The full details from the Canadian motor show, plus pics of all the important show cars
15 February 2013

Hot on the heels of last month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Canadian International AutoShow celebrated its 40th anniversary this past weekend. 

With well over one thousand vehicles occupying 600,000 square feet on three levels of Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre, the show is the nation's largest. 

Since the 1965 Canada-United States Automotive Products Agreement (colloquially known as the Auto Pact) brought the Big Three (Ford, GM and Chrysler) manufacturing plants to Canada in exchange for tariff reductions, the automotive industry has been of vital importance to the province of Ontario. 

Today, the province produces more vehicles than any other jurisdiction in North America, with Honda/Acura, Toyota/Lexus, Suzuki and Volkswagen joining the American giants. All are situated within an approximate 300 kilometre radius of Toronto.

As has become an annual tradition, the show kicked off with the awarding of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada’s (AJAC) Car of the Year, the 2013 Honda Accord, which edged out the Porsche Boxster and Hyundai Elantra GT for the title. 

Not to be confused with its European counterpart, offered in Canada as the Acura TSX, the larger Ohio-built Accord was recently revised and re-introduced last September.

It also offers new direct-injection four cylinder and V6 engines, improved levels of refinement, better handling (although not without some initial uproar over the axing of the venerated front double wishbones), weight reduction and enhanced electronic connectivity.

The good news at the Honda pavilion did not end there. Honda displayed two concept vehicles carried over from their initial NAIAS showings, the closer-to-production NSX and the Urban SUV Concept. 

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Unlike the display buck from last year’s show circuit, this NSX features functioning doors revealing a sporting, purpose-designed cabin. Clad in contrasting leather, Alcantara and loads of carbonfibre, the upmarket interior is more reminiscent of Maserati or Lamborghini.  

A Honda spokesperson confirmed that the curious, narrow fish-eyed LED headlight array, first appearing on last year's NSX and RLX Concepts but not implemented in a road car until the 2013 Accord, will also see production. 

Functional as projection beams, not merely as daytime runners, their efficacy lies in their arrangement and lens refraction, and that their light-weight, compact packaging and exceptionally low electrical draw make them extremely versatile for applications only limited by imagination, not least of which hybrid systems. 

The Urban SUV Concept, clearly at the other end of the pricing spectrum, also features LED lighting, and is built on the Jazz platform. Offering all wheel drive and possible hybrid variants, the eponymous Urban SUV Concept is aimed at younger city dwellers, as opposed to serious off-roaders. 

Honda’s renewed focus on youth buyers and sport enthusiasts, who had been instrumental in building the company’s brand decades ago, gives one a greater sense of hope that the company is making a serious bid to resurrect its glory years.

Elsewhere at the CIAS were other Detroit Show carryovers, including the 2013 Corvette Stingray and the Canadian premieres of the Jaguar XFR-S and 2013 Dodge Viper SRT. 

Coming off Red Bull's third straight World Championship Title, Sebastian Vettel’s RB8 was proudly front and centre as a feature of Nissan’s Infiniti pavilion.

The 2013 CIAS runs from 15 through 24 February.

Anthony Francis

Join the debate


15 February 2013

Apart from the NSX concept - great looking on the outside, stunning on the inside! This seems to be a very dull car show. 


16 February 2013

A very dull show in a very dull country, shown to very dull audience, I'm afraid.

What car did Canadians invent, the Bricklin. No interesting cars since the Galt electric at the time of WW1.

The Ariel name is ownwed by Simon Sauders or his company.

17 February 2013

Judging from these comments it would appear that neither Cyborg or Tatra man have ever visited Canada or the Canadian International Autoshow because if you had, I'm sure you would have had more interesting, less lame comments to post.

No interestings cars, I guess you find a 750hp 3-seater sportscar dull, wow,

17 February 2013

I grew up in Canada and visit my family there quite often.I even worked in television there.However my comments still stands.

Most Canadians are less than discerning driving around in their ginger ale coloured Jap & Korean econoboxes.

The Ariel name is ownwed by Simon Sauders or his company.

17 February 2013

Tatra man, I take your claims at face value. If you had indeed spent any time in Canada you would have had ample oppotunity to witness firsthand Canadian's passion and enthusiasm for both cars and motorsports.

You have clearly not visited the Canadian International Autoshow either and if you had spent any time in any major Canadian city, you would not have had to have gone far to have seen a wide ranging selection of interesting cars ranging from hot hatches, classics to contemporary, expensive exotics, a fact you either chose to ignore for whatever reason or have simply not experienced.

Your comments do indeed "still stand" albeit biased, ignorant and ill-informed...

17 February 2013

Canada invented the Lumberjack and Seal meat. They also pulled out of the latest Kyoto Protocol, on account of vast Mineral reserves. ( And they like a joint.). Car wise they gave us the Villneuves and the Canadian GP. As well as the X-Files. Numerous Beers eg Labatts, Millers etc. But Celine Dion takes the biscuit.


18 February 2013

Thank you Autocar for your interesting coverage of the Canadian International Autoshow, having read this piece, it has now whetted my appetite for my annual visit to the show tomorrow.

I have long enjoyed the excellent automotive coverage of your publication and wish the dedicated staff a continued, long and successfull future. Having enjoyed intelligent debate on many of your previous articles it was dissapointing to find that this particular article's reader posting's was unfortunately hijacked by individuals that were not interested in posting anything of any substance or intelligence.

So with that said, and not wanting to further waste time or energy trying to respond to future, inane comments, I will find other automotive websites to visit for my automotive news fix and to engage in meaningful dialogue.

kcrally, many thanks for your comments, naturally, none of which had anything relevant to do with the article posted (in typical troll fashion). Interesting albeit with many steriotypical observations.

Sorry about the whole Celine Dion thing by the way, however, had you ventured beyond your childhood bedroom since 1995 you would have discovered that Canada has since unleashed upon the world of entertainment the combined musical talents of Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepson, look them up, I'm sure you will like them (god knows someone has too!).

You did however forget to mention one interesting piece of news. With the Bank of England  scouring the world to find a new Govenor to try and fix the sinking ship, how ironic that they should turn to Canada and our global leading economic model and hire a "Canadian." Don't worry though KC, Mark Carney will soon get your ailing economy back on it's legs. Bye and good luck...


17 February 2013

Interesting how we all forget a little company from Canada which builds components for every car we drive.  

Thanks to the 100's of thousands employees by them we have our cars!

17 February 2013

Canada's a beautiful country.....the people are lovely........but its no place to have a automobile show.

18 February 2013

Your article on the Toronto Auto Show brought back fond memories of this show as I was a Sales representative of BL, as then, at the 1974 show and many more since. The Canadians are very enthusiastic and knowledgable petrol heads. The shows were well attended by both public and manufacturers. May it long continue.




Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week