2016 Canadian International AutoShow an impressive event
Last month car lovers, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and those who simply enjoy marvelling at automotive beauty, were entertained with some of the best vehicles the market has to offer at the 2016 Canadian International AutoShow. Held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the show lasted just over a week, taking over both the North and South buildings with cars of every make, model and type one would hope to see.
For any car lover who has never been to the International AutoShow before, the feeling experienced when descending upon the show for the first time could be described as akin to the one any Disney fan gets when crossing under the Disney arches in Florida. Excitement, some elation, and the knowledge that you’re going to have the opportunity to experience the opportunity to view and sit in some of the hottest vehicles on the market. This year was impressive — more than 1000 vehicles distributed throughout the 650,000 square foot convention centre, highlighting more than 40 new vehicles and concept launches. From the latest in electric/hybrid cars to the new Tesla Model X, and even favourites such as Aston Martin’s, Jaguars and more, there was plenty to discover, ogle and dream about. Have you ever dreamed about sitting inside a Porsche, seeing a Lexus RC 350 in person, or having the opportunity to see the insides of one of the latest Mustangs? Then the Canadian International AutoShow is the place to do it. But the show is about so much more than just the cars, bringing in big name celebrities like Mayor John Tory, Dwane Casey — Head Coach of the Toronto Raptors, Verizon IndyCar Series drivers James Hinchcliffe and Conor Daly, members of Toronto rock and CFL players, as well as Canadian musical artist deadmau5, known for his dubstep music. One of the biggest showstoppers for the closing weekend however, was the appearance of the latest Batmobile. Neither a replica nor a simple prop, the actual Batmobile used in the upcoming film Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, waited to greet attendees of the show. According to the show’s producers, the 10-day 2016 AutoShow was their biggest one yet, setting the record for the show’s highest attendance. Throughout this year’s run, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre opened its doors for 320,651 visitors — the highest combined attendance in the show’s history of 43 years. “It was a fantastic year from every perspective,” said Jason Campbell, General Manager of the Canadian International AutoShow. “From the global and North American unveilings to the VIP visits to the top-notch displays from manufacturers and other exhibitors, it all helped to make this show the draw that it is to attendees from across Canada and beyond.” There was certainly enough to keep people occupied and delighted. On the lower level of the South building attendees had the opportunity to browse a number of every-day and luxury vehicles from the Jaguar F-Type convertible with its sleek design, to the Porsche 919 Hybrid, which rocks a 2.0 litre turbocharged v4 engine, as well as Kinetic Energy Recovery systems with a Lithium Ion Battery. Each manufacturer had the opportunity to enter a contest to win one of their vehicles, as well as opportunities to sign up for a test-drive of some of the latest models. While some winners were announced by the end of the show, most will not be announced for another one to six months. And if simply checking out the latest vehicles wasn’t up your alley, most featured the opportunity to climb inside and see how they felt and what features they contained. Lexus took it a step further, giving all show-goers the opportunity to test-drive one of their cars using one of the newest virtual reality technologies, the Oculus Rift. Ford included live tapings as spokespeople highlighted some of the newest features in their latest models, and there was no shortage of entertainment at the Scion floor, where attendees were encouraged to take a selfie or post a picture of their favourite model to Instagram for the chance to win a prize on the spot. Also in the south building were a number of special demonstrations, including a special Cars & Stars exhibit presented by Castrol, where Mississauga-based company Sekanskin showed off some of their celebrity works and unveiled a new model, completed during the final weekend of the show. Guy Fieri, celebrity chef host of Diners, Drive Ins & Dives on the Food Network showcased his classic yellow 1969 Chevrolet Corvette in the Cars & Stars exhibit, while deadmau5’s Lamborghini Huracan drew attention because of his Nyan Cat theme by Sekanskin. And if that wasn’t enough to keep one entertained, the south building also included a live motorcycle build by Kreater Custom Motorcycles, along with a number of paraphernalia and other projects in the Hot Rods and Choppers Exhibit. If classic cars are more your thing, Cobble Beach presented an incredible collection of cars from the last hundred-plus years as part of their Art and the Automobile display. After heading over to the north building, one was greeted with the Manufacturers Floor, where more cars were available as both eye-candy and to climb into by several name-brand dealers, including Hyundai, Honda and Jeep to name a few. But the real draws to the north building came from the exotic international car show located on the lower level. Whether it was the green and yellow Lotus models that drew your attention, the black Aston Martin, or the unveiling of the Tesla Model X, it was clear that part of the show was one of the most popular. Regardless of what reasoning led people to the show, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say there was something there for everyone. The masterminds behind the annual show have announced that based on the 2016 show’s success, next year could prove to be even greater. “We’re extremely happy with the feedback from the huge crowds on this final weekend and are already planning for the 2017 Canadian International AutoShow to make it even bigger and better than this year,” added Mr. Campbell. Written by Tabitha Wells