Love that car - "Fully Loaded 2007"!
Since 1974, the "AutoShow" has created a spectacular stage for the auto industry to showcase its finest—and for the car-buying public to experience a stunning presentation of what's new and what's next, in its 859,000 square feet setting at the Toronto Convention Centre and the Rogers Centre.
The emphasis this year is conspicuous on ‘greener’ vehicles. This is common sense, since the public is becoming more and more aware of the aspects that influence our environment – reducing emissions, greenhouse effect, pollution etc.
The car-buying public is looking to carmakers to tackle these issues as well. Some of the carmakers are treating these issues seriously, probably not so much for philanthropic reasons – but looking ahead and the bottom line. The prices for even the most innovative new designs must stay within an affordable price range for the consumer, and one can notice more and more green engineering, such as electrics, hybrids, fuel cells, diesels and other innovative ideas, that are in various design stages of completion.
Since 1974, the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) has been striving to redefine the typical automotive show. Each year, the show’s content has expanded and improved, with prize packages and promotions continuing to raise the level of excitement. In its opening year at the International Centre attendance was 85,000. This year the organizers expect a crowd of more than 300,000.
Since then, every year, the show brings exclusive premieres, celebrities, designers and over 1,000 cars, trucks, motorcycles and other rolling stock by about 150 vendors, to the city of Toronto.
It has become a family affair. Some of the most enthusiastic visitors are the youngsters that dad brought along as well as or the wife – who is also permitted to push the baby carriage – and who has to share in any purchasing decisions of such a high calibre. This is where the love of those gleaming beauties is first instilled and nurtured. Actually they are all gleaming and spotless because the attending staff is continuously wiping off fingerprints and performs other little cleanups.
There is a lot of good news in the Volkswagen camp as well. The Rabbit is back with features that read like a fairy tale - they even maintain a petting zoo for children to promote the "Rabbit Idea"; the beetle is now also available as a ragtop; the City Golf and City Jetta are built with the metropolis in mind. They are nimble enough to turn on a dime and frugal enough to pick it up when they are through – cost- and fuel-efficient with 2.0 lt. 4-cylinder engines that will get you where you are going with change to spare.
According to some of the salespeople I talked to, the Jetta is the best-selling car in their line-up.
Of course there is always the GTI MkV to make friends with – with either the 6-speed manual or the Tiptronic automatic with sport mode. The Touareg got a little brother; the ‘Tiguan’ and the Passat is available as a very versatile wagon with a power remote open rear cargo door. Another one in this wonderful line-up is the EOS – I just had to spell this in capitals – ‘Eos’ is the goddess of dawn, and putting the top down will elevate your mood and open the ‘heart charka’ to the universe. It is the world’s first hardtop convertible with a sunroof. What a concept!
Audi was also showing an impressive arrangement of their great lines and fine interiors, some with heated front seats and some with heated rear seats as well (Standard in Canada). Some models come with ‘Advanced Parking Systems’- and rear-view cameras! There is so much variety that the interested reader would really go to the dealer and personally inspect the various models and extraordinary features. But then this is ‘part of the fun’ when buying a new car!
I especially liked the sleek Audi R8 – the beneficiary of both hindsight and foresight –the very essence of Audi. From performance, design and technology perspectives an exquisite challenge to old hierarchies – just what you’d expect from Audi – but it is not available until Fall 2007. One visitor who overheard what the salesman told me said "Not to worry, I’ll wait!" Contact the people at Queensway Volkswagen-Audi (see ad in this issue) or visit their website atwww.queenswayaudi.com to learn more.
Mercedes Benz made an impressive presentation and the North American premiere with the new SLR McLaren 722 Edition that has all the attributes of a thoroughbred-racing vehicle. This frisky little beauty has 650 horses under the hood – 605 lb-ft of torque – a tailor-made suspension configuration, and a very sporty interior.
The BMW 3 and BMWX5 Series Cabriolets – are the perfect connection between road and sky – and expanding on a great idea. This is where stylish elegance meets thrilling dynamics. Beautiful to behold – both open and closed – the new BMW3 Serious Cabriolet boasts an unmistakeable silhouette from every angle. The highlight of this design is the new lightweight steel hard top – it’s 3 pieces open fully in 22 seconds, while you are waiting at an intersection for the light to change! The driving dynamics of these breathtaking cars and the 300 hp Turbo is further enhanced through optimized torsional rigidity, which sets the benchmark as the stiffest open-air BMW ever.
The M Roadster is concentrated fun and the M6 Cabriolet with its awe-inspiring acceleration of about 4.8 seconds to reach 100 km/h. No soft-top BMW is faster from standstill. Advanced engineering and sheer athletic agility turn every kilometre into pure exhilaration.
The many BMW motorcycles that are available are legend. The BMW Sport & Urban motorcycle are fun machines on a workday or on a weekend and all are backed by a 3-year unlimited mileage warranty with roadside assistance and some with top-speeds over 200 km/h. Very impressive still - as they have been for many years in the past – and always better and better. Every BMW motorcycle is available with antilock brakes or has them as standard equipment.
So much for the "German" cars that caught my attention.
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