2011 marked the thirty-seventh anniversary of the Canadian International Autoshow. This year's theme was represented by:

  • Discover new technological innovations, including the latest electric hybrids, pure electric solutions and hydrogen-powered vehicles.
  • Connect personally with an idea, a dream or your next vehicle. See, feel and interact with the most advanced automotive creations in the world and the people who represent them.
  • Experience the AJAC award-winners, Cruise Nationals Grand Champions and additional exhibits.

Some of the unique features of the show included:

  • A 30,000 square foot area was dedicated to General Motors' icons, the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.
  • AJAC Award Winners the winning vehicles selected by Canada's most respected automotive journalists.
  • Vehicles from the Cruise Nationals are on display. Online voting for the Grand Champion began in December, and the winner was announced on February 17, the day before the show opened.
  • The Ministry of Natural Resources hosted the annual ecoENERGY for vehicles awards.
  • Monday, February 21, was set aside for Family Day.
  • Concorso Exotica was a space dedicated to the finest collection of luxury automotive brands.

    Over 1,000 new cars and trucks were displayed over 600,000 square feet.


  • One of the highlights of the 2011 Canadian International Autoshow was the Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept. The Tourer highlights the company's entry into the gas-electric hybrid market. The new technology uses Subaru's existing boxer motor. The powertrain is likely to be introduced in 2012. Another unique feature of the Hybrid Tourer is the gull-wing doors.
    Appearing in the Ford exhibit was this Ford Focus ST-R prepared for the Grand American Continental Sports Car Challenge. The Focus competes in the Street Tuner category for smaller displacement cars. This vehicle is powered by a 2.0 liter EcoBoost inline four-cylinder motor. Additional design features result from collaboration between Ford and successful Ford racers worldwide.
    Since 1967, Chevrolet's Camaro has paced the Indianapolis 500 seven times. This is the 1969 version of the 53rd running of the race. The car is finished in Dover White, painted and accented with Hugger Orange graphics. Chevrolet supplied 133 vehicles, 130 of which were used for festival activities. The two official pace cars had 396 cubic inch engines and the Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 automatic transmissions.
    Appearing in the Nissan compound was the latest 370Z model. Besides adding an optional rearview camera and the new Gun Metallic paint, the Nissan remains unchanged. Power comes from a 3.7 liter DOHC V6 engine, which produces 332 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 270 ft-lb of torque at 5,200 rpm. Output is transferred through a six-speed manual transmission or seven-speed automatic.
    Plenty of classics were on hand as part of the Cruise Nationals exhibit. This is a 1956 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan. The first generation Fairlanes were built in 1955 and 1956 to replace the Crestline. Several body style options were available two-door, four-door, hardtop, sedan and station wagon. The significant changes made for 1956 were engine options. The 292 cubic inch V8 or the 312 cubic inch V8 that produced 225 horsepower.
    An extensive collection of Ferraris was on display at the 2011 Canadian International Autoshow, including the new 458 Italia. This car replaces the F430 and is faster, more comfortable and easier to drive. This mid-engine vehicle has a 4.5 liter DOHC V8, which has an output of 562 horsepower at 9,000 rpm. The only transmission available with 458 is a seven-speed twin-clutch paddle-shift unit. This Ferrari model can be had for $230,275.
    The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is available in the base model or GTO. Both rear-wheel drive cars have a 6.0 liter DOHC V12 engine and six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The base model is tuned for 611 horsepower at 7,600 rpm, whereas the GTO motor produces 661 horsepower at 8,250 rpm. The GTO posted the fastest lap of any road-going Ferrari at the Fiorano test track. All examples of this model have been sold.
    In the area set aside for the Cruise Nationals was this 1969 Shelby GT500. Carroll Shelby's involvement was minimal, unlike previous performance versions of the Mustang. There is also a GT350 version, which uses a 351 cubic inch Windsor V8. The GT500 was equipped with a 428 cubic inch FE V8 engine. The car was available with a three-speed automatic or four-speed manual transmission. Interestingly, unsold 1969 models were given a 1970 VIN.
