By on February 15, 2013

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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16 Comments on “2013 Canadian International Auto Show: Coles Notes Version...”

  • avatar

    Just to clarify for the U.S. crowd – Coles notes is the equivalent of your Cliffs notes.

    • 0 avatar

      To add to that, Toronto, the provincial capital of Ontario, sincerely thinks it stands for all of Canada, so that’s why it’s called the Canadian International Auto Show, instead of the Toronto Auto Show.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        I understand that the Greater Southeast Michigan International Auto Show is so named because a few folks cross the bridge to visit one small portion of Detroit.

      • 0 avatar


        I’ve been working the NAIAS press preview for more than a decade now and I’d say that a large fraction, maybe 40%, of the 5 to 6 thousand working media there are from outside the United States and Canada. There’s definitely an international flavor to the media in attendance.

        As for the “international” nomenclature, that’s determined by OICA, the international auto mfgs’ association. In North America, Detroit and Toronto get the designation every year while New York, Chicago and Los Angeles rotate.

  • avatar

    I’m headed there on Monday, which is a provincial ‘Family Day’ holiday, and therefore hopefully not too crammed.

    • 0 avatar

      If you’re going, wait until 3 or 4, maybe go do Benz’s test drive at Ontario Place first (if they’re doing it this year). I’ve worked the show a couple of years recently, and Family Day is just as bad as the rest of the weekends. At least by 3 or 4, most of the kids will have worn themselves out treating every car (and sometimes the strangers in it) as a jungle gym, and it gets a little quieter.

    • 0 avatar

      I went on Family Day in 2009. Never again. I’d wait until Tuesday if I were you.

  • avatar

    I love this site, but I’ve noticed that a lot of the photos (especially of white cars) are underexposed. A little positive exposure compensation would help a lot.

  • avatar

    “This event fell on February 14th, meaning I also needed to rush and buy a Valentine’s Day item.”

    Every year I’m yet again stunned to see the number of men frantically shopping for flowers, cards, candy, etc. on Valentine’s Day. Guys, the date has been on the calendar forever and you know that you need to address it. Why do you all keep trying to handle it ON VALENTINE’S DAY? Do you think the ladies can’t tell that you grabbed the least wilted flowers and a generic card as an afterthought?

  • avatar

    The Fun VII concept has promise as a giant mood ring provided it could monitor the driver then change color and generate the appropriate phrases based on the wearers emotional state. No doubt in the Old Dominion such a vehicle would land you continual stream of road rage tickets ( yes… showing another driver that you think they are #1 with your middle finger could result in a suspended licence).

  • avatar

    With all the cash Ontario and the “Feds,” as we in western Canada call the Canadian govt., poured into GM, you’d think they could do a little arm-twisting and get one reasonably significant debut for the Canadian Intl. Auto Show.

    • 0 avatar

      @lightspeed…I don’t care if you live in Alberta,Ontario or Quebec you still live in Canada. Love it, or hate it,Canadians,all of us live with a very expensive social safety net.

      GM Canada,did NOT go bankrupt. The American taxpayers bailed out GM. The Ontario and Canadian goverments were given a choice. Throw some money on the table,or we take our ball, and our bat, and go home.

      The two governments,compared the costs of buying into GM, and Chrysler, or letting them go belly up. Like all governments everwhere,they chose the path of least resistince.

      • 0 avatar

        That social safety net is the same one that offsets other costs to the employer in Canada. At the end of the day GM makes money in Canada and got govt dollars. I don’t think it one bit unreasonable to ask for a significant model debut (not talking Corvette here) in Toronto. If I’m the CIAS organizers I’d be looking at how Toronto Intl. Film Festival went from virtually nothing to on the radar in that industry.

  • avatar

    So the Rondo will offer a manual shift? This will be a small victory, as the old one didn’t. If they took the trouble to make it handle decently, it could be competition for the Mazda 5. Road test please?

  • avatar

    Went to the show on the first Sunday morning of the show. Crowds were light at that time of day. Could not find a factory or dealership display of Porsche vehicles. There were a few models in some other displays, but they were not new vehicles. For the most part it was a good show. My only complaint would be in regards to those that figure they can use the display cars to babysit their kids while they stand nearby talking to friends. Having to wait in a line of 5 people while little Johnny sits in driver seat trying every possible combination of button settings in the hopes that ice cream will pop out of the CD/DVD player is just wrong.

    I did find a way to get an adult out of the drivers seat though, just get in the passenger side, slide your thumb along the leather bolster making the noise that will clear any room and say “oops” as it finishes. Drivers seat is vacant within seconds.

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