TORONTO — The 40th annual Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) has kicked off and, as per usual, there are countless examples of automotive excellence on display. This year’s show, which runs from February 15-24 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) in the downtown core, obviously includes everything from the latest exotics to alternative-fuel vehicles and from concepts to run-of-the-mill commuter cars.

In other words, there’s something for everyone — but some of the most interesting vehicles on display this year are those that cross over, pun intended, and dip their mechanical toes in more than one category. An alt-fuel exotic? Sure, why not. An everyday sedan with exotic car looks? Absolutely. An Italian supercar that’s also an unbelievable value? You get the picture.

Here’s a quick look at 10 of the more interesting cars at this year’s show in alphabetical order.

2013 Ford Escape by HPP

The new Ford Escape [pictured above] is a very appealing compact crossover with handsome good looks. This vehicle, a modified version modified by Heide Performance Products (HPP), brings a real nasty edge to the proceedings with a sick olive paint scheme, a muscular body kit, a lowered suspension and racy wheels. A crossover for the supercharged soccer mom.

CIAS_Infiniti.jpg2014 Infiniti Q50

Infiniti wants to rule the world: The upscale division of Nissan has become a title sponsor of the Red Bull Formula One team, entered a plethora of new markets and renamed their entre line-up. The first car to use the new nomenclature, the Q50, replaces the old G37 and brings pure aggression and cutting-edge technology to the table.


CIAS_Maserati.jpg2013 Maserati GranCabrio MC

This unbelievably gorgeous convertible, which is powered by a 450-horsepower Ferrari engine, also happens to be waaayyy less expensive than a Ferrari. This version of the GranCabrio is the fastest of the Maserati convertible line-up and it features a suspension system derived from racing and an aerodynamic body kit designed to maximize cornering capabilities on the track.


CIAS_Mazda.JPG2014 Mazda6

There’s always some danger in designing a high-volume family sedan: Err on the safe side and you risk being called boring; go the other direction and you risk losing sales. Somehow, the al-new Mazda6 manages to straddle that line with its unique, crowd-leasing exterior shape. Also, with a brand new diesel engine headed our way, the 6 just might be the lucky number for Mazda in 2013.


CIAS_Mini.JPG2014 MINI Paceman

The business case behind the new MINI Paceman was pretty much unassailable: People loved the MINI branding, but were less impressed with such mundane considerations as its (lack of) passenger space and cargo capacity. Ergo, the Paceman, a larger, two-door hatchback that hopes to marry cool factor with greater everyday versatility.


CIAS_Nissan.JPGNissan Resonance Concept

This concept is a real show-stopped and futuristic features such as its “floating” glass-panel roof and holographic centre console had tongues wagging all over the MTCC. Rumours persist that the Resonance will be a replacement for the popular Murano, so we’ll have to wait and see if the production version is anywhere near this space age.


CIAS_Scion.JPG2013 Scion FR-S Drift Car

It’s not easy to make a matte green car look good under the klieg lights of the MTCC, but this machine, a heavily modified Scion FR-S to be campaigned by Pat Cyr in this year’s Drift Mania Canadian Championship, looks the business.



CIAS_Tesla.JPG2013 Tesla Model S

With its stunning exterior design and a battery pack capable of travelling up to 400 km, the Tesla Model S may just be the car that brings genuine real-world viability to the electric vehicle set. It’s not slow, it’s not ugly and it’s not geeky—sure, there are still compromises in driving a Model S, but the potential upside is massive.


CIAS_EV.JPGToronto Electric A2B Prototype

This prototype EV comes from entrepreneur Steve Dallas and his company, Toronto Electric, which supplies electric cranes for industrial purposes. The A2B prototype took some six years to build and features a one-piece fibreglass body and a lithium-ion battery pack with an expected range of some 210 km. It’s cute, it’s cool, it’s yellow and it’s green.


CIAS_Toyota.JPG2014 Toyota RAV4

The compact crossover segment is, traditionally, not the strongest when it comes to engaging exterior design. For their part, Toyota has also not been particularly adept at creating visually appealing products. This is why the 2014 Toyota RAV4 is such a surprise: It’s not revolutionary design, but it is appropriately aggressive.

1 Comments | Add a Comment
Who chose these cars ?You put in a crossover for the supercharged soccer mom as one of the top 10 but decided to not include the 2014 Corvette Stingray ?Preposterous !
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