A cross-section of unique vehicles that just don't fit inside the standard box
The Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) in Toronto always brings a sizable number of Canadian vehicle premieres to its show floor. Droves of people pass through the gates to get a glimpse of these new models, while others come to get a no-hassle look at their own potential future vehicles. Then there are those who can't get enough of those unique vehicles that just don't fit inside the standard box. And there were plenty of them to see at the 2016 CIAS.
Here's a cross-section of some of the unique vehicles that graced the floor at this year's CIAS.
The name Nyanborghini Purracan is definitely odd, but as some of you may know, this is the customized Lamborghini Huracán owned by Canadian electronic music artist and producer Deadmau5. The Purracan is a polarizing presence that stands out from any crowd, and truly is one of the most noticeable, and possibly most popular cars at this year's show.
The Purracan is decked out in a frozen blue colour with a rainbow streak that features animated Nyan cats. This is Deadmau5's second venture into using the Nyan cat livery made by the company Sekanskin. The same theme was found in his prior Nyancat Purrari (an original Ferrari 458 Italia), to the chagrin of the Italian luxury brand.
On its own, the 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a beautiful thing. But if it comes in bright yellow and is attached to the name of celebrity chef and television host Guy Fieri, it becomes part of the Cars & Stars exhibit on the 700 Level at the 2016 CIAS. This is one of Fieri's newest purchases, and we should expect to see it, along with his other yellow American muscle cars, featured on the Food Network's hit show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
Guy Fieri has a nice collection of vehicles including a 1976 Jeep CJ-5, 2006 Chevrolet Kodiak, 2007 Corvette, 2007 Shelby Cobra and a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. This '69 Stingray is a great addition to his fleet, as it's part of the golden era of American muscle cars. Its sloping front end, striking side gills, powerful 427 cubic-inch (7.0-litre) V-8 engine and typical Corvette curves can stop anyone in their tracks.
Down on the 100 level of the North building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, we find some of the more exotic vehicles. Part of that group is a bunch of Maseratis, but one stands out in particular, the Quattroporte Limited Edition. Everything is the same as a regular Quattroporte with a 404-hp 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, except for the interior that's decked out in material from luxury designer Ermenegildo Zegna.
The Quattroporte Zegna edition is limited to only 100 cars and will be going into production in July 2016. The two companies call it a long-term partnership from two leading names of Italian style. The Platinum silk exterior colour works well with warm, classical walnut and light grey colours, as well as a combination of leather and silk fabrics.
This McLaren F1 GTR, also found in the AutoExotica display in the North building, is the same car used for the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans by the driving team of Nelson Piquet, Johnny Cecotto and Danny Sullivan. That team didn't win, but the inaugural year of this epic vehicle did win the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The McLaren F1 GTR was a racing variant of the McLaren F1 sports car, and is arguably one of the most valuable vehicles at the CIAS. These vehicles competed with the likes of the Porsche 911 GT1 and Ferrari F50 GT until 2005 when the McLaren chassis was finally retired.
The history of the Indianapolis 500 plays a big role at the 2016 CIAS, with a room next to the exotics that celebrates this year's 100th running of the "Greatest Specacle in Racing." One of the coolest vehicles in the room is this 1914 Duesenberg, created by German-born engineering brothers Fred and Augie Duesenberg. This four-cylinder, 360 cubic-inch (5.9-litre) race car competed in the prestigious race in 1914, as part of a team that eventually finished in 10th and 12th place – not a bad start for the brand that would become "America's Mightiest Motorcar."
The 1914 Duesenberg was piloted by star driver Eddie Rickenbacker, who might not have won the Indianapolis 500, but scored other race victories during the 1914 season. Rickenbacker later became America's most famous World War 1 flying ace and later still the owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Duesenbergs became better known later for their premium production cars of the 20s and 30s, but this race car provides a nice reminder of where they got started.
Yes, it's a weird name but Toronto hosted the NBA's All-Star Weekend during the auto show and, to commemorate those festivities, Kia displayed a 2016 Kia Optima SX in NBA All-Star Game livery. Kia is the official NBA sponsor and for the first time in the league's history was able to have the Kia logo on the all-star game jerseys. The Optima SX had the Toronto skyline featured throughout the body with the official logo of the game that includess the CN Tower, along with the hashtag: #KiaAllStarMVP.
