The Truth About Cars » toronto The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:25:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » toronto TTAC Goes Way Back: The Dawn Of Import Drag Racing Tue, 29 Apr 2014 14:01:46 +0000

Before Fast and Furious was even a glimmer in the eye of a Hollywood producer, import car enthusiasts were paying nearly twenty-five hundred dollars for a lousy intake manifold – hard to believe, right?

Well, if you lived in Toronto in the mid-1990′s, not really. The Canadian dollar was in the toilet, internet shopping did not exist, and buying from a local vendor at inflated prices was your only option. This documentary, which debuted on A&E sometime in that era, was the talk of the town when it came out. I remember getting a “taped” copy (back when you could record things on VHS, not TiVo or DVR) and being amazed that somebody went out and purchased a laptop computer just to tune their car.

My, how things have changed. Still, it’s nice to take a look back to the days when a B-Series Honda EG hatch running 12 second times was a huge deal. And how about the Miata and FD RX-7, two cars that we may not normally think of as street drag contenders, being abused mercilessly in pursuit of bragging rights?

Less than a decade after this documentary, Ontario imposed draconian anti-speeding laws, whereby getting caught at 31 mph over the limit meant an instant impounding of your vehicle, a 10 day driving ban and a fine of up to $10,000. While these laws killed off the street racing scene, they also made Ontario one of the worst places to drive.

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Sergio Marchionne Gives Keynote Speech At Canadian International Auto Show Sun, 16 Feb 2014 14:00:50 +0000 sergio-marchionne

While the Canadian International Auto Show is little more than a blip on the radar of the global auto community, this year’s keynote speaker was none other than FCA head Sergio Marchionne gave the keynote address. Marchionne, who immigrated from Italy to Toronto at the age of 14, joked about returning to his “hometown”. managed to film the speech in its entirety, and you can see both parts here.

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One Man’s Tribute To The Buick Roadmaster Mon, 19 Aug 2013 15:20:24 +0000 Buick_Roadmaster_--_04-22-2010

While TTAC is known for Panther Love above all else, there are some of us here who possess an iconoclastic streak and long for a General Motors B-Body. The LT1 powered Buick Roadmaster is arguably the finest of the bunch, and an essay in today’s edition of The Globe and Mail illustrates why.

Reader Mark Harding, who admittedly uses his bicycle more than his car, professes his love for his 1993 Buick Roadmaster in this essay. While Harding primarily enjoys the Roadmaster on long highway trips, he also seems to take a certain delight in the Roadmaster’s imposing presence, small block V8 engine and overall character, which is at odds with the general ethos of Toronto’s left-leaning downtown neighborhoods, where Harding apparently resides.

It’s nice to know that in a city where car ownership is not always easy thanks to limited parking and high gas prices, one man is keeping the B-Body flame alive.

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2013 Canadian International Auto Show: Coles Notes Version Fri, 15 Feb 2013 11:23:22 +0000

As per usual, press day at the Canadian International Auto Show was filled with automakers busying themselves with the “Canadian Premières” of their wares. Very little had not already been seen and what vehicles haven’t been shown are probably being saved for the New York or Geneva shows. This event fell on February 14th, meaning I also needed to rush and buy a Valentine’s Day item. Before I did, however, I put together some notable observations from the 2013 Maple Syrup & Hockey Canadian International Auto Show.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray still looks like a pissed off Transformer that is smoking four cigarettes.


BMW will grant Canadians the privilege of purchasing a 3-Series wagon, as of summer 2013. It will be offered in one trim, the 328i xDrive featuring the 2.0L engine and all wheel drive. This does not spare us from the horror of the forthcoming 3-Series GT, however.


The 2014 Kia Rondo was a North American debut, mainly because no one south of the border could be bothered. Described as featuring a “tiger nosed grille”, it will have optional niceties such as a panoramic sunroof and parking helpers.  A 2.0L four-cylinder with 164 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque is on tap. Take six speeds either way you like them – manual or automatic.


Here’s a picture of the new Audi RS7. Why? Because 560hp. Maximum torque from the twin turbo V8, all 516lbs-ft of it, will reportedly be available at just 1750 rpm. This means that you can enjoy face altering acceleration while taking your children to school. Prices? Firm release dates? Nein!


And finally, Toyota brought us their Fun Vii concept. This has been making the rounds for a while, since the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show. The body serves as a giant tablet, enabling owners to change the colour, display pictures, or – potentially – hurl abuse at other drivers through printed word and creative phrases. Resembling a steampunk locomotive, it was nevertheless a refreshing departure from, say, the forlorn current-gen Corolla parked just 20 feet away.

