I love automobiles. The skill and art of “driving” are passions of mine, and I am sure that in another life I would have been involved in competitive car racing. My Achilles heel is that I am over six feet tall and as such, fitting into most racing cars becomes a problem for me.
Toronto is blessed with having an annual International AutoShow. Despite my love of automobiles, I do not attend this show every year, and I only attend the show in the year for which I am in the market for a new vehicle. 2014 is such a year.
Over the past many years, we have found that leasing a vehicle as opposed to an outright purchase is a far better option based on our circumstances. Any financial manager will tell you to never purchase something that depreciates to the degree that a new vehicle will. I look after our cars, put on low mileage, and like having a new car every three years without having to do any major repairs or maintenance. Therefore, leasing works for us.
Our current lease for a 2011 Subaru Impreza comes due this summer. And we are now in the market for a new vehicle. I cannot begin to say how much I have loved the Subaru. It is absolutely unstoppable in the snow and is such a joy to drive, especially with its 5-speed stick shift.
And this year brings me to the AutoShow. I find attending the AutoShow to be a love/hate relationship. Before I retired, I was forced to attend the show on weekends. This would be the time that the show was jam-packed, and you had to deal with families with kids and strollers in tow. I do not understand how the car show fits into being a family outing. The children get bored, then they get cranky, then the parents get cranky and it ends up being not a fun day for them or anyone around them who gets a stroller jammed into your ankles.
The AutoShow is not meant to be a playground for children. Young kids sitting behind the wheel of expensive cars pushing and prying all of the buttons is not what this show is designed for. Yet many families use the car show as a substitute for the Toronto Zoo or the Ontario Science Centre. I certainly pity the poor car dealers and their staff who have to work this show and deal with all the “tire kickers” and their children.
You are certainly entitled to disagree with my comments, but I am a consumer ready to spend money and do not to want to wait my turn for some kid to get out from behind the wheel to see if I can even fit in the vehicle. My two easy tests for any vehicle are headroom and legroom. If these are a no-go, then I move on. But if I have to wait for your kids to finish playing in the car, I might just have to say something!
I visited the show on the day after Family Day which I can only imagine was hellish for all the poor people who had to work the show that day.
What follows are my photographs of automobiles, shapes, designs and thoughts on this year’s show. In no particular order, here are some of the images that struck me. Click on any photo to see a larger version.
And my pick for the show—the Subaru Crosstrek. This will be our next vehicle.
McLaren MP4-12C, $245,000
McLaren carbon fibre mirror
Nissan GT-R Premium, $89,900
Subaru WRX STI
Subaru WRX STI in World Rally Championship Blue
Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid
Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid
Subaru BRZ D-45 Engine. Notice the cross-bracing on the suspension towers.
An impressive booth for Subaru.
Travelling from the North Building to the South Building at the Metro Convention Centre brought me to Muscle Car Alley.
1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Convertible, 383 cu.in. Magnum V8
1939 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe V12
1956 Ford Thunderbird
The 800 level of the South Building brought me to a massive floor with cars from a huge number of auto manufacturers.
BMW M6, $155,000
BMW M4, $100,145
Jaguar had some truly pheonomenal looking vehicles.
Audi RS7 Quattro
Audi R8 Spyder—a spectacular vehicle!
This is something from Ford that every Toronto Maple Leafs fan would buy.
Hidden way down on the 100 level of the North Building was the Auto Exotica exhibit. This is where the truly expensive stuff was to be found.
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, 740 HP.
Ferrari FF. Four seats, four wheel drive.
All of the Maserati cars were simply breathtaking.
Maserati Ghibli S Q4, $87,200.
Modena: “the capital of engines”, since the factories of the famous Italian sports car makers Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Pagani and Maserati and of course balsamic vinegar!
Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, $358,164.
Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster, $584,684—too glitzy and left me feeling just “meh.”