we did get to see a few classic cars from Jaguar, Ford, Shelby and Ferrari, so I guess that made up for it. Or was it the Callaway AeroWagon. Who cares, it was still great to see the exotic area.
Next we moved onto the celebration area where this year they showcased Porsche's 70th anniversary. Sure seeing an original 911 Turbo and the Carrera GT was great but the real excitement here was seeing the E-Motion concept. No not the actual concept, but a model of the concept. Would have been better with the actual concept but I guess it's just Toronto. Or it could be just Porsche as last year Aston Martin did bring their Red Bull concept to Toronto and Mercedes did bring the AMG Project One this year. Too bad for you Porsche, you lose on the cool factor for us.
We then moved upstairs to the take a gander at the displays from FCA, Nissan, Mazda, Volkswagen, Subaru, Honda and Hyundai-Kia. And as for this year all of their displays were more of a dealership rather than a showcase of their automobiles. I could have been better if everyone could have entered a concept or something to really make you believe you were at a show, not a dealership floor. The only really cool feature that we found in the North Convention Centre was the Jeep display against the front wall. It made us feel at home as Jeep added a waterfall, rockface and pine trees. Just like our backyard. Ah that would be great to see everyday. Oh wait, we do get to see that everyday. Too bad we don't have the Jeep to truly explore it though. The only other nice perk here was the prize for entering the FCA contest. Instead of receiving another bag, we got to take home a free Jeep or Dodge hat. Not the best prize, but hey it's better than another bag.
Lunch Time. We now have moved back over to the South Convention Centre and after a quick lunch we will move into the basement and onto the 2nd showcase floor. First on our hit list here was the Ford display. Ford always has a massive display and they always like to make it fun and include your children. This year they had the new Ranger and Edge ST on display along with a make your own Bullit page for the adults. For the kits they could hang out on the interesting couches or make their own Lego characters. Only 2 per person but you can't go wrong with free Lego. Add to this an actual Lego race driver creation and you have a decent display.
Next we moved over to Toyota and GM where we found the same old stuff as last year. The only cool thing about the GM display was the Stage Truck. Yes an actual stage on a truck. And no the stage wasn't on the new Silverado. We then moved over to Buick to get our free Latte (again). This now makes it the 4th year in a row that they have this. And we won't say no to free coffee by this time in the show.
After GM we moved over to the Mercedes display and the last display that had something that we actually wanted to see. The new AMG Project One was better to see in real life, but its girlish design still hasn't won us over yet. A few too many curves makes this model more of a girly car rather than the hard edges of a Lamborghini or W Motors. Guess MB still hasn't got the point that curves are for women.
We then moved over to Lexus, Audi, BMW, Mini, Land Rover, Jaguar and Cadillac. Jaguar did bring the new i-Pace, which was a nice touch, but the lack of standard F-Types, XE and XF's made this display rather small and not feeling whole. After that we moved over to the bland display of Maserati and their 3 models they brought to the show. They could have given Jaguar some more space for their models. Then we moved quickly over Porsche, Lincoln, Alfa Romeo and Genesis, only stopping to catch a great view at the Alfa display. We did get to see the CUV concept from Genesis and it still hasn't won us over either. Guess we will have to wait for the real model and maybe then it will make us see the coolness that Genesis can really bring.
A quick entry into the Continental Tire giveaway and we were back up top at the Hot Wheels level again. But this time we were there to check out the classics display. This is always a nice touch as they really like to show off the classics which help make the cars you see below. The real show stopper this year was the Firebird Concept from General Motors. This really showed how we did change from what the 1950's thought we would be driving today. But they did get the autonomous tech right.
After checking out the Cool Toys store it was off to the Hot Wheels display again. And no we weren't there just to get another free car, this time we wanted to get some tracks for home and a nice new Back to the Future car. We then moved around the corner and over to the O.P.P. display where they showed off their new fleet showcar. The new Tesla Model X fitted with O.P.P. badging was nice to see but it was odd that their display was right in front of the tuner display. Guess the cops thought they could muscle the tuners out of the show. Too bad we don't care what they think and the show went ahead. Of course this year there were hardly any tuner cars. Quite depressing for the tuner crowd. But I guess since the cops have been cracking down on us, most have decided to move over to trucks for our fun. Too bad for the parts manufacturers though.
All in all the 2018 show was decent, but for 2019 there had better be more concepts and better displays. The only reason why this show was decent was because of the Hot Wheels feature. Without it this would have been just as depressing as Montreal last year.
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