Warning: Picture heavy post. But if you like cars, it's worth it.
This past weekend felt like a bit of a whirlwind despite being a long weekend. On Saturday I went to the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto with my family. I always look forward to it, mainly so I can drool over the supercars and see whatever exhibition they have going on. This year was my favorite so far. The rooms all had a much nicer layout and each company seems to have stepped up their booth design.
Then, there were the cars. Here are a few of my favorites.
When I arrived, I basically made a beeline to the Fiat section, hoping to see the new Fiat 500 Abarth. I wasn't disappointed. I want one. The car was mobbed with people, it was hard to even get a picture. I hope that means it will sell well.
Next up is the new Nissan GT-R.
This car confuzzles me a bit. Sometimes I love how it looks, sometimes it seems a little vanilla for all of its power. The facts are that it now has 15 more hp and made it around the Nürburgring 10 seconds faster than last year. So the engineers are obviously doing something right.
I did a quick lap around the rest of the south building's main room before heading down to the Auto Exotica room where I found lots and lots of true love.
As I walked into the room a McLaren MP4-12C greeted me. It's name comes from McLaren Project 4 (MP4), 12 for its rating on McLaren's own performance index, and C for the use of carbon fiber. It's McLaren's first non-F1 offering.
Next up were the Aston Martins. First, a nice Vantage S.
Followed by a lovely Virage.
I remember seeing a DBS last year and deciding that despite the lure and flash of Ferarri and Lamborghini, if I had to pick just one supercar to drive daily, it would be a DBS. They have an elegance about them that I think would make me feel like less of an ass as I pulled into a grocery store parking lot. That is, of course, if I couldn't have a Leno-style barn full of cars that I could drive based on my mood, the weather, time of day, etc.
And just as I was thinking about this, I looked to my right and saw this:
And my reaction, if I remember correctly, was something like "Whaooohgggg, oh my God, what is that?!? I want one!"
That is the One-77. Only 77 were produced. Price tag is well over $2 million Canadian. 7.3 L V12 and 750 bhp. Top speed around 200 mph.
Frankly, I think it's just gorgeous. It's a perfect blend of beautiful, elegant lines and powerful, lean aggression. Be still my heart.
You think one of those lucky people who own one will take me for a spin one day? No? Yeah, probably not. A girl can dream, though.
After tearing myself away from the One-77, I was surprised to walk down the line and see a Bugatti Veyron. It was then that I realized the Canadian Auto Show must be moving up in the world because they have some amazing cars this year.
All I could really think was "Come to mama." At this point I just slipped into some dream world. It's stunning, no?
I didn't think anything could possibly top these two cars, so I just wandered off in a cloud 9 haze to see what other beautiful machines surrounded me.
A pair of Ferarri 458 Italias (one Spider).
The new FF. Which I think looks kind of like a boot.
The Fisker Karma
Then, my dad noticed a green 1966 Shelby Cobra with Blue Dot tires.
My dad very nearly bought this car way back when. Maybe not this exact car, but it was the same year, color, tires, and interior. So, who knows? Maybe this exact car. The price is now $1.2 million.
He earned major cool points in my book for at least considering buying this. But he lost all of them and then some for turning it down.
As we walked off, still talking about what a strange coincidence the Cobra was, we ran into a huge block of people. Everyone hovered around this one spot, taking pictures, and buzzing about something. From somewhere in the crowd I heard the word: Pagani.
Then, I saw it. And my heart started beating a little faster and Pagani brain kicked in. I think I started speaking Italian. Ciao, bello.
The Zonda R holds the Nürburgring lap record and this one is the only one in North America. Pictures just do not do it justice. It's breathtaking in person--worth the price of admission to the show.
I don't really know what I can say about this car. It stole my brain and my words. What a crazy beast of a car. So I'll just leave you with this video Jeremy Clarkson giving it a go, because it's fun and it's loud.
That's it for today. Tomorrow, I'll post a few more pictures.
Today, I thought I'd show off just some of the beautiful performance machines there.
Oddly, right next to the new electric Nissan Leaf was the Nissan GT-R.
I also got to see the new Lexus LFA. Pricing starts at $375,000, but only 500 will be made. Only 10 of those 500 will end up in Canadian hands. Paris Hilton just got one for her 30th birthday. That's just so incredibly bizarre to me.
What surprised me about this car was how many people I heard commenting on how "plain" or "boring" it looked despite the engineering that went into it. I agree.
Honda had an F1 car on display. I've never seen one so close and the cockpit was tinier than I imagined it.
The Toronto Star had small exhibition of 5 cars in the running for the Most Beautiful Car Sold in Canada. You can vote for your choice on computers there and possibly win $25,000 towards a new car of your own. In the running are:
The Aston Martin DB9
The Audi R8
The Mercedes McLaren SLR
The Ferrari F430
And, finally, the Lamborghini Gallardo
Before Sunday, I didn't really understand the lure of Lamborghini. They always seemed overly flashy, angular, and aggressive to me, like they were screaming. But soon as I saw the Gallardo, something clicked in my brain and I couldn't stop looking at it. Meanwhile, the guy next to me dismissed it quickly as being "too orange." Everyone's a critic!
I'm still not sure what I would pick as most beautiful. It's a toss-up between the Gallardo, F430, and the McLaren SLR, which makes me think of a shark. Everyone I was with, however, unanimously agreed that if we could only have one and had to use it for a daily driver, we'd choose the DB9.
The Star's exhibit was a nice appetizer to the Concorso Exotica in the lower level of the North Hall. I'd recommend going to the show early and then heading straight down to the concorso, because by the time we got there, it was packed.
As soon as you walk in a Masarati GranCabrio greets you.
At Ferrari, I fell in love with the Daytona and wanted to find a way to bring it home with me.
The F458 Italia can come, too.
Over in Lamborghini land, this Countach seemed to catch everyone's eye. I tried to imagine how awesome it would have been to see one of those roaring down the road in '76.
They also had a Concept S on a huge Callaway platform to help highlight the partnership between Lamborghini and Callaway.
I'm sure the guy who thought the Gallardo was too orange didn't like this Gallardo LP570-4 Spyder Performante or Murciélago, either. More for me and you, right?
Pfaff/Porsche had an interesting GT3 Cup and GT2RS with lots of naked carbon fiber.
My very own mother fell in love with this here Lotus Elise. I'm thinking a family vacation to the Nürburgring is in order.
A real treat was getting to see the new Canadian HTT Pléthore, conceived and produced in Quebec. For those of you who haven't heard of it, it's Canada's new supercar. The company recently made a deal on Dragons' Den for $1.5 million for 20% of the company.
HTT's CEO, Sébastien Forest, was there answering questions. It has a supercharged V8, 750 hp, and 655 ft-lb of torque. He said the Dragons haven't ordered any yet and the first 15 sold will be $495,000. After that, the price skyrockets to $795,000.
The raised center driving position makes it really unique. It's meant to provide an F1-style driving experience and perspective. It also means that your two best buddies can sit on either side of you.
I overheard a woman talking to her husband about the Pléthore. She said it looked like a muscle car for supercar enthusiasts. I can kind of see that. It does look mean, lean, and muscular.
What do you think?
I have a few more photos from the Firebird/Camaro evolution exhibit and some of the Cruise Nationals room, which is just across the hall from the Concorso Exotica, but my internet connection isn't cooperating and I think I might be inundating you a bit. I'll just leave you with a few of my favorites and say that both sections are definitely worth a visit.
So, there you have it. A couple of quick posts and lots of pictures from the Toronto Auto Show. This is really just a fraction of everything you can see there, especially if you're in the market for a new car.