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The primary reason for attending the Canadian International Auto Show this year was to see the Tesla X in person. Tesla had skipped the Detroit show due to not being allowed to sell their vehicles in Michigan without a dealer network. Tesla had the busiest display in the exotics area but nevertheless it was easy to get a good look at the X and speak to several of the Tesla reps. They also had two Model Ss, both a P90D and a P89. I'm not really an SUV person so the X really isn't the vehicle for me, but judging by the crowd reaction it is going to be very popular. As a DeLorean enthusiast I can't help but mention the doors. Yeah, the "falcon wing" doors are cool I guess, but gull wing style doors on an SUV seems odd to me. From a practical standpoint the height of the vehicle means a very high door when opened, which Tesla has obviously thought of as they articulate. I just can't help but think of it as a gimmick. One thing for sure though, it certainly makes loading the thing easier. So perhaps, they are in a round about way very suited for SUV use and eminently practical. Assuming they still function after 10 years of being exposed to Canadian winters.
Volkswagen made a concept car! Sort of reminds me of the crazy kit bodies people would put onto Bug chassis in the '70s and '80s.
The Fiat 124 Spider seems very compelling. Is the roadster market heating up? With the new MX-5 and the Alpha it would seem so. At this point it depends if any of those are going to sell or is a small market now saturated. We know the MX-5 will.
It's interesting to look at the engine bay of the Nissan Titan as compared to the Dodge RAM. Both have similar diesels. Nissan's engine bay however looks like they put some thought and planning into design. A/C lines are at right angles, out of the way, intercooler piping made of aluminum, quality silicone multi-layer couplers with spring compensated T-bolt clamps, accessory reservoirs off to the side. Then look at Dodge's diesel: A/C lines sticking out everywhere, coolant recovery tank smack in the middle, intercooler piping made of braided flex hose held on by heat shrink tubing. But hey, they thought to include a fancy plastic cover touting their "EcoDiesel" as opposed to Nissan who's manifold simply proclaims "Cummins".
The Toronto show is far more spread out, spanning several buildings (connected via skywalks and tunnels), than the Detroit show. This often has the effect of allowing a much closer look without having to fight one's way through a wall of people. To this, I was hoping that the Chevy Bolt (that's "Volt" with a "B") would be accessible. It was not, instead spinning on a platform off in a corner. The sales rep couldn't even answer basic questions like estimated range for both pricing and driving.
The Toronto show also offers a number of side-shows between buildings. This year Kreater (K?)Customs was featured. A local shop, that I must admit I had no idea even existed, which deals primary with bikes and traditional hot rods. Not so much a fan of the old style hot rods (or even the new style hot rods...the world has enough '34 Fords) but this being the first time I've seen their work, was impressed by their bikes. Also there's something very awesome about a '69 Lincoln Continental laying frame. Eurocharged Canada was there, apparently the place to go if you want a $35K turbo kit for your 2014 Gallardo (installation extra I assume) based around suspiciously small T3 frame .63 turbine (no other specs given) turbos, or a $3,000 24HP gain on your Ferrari 599.
Got some good pictures of the Ford GT concept, which as far as I know, wasn't shown in Detroit. If it was, I must have missed it.
The "Art Of The Automobile" was presented, showcasing automotive works of art juxtaposed by the actual art they inspired. Whether it be advertising, prose or painting. Really for me the highlight was lining up to take a picture of the 1930 Duesenberg only to overhear a somewhat...less refined...gentleman behind me exclaim upon seeing the display "I didn't come here to read!". Only to have him attempt the phonetic pronunciation of "Duesenberg", finally settling upon "Duzz-in-burg".
I may be starting to sound cynical but one last amusing moment must be shared. I was listening into the conversion of what must have been a father and son looking at a Toyota 2JZ. They were intently discussing whether it was a V6 or not, who made it (they settled on Toyota when one read the valve cover), and whether the wastegate was the 2nd turbo.
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