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The Canadian International Auto Show seemed a bit sparse this year. Not that the show was unenjoyable and didn't offer a few interesting things to see, but with all the major introductions already done in Detroit there wasn't much I had not already seen.
But one of the nice features of the Canadian show vs. Detroit are the smaller shows they include alongside the larger one. This year's featured marque for classics was Chrysler, which for the most part was uninteresting to me (seen one Hemi 'Cuda, seen 'em all). The intricate convertible mechanism of the Chrysler Skyline was worth a few closer looks. Must have been a real pain to restore. Lots of good stuff in the Hall Of Exotics; McLarens, Ferraris, and I'm really torn on whether metallic orange is the perfect colour for an Aventador or those cars should always be flat black.
One of the local "tuning shops", Pfaff was showing a twin turbo R8. While the kit was made by someone else (Hinson I believe) they had installed it for the customer. Now I'm not saying the setup wasn't awesome, but immediately I wondered why GT35Rs were used at the low boost level they run; 6 PSI. At the airflow I'd assume that engine creates, that pressure is way out of the efficiency of the compressor. Surly there would been a better compressor choice which would have offered better response at these lower pressures. When asked, the Pfaff representative didn't know.
I was on a bit of a "weird choices by OEMs" tear, noticing things which beg the question "Why?!". A lot of new Fords have their A/C service ports sticking straight up in the engine bay on a vertical piece of tubing, just begging to be hit by a wrench. BMW designed a hood latch for the purpose of stabbing its customers on the top of the head. Hyundia decided to make a coil out of excess clutch hydraulic tubing and mount the ECU in the hostile environment of the engine bay.
The smaller crowds allowed me to get a closer look at the BMW i3 and i8 EVs. They are compelling vehicles and the $145,000 expect price of the i8 could give Tesla a bit of a run. Additionally after seeing several Ford Focus EVs around town I was able to poke at one in detail and aside from the fact it's a Focus, it seems to be a decent vehicle. One does get tired of hearing all the same comments made by yokels when hanging around the EVs: "Where do you plug it in?" (uh, anywhere?), "Fine until the battery dies and then it's $10K" (ever heard of rebuilt parts? and warranties?), "I can't drive from Quebec to Windsor with it" (seriously, how many times do you do that?).
What has become traditional after the show, got a little lost in Toronto's PATH network on the way to the Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant for dinner.
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