Monday, March 2, 2015

2015 Toronto Auto Show Highlights

During press day of the 2015 Canadian International Auto Show, there were many notable cars that made their Canadian debut at the Metro Toronto Convention Center in Toronto. Thankfully, was invited to watch industry executives give insights to the unveilings of their newest products.

The Americans came prepared as Ford had some exciting metal to show off at their massive display. The 2017 Ford GT is very wide, low, and is ready to take on the best that Europe has to offer. The modern twin-turbo V6 engine replaces the old-school American V8s that were in the last 2 generations of Ford GTs. This new 3.5L TT V6 will make around 600 horsepower says Ford. Also on hand at the Ford display was the Shelby Mustang GT350R. With an impressive Nurburgring time of 7 minutes and 32 seconds, the track special version of the Mustang that is going to go head to head with the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. Moreover, Cadillac debuted their new CTS-V and ATS-V sport sedans that are going to take on rivals over at BMW's M division and the AMG division over at Mercedes-Benz. Getting straight to business, Cadillac called out their German competitors for charging extra for goodies such as Carbon Ceramic brakes while Cadillac will offer them as standard for the 640 hp CTS-V. GM has done a good job of turning brand image around for Cadillac. What was once a company that stood for luxury boats catered to a demographic of 60+ years is now seen as a brand that blends performance and luxury into a well designed package.

While the Americans were stepping up their game, the Germans were not standing around waiting either. Mercedes-Benz came to the show strong with their new AMG GT sports car and the S600 Maybach. The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT is the 2nd new flagship sports car developed in-house by Mercedes' AMG division after the SLS that just recently stopped production. The AMG GT is smaller than the SLS and debuts the new twin-turbo 4.0L V8 engine that Mercedes-Benz will eventually put in most of their cars. The sleek, sloped roofline makes the car have a silhouette similar to that of the iconic Porsche 911. The S600 Maybach, on the other hand is a big, opulent sedan that revives the Maybach name. This time around, Mercedes-Benz is making the Maybach name a trim instead of making it a standalone brand. Seeing as how the last effort Mercedes-Benz made at reviving the Maybach name, this seems like a better strategy. Moreover, BMW debuted their freshly updated M6 coupe and convertible. This mild refresh subtly updates the head/tail lights and interior. Right next to the BMW display was Porsche revealing the new Cayenne GTS. What is notable about this new Cayenne GTS is that Porsche decided to use their twin turbo V6 instead of the traditional V8 that they put in their previous Cayenne and Panamera GTS. Producing 440 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque, the new twin turbo V6 is more powerful than the old V8, so this should squash any complaints that should arise about power from a smaller engine.

While the Auto Exotica display did not have any new debuts to offer, they did have many eye-grabbing exotics to gawk over. McLaren came three cars strong, with two 650S's and one MP4-12C, with their impressive display. Unfortunately, no P1 ready for display by the time the show rolled into Toronto. Some notable cars that were at the Auto Exotica Booth are the Lamborghini Huracan, Pagani Huayra, Bentley Continental GT, Maserati Alfieri Concept, Rolls-Royce Ghost, and the Aston Martin Rapide. Last but definitely not least, was Robert Herjavec's private LaFerrari on display. This car should warrant enough interest alone for the avid car enthusiast to visit the show. The LaFerrari is truly an Italian masterpiece of science and aesthetics.

The show runs from February 13-February 22, 2015. Tickets for adults to the show are $23 each and $7 for children ages 7-12. This is a show that car enthusiasts and the general public should not miss.

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