For 2016, the Kia Optima is all-new and ready to take on the mid-size passenger car segment. It's longer, taller and wider from its previous iteration, which creates extra cabin and trunk space. The SX version comes standard with the brand's more powerful 2.0-litre turbo-four engine producing 247 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque and a torque peak delivered at a lower rpm range.
The Nissan Rogue Warrior Concept stands out as one of the biggest vehicles on the show floor. It's unlike anything else you will see at the show with heavy-duty snow tracks fitted in place of all four wheels. Its Warrior qualities are real as it's able to scale a 45- degree grade and drive up to 100 km/h.
The Nissan Rogue Warrior was modified by the Quebec-based Motorsports in Action (MIA) team that customizes all of the Nissan Micra Cup racing cars for the series. The company is an off-road prototype specialist that has been featured in a video helping skiers make their way up a ski hill. It pushes the limits at Nissan, but don't expect a vehicle with snow tracks be coming into production any time soon.
One of the surprises at the CIAS was the Volkswagen GTI Roadster Concept. It's not a real production car, but a concept that only becomes reality in the virtual world of the video game GranTurismo 6. It looks amazing, but unfortunately it's just a tease that's never headed for production.
The GTI Roadster Concept has its passengers sitting in race shell seats and under a dual monocoque made out of carbon fibre. It's powered by a 503-hp 3.0-litre turbo-V-6 engine that's matched to a seven-speed DCT transmission that and it's said to perform a 0-100 km/h run in just 3.6 seconds with a maximum speed of 309 km/h. The concept is set up as an all-wheel drive car that sits on top of 20-inch wheels.
We've seen the Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept before at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but it finally made its way onto Canadian soil in Toronto. This concept will eventually turn into a production vehicle that has a combination of a pickup truck and a compact SUV, providing typical truck and SUV cargo space with added versatility.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept is expected to start production at some point in 2017. It's powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine that produces 190 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. Its most impressive feature might be an expected combined fuel economy of 7.8L/100 km.
It's been a rough year for Toyota's youthful Scion brand, with the news of it being dropped and brought into the mainstream Toyota fold. The Scion Speed Academy FR-S still has a big presence at the Toronto auto show, however. This customized FR-S race car has earned its creds in Targa Newfoundland and the inaugural 2015 Ontario1500 racing event.
Under the hood of the Scion Speed Academy FR-S is a Jackson Racing supercharger kit on top of the stock FA20 engine that produces 200 horsepower. The paint scheme on this fun-to-drive rear-wheel drive coupe is a striking dark grey that works well with its lime green sponsor badging and touches found on its side mirrors.
A blue and orange Jaguar F-Type R Coupe stands out in the JLR display. It's all part of Jaguar's partnership with the Bloodhound SSC Project to break the world land speed record (LSR) with a rocket-powered streamliner. This F-Type R Coupe is a continuation of Jaguar's technical partnership and commitment to breaking that record. It was used for a test run to test the LSR car's parachutes in South Africa back in 2014.
This F-Type R Coupe is all-wheel drive and was piloted by world land speed record holder Andy Green for the parachute tests. Its 550-hp 5.0-litre supercharged V-8 engine will be used in the LSR car to power the rocket's oxidizer pump. That car has multiple braking systems and two back-up parachutes to ensure it can slow down after attempting to beat the current record of 763.035 mph with hopes of topping the 1,000 mph mark.
The Ford exhibit at the show is much like those of other manufacturers but there is one unique Ford Performance vehicle off to the side that breeds extra excitement. The 2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet is a limited edition variant (50 units only) that comes in the same mold as the original 1968 drag racing beast. It's based on the sixth-generation 2015 Mustang and designed and built for NHRA Stock and Super Stock drag racing.
Under the hood of the Cobra Jet is a 5.0-litre V-8 with a front inlet Whipple supercharger that helps it achieve an eight-second quarter-mile time. It's the only factory 2016 Mustang with a solid-axle rear suspension. These limited vehicles are available in Oxford White or Deep Impact Blue, 25 units for each, and are expected to begin delivery in the first quarter of 2016 at an MSRP for the base at $99,999 USD.
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