    There was a full line of the new Fiat 500 Pop, Sport and Lounge. The modern interpretation of the original Fiat built between 1957 and 1975, has been a hit in Europe. It will be interesting to see if sales in North America follow a similar trend as the Fiat has to compete with the Mini. The car produces 101 horsepower from a 1.4 liter DOHC four-cylinder engine. Depending on the version selected, the price can range from $15,995 to $20,500.
    This Rolls-Royce Ghost was one of the many high-end cars in the Grand Touring booth. Many of the mechanical components in the Ghost are the same as found in the parent company's BMW 7 Series. The 2,470 kg Rolls-Royce has a 6.6 liter DOHC V12 motor, producing 563 horsepower and 575 ft-lb of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission transfers the power to the rear wheels. The Ghost retails for $246,500 US.
    The Lamborghini Gallardo has been in production since 2003. The Gallardo on display is the Spyder. Also available are a Coupe and Superleggera. The car shares many mechanical components obtained from the parent company, Volkswagen. For example, the Gallardo and Audi R8 have a 5.2 liter DOHC V10. The base model has a horsepower rating of 560 at 8,000 rpm, while the Superleggera has an output of 570 horsepower at 8,000 rpm.
    The second generation of the Jaguar XK has been in production since 2006 and there is also a XKR version. One of the unique features of this model is the aluminum body. The base model uses a 385 horsepower V8 engine; however, the XKR has a 5.0 liter DOHC Supercharged V8, which produces 510 horsepower. Both models use a six-speed automatic transmission. The XK retails for $96,500, and for $116,000, you can get an XKR.
    The Chevrolet Cruze has been around in one form or another since 2008. The car was sold in South America and Australasia. However, its first appearance in Canada is this year. It has been awarded the 2011 Best New Car Small Car over $21,000 by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. General Motors had many examples of the Cruze on the property, including this one built for the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
    Once again, the organizers of this year's Honda Indy Toronto had a booth to raise awareness of the event, which takes place on the weekend of July 8-10. Round ten of seventeen for the IZOD IndyCar Series is conducted on the 1.755-mile eleven-turn temporary street circuit at Toronto's Exhibition Place. On display was a Honda-powered Dallara IR5.
    As always, plenty of concept cars are on hand at the Canadian International Autoshow. In the Nissan compound was the company's Ellure Concept. The Ellure is considered a future replacement for the Maxima or Altima. Under the hood of this hybrid is a supercharged 2.5 liter inline four-cylinder and a 25-kilowatt electric motor. The front-wheel drive Ellure uses Nissan's Xtronic CVT transmission.
    The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was back again and attracted a lot of attention. The 6.2-liter V8 engine produces 563 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. These figures allow the 1,620 kg SLS AMG to go from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. These numbers should be enough to capture the imagination of showgoers; however, the gull-wing doors, initially used by Mercedes on the 1954 300SL, draw a crowd.
    This is the Hyundai Blue-Will concept car. Although this was the first time the vehicle was seen in Canada, it debuted at the 2009 Seoul Motor Show. Perhaps the most striking design feature of the Blue-Will is the suicide doors. The car is a hybrid with a 1.6 liter Gamma engine that produces 152 horsepower and a (134 horsepower) 100 KW electric motor. This technology will used in Hyundai's Elantra and Sonata models.
    The Bentley Continental is available in three different offerings the Flying Spur, which is the base model, Speed, and Supersports. The engine used in these vehicles comes from the parent company, Volkswagen, and uses a turbocharged 6.0 liter DOHC V12. Horsepower ranges from 602 for the Flying Spur to 621 for the Supersports. The base model is available for $199,300 to $293,700 US for the Supersports. Bentley claims to have the quickest four-door in production.
    The space dedicated to the F Bodies from General Motors included many notable Chevrolet Camaros and Pontiac Firebirds. Production of the Firebird and Camaro ceased in 2002. However, demand led to the introduction of an all-new Chevrolet Camaro in 2006. With the death of the Pontiac brand, the Firebird would not be revitalized. Not to worry, Kevin Morgan designed a kit to transform the Camaro into a modern-day Pontiac Trans Am.


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