The Canadian International Auto Show is open to the public from February 15th – 24th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

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How I Used Godzilla To Crash The Toronto International Film Festival Fri, 14 Sep 2012 15:06:10 +0000

For one week every September, the residents of Toronto are paralyzed with awe, any notion of rational thought gone with the proverbial wind, as The Centre of the Universe braces for an influx of Hollywood A-Listers, B-Listers and A-List hanger-on types during the Toronto International Film Festival. TIFF, as it’s known, is a great attraction for the city, bringing in free-spending tourists and some mild cultural cachet to a city that still battles a wicked inferiority complex.

Not that said inferiority complex isn’t still warranted. Any illusions harbored anywhere that Toronto is a “world-class city” on par with New York, Paris or London are immediately shattered by the presence of throngs of starfuckers, stacked six-deep outside the city’s luxury hotels. Wide-eyed, open-mouthed, cameras (some of the mobile phone variety) in hand, waiting to catch a glimpse of somebody, anybody famous. Naturally, I just drove right past them and pulled up to the damn door.

The GT-R may not wear the most prestigious badge in the wuuurrrrrllddd, but the general public all knows what it is. Well, let’s be real. Men between the ages of 18 and 34 all know what it is. Our ride to the Ritz was plagued by bad timing at the stop lights, and every single halt brought an onslaught of catcalls from this demographic, with some combination of “sick” “ride” and “bro” used each time. The adoration of the Axe-washed masses was gratifying. The ride quality, not so much.

Toronto’s roads, perpetually pockmarked and pot holed, are the great undoing of the GT-R’s chassis. Even with the shocks set to “Comfort”, it rides like the back of a short bus, with the bumpstops seemingly made of limestone. “Damping” is a theoretical concept here, since the car seems to crash over every single imperfection in the road.

It took some time to get out of the downtown core and escape its busted roads, but once we were free, the GT-R’s mythical performance characteristics duly emerged, and revealed a resemblance to another Japanese legend; the Mitsubishi Evo MR. It makes sense, really. Both the Nissan and the Mitsu have turbocharged powerplants, twin-clutch transmissions and all-wheel drive. Both have their roots in much more pedestrian offerings — the Evo is a tarted up Lancer, while previous GT-Rs were tarted up Skyline family sedans and the current car shares some aspects of the Infiniti G37’s platform which are deliberately ignored by the majority of the Internet. And, of course, both offer superlative driving experiences.

They’re not that different either. In the Evo, you hit the paddle to execute a downshift, wait for the decidedly non-best-of-breed dual clutch gearbox to downshift, wait again for the turbo to spool, and soon you’re propelled down the road at speeds that endanger the lives of everyone in your vicinity. There is more turbo-and-intake wooshing and driveline whine than actual engine growling, but it seems appropriate for a car that is more digital than analog.

The GT-R is much bigger, and much faster, but the gearbox still feels a little slow and antiquated, and it doesn’t project it’s voice in the way a Z06 ‘Vette or a European exotic would. Did I mention it’s fast, planted and utterly foolproof to drive quickly? My initial drives in a GT-R were a little underwhelming, in that it felt like a point-and-shoot sports car that required zero finesse or skill. After many miles on the road and a few on a road course, I still feel that way, but boy is it fun to stomp the throttle and annihilate everything in sight. The Mitsubishi claws back some of the quantitative gap in the qualitative aspects; where the Evo has a steering system that can be adjusted in microns, the GT-R feels a little ponderous and numb. Porsche may need to look over their shoulder with regards to Nuburgring lap times, but even the EPAS in the 991 (wrongly despised by those who don’t know better) has the GT-R beat hands down.

From the anonymous crush of the Gardiner Expressway, it was a quick hop to the Ritz, where we pulled in to the driveway and were greeted by an onslaught of valets. They didn’t take us for anybody important (all the VIPs are being shuttled in black Audis, courtesy of the brand’s sponsorship agreement with TIFF), but they were excited to see the GT-R. It ended up being parked in a row with an all original Acura NSX, a C5 Corvette and a McLaren MP4-12C. Anyone looking for an example of model bloat should put these three in a row. My crappy iPhone camera couldn’t capture them all properly, but the GT-R is absolutely gargantuan next to the lithe aluminum Acura.

The crowds nestled behind the barricades weren’t as astute as the valets. As my co-driver and I prepared to exit the car, we saw rows and rows of cameras and camera phones at the ready, waiting for someone important to exit the GT-R. When they saw our hairless scalps emerge from the cockpit, there was a barely audible sigh as they realized we were merely a couple of shmucks looking to quaff a couple of overpriced Mojitos. Before we could process our 15 microseconds of public adoration, all cameraphones swung in unison to catch Kate Hudson popping out of the hotel’s front door. We headed inside to the bar. The crowd of nobodies seeking somebodies was thick enough that we were forced to stand next to a table and drink. The patron next to us was wearing a vulgar Breitling chronograph. He complained incessantly that we were casting shadows over him and his companion, who was a veritable R35 GT-R in proportion to Ms. Hudson’s slim R33. Will we return to the TIFF next year? Possibly not. Even when you’re driving the star of Japan’s A-list, celebrity is overrated.

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