Canadian International AutoShow 2020 @ MTCC, Feb. 14-23

by A.J. Lam

On February 13th, as the 2020 Canadian International AutoShow opened for its Media Preview Day, Toyota Canada President and Chief Executive Officer, Larry Hutchinson walked us through the electrified transformation happening in-market and the impact it has made on reducing our collective carbon footprint.

Accompanied by Alex Wurz, a former Formula 1 diver, two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and current advisor to Toyota’s Gazoo Racing World Endurance Championship team, Mr. Hutchinson helped open the AutoShow’s Media Preview Day with a keynote address in the John Bassett Theatre.

The theme of the presentation mirrors that of the 2020 AutoShow — Transformative Times. With the Toyota RAV4 Prime and TS050 Hybrid race car (the #8 car that won the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race) on stage, Mr. Hutchinson explored the electrification of the automobile, and delve into why — in a world concerned about carbon emissions — Toyota continues to participate in motorsports.

The electrification movement was prominent in the exhibits for Toyota and Lexus at the AutoShow. Toyota displayed the RAV4 Prime, Prius Prime and hydrogen-powered Mirai, as well as a new GR Supra Track Concept. Lexus showed off six electrified Lexus vehicles, including the LF-30 Concept.
Year after year, Auto Exotica, the room packed with dreams is among the most popular exhibits at the Canadian International AutoShow. 

Auto Exotica is consistently selected by AutoShow patrons as their favourite part of the show, and there is little mystery why. The showcase is annually stocked with cars most of us can only look at longingly — among them this year were Tesla with a three-car display, Pfaff Automotive presenting a Pagani, Singer and Pininfarina Battista, Lotus/Gentry Lane with a pair of their supercars and Autostrada with a showcase of various collector cars including brands such as Ferrari and Lamborghini. The Canadian-made FELINO, having been presented previously during the Canadian Grand Prix during F1 Weekend in Montreal,  made its first appearance in Ontario. 

“Our consumer research and feedback from show patrons tells how important the luxury car market is in Toronto,” says Jason Campbell, General Manager of the AutoShow. “We have worked hard to reflect that at the AutoShow, and each year bring in some of the most stylish — and powerful — cars to be found anywhere in the world.” 

Autostrada anchored Auto Exotica this year with a stunning 13-car display, plus a unique addition not usually seen at an auto show — a tractor. The 1966 Lamborghini Trattoria R1 tractor is a reminder of the humble origins of one of the world’s most renowned supercar marques. 

But with the tractor were an incredible collection of vehicles, including a 1966 Shelby Cobra Competition, Italian sportscar 1972 Lancia Stratos, the classic-looking 2013 Morgan Aero Supersports and a 1970 Lamborghini Miura, the first supercar to feature a rear mid-engined two-seat layout, and the fastest production car in the world when it was released. 

Also featured in Auto Exotica were the Canadian debut of the Pininfarina Battista, presented by Pfaff Automotive, a trio of cars from world renowned automotive auction house Barrett-Jackson — ’68 Camaro, ’69 Shelby GT500 Convertible and ’70 Hemi ‘Cuda — and a 1969 Ford GT40, the high-performance endurance car it developed specifically to take on Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (now immortalized in the movie Ford V Ferrari), presented by Legendary Motorcar Company. Seen for the first time in Ontario, the FELINO cB7Ris one of only 10 being built. The Montreal-produced supercar — reaching speeds of 345 kilometres per hour — is the only Canadian supercar currently in production.

In total, more than 25 luxury and exotic cars were showcased in Auto Exotica, presented by Castrol and the National Post.
The collection of cars in Auto Exotica is contributing to the highest total value of cars that has ever been showcased at the AutoShow —a combined value exceeding $120 million. 

Over the past several years, Auto Exotica has hosted of some of the world’s most exclusive hypercars. 

It began in 2017 when the Aston Martin AM-RB 001, since rebranded as the Valkyrie, made its global auto show debut in Toronto. That was followed in 2018 when the record-setting Koenigsegg Agera RS — then the world’s fastest production car reaching speeds of 450 kilometres per hour — was showcased. 

Last year saw the Canadian debut of the Devel Sixteen, a 16-cylinder, 5,000+ horsepower behemoth that is to be the first car produced in the United Arab Emirates. 

While it won’t be physically located in Auto Exotica, the Canadian debut of the Bugatti La Voiture Noire happened at the 2020 Canadian International AutoShow. The world’s most exclusive Bugatti — and at C$16 Million, the most expensive new car ever sold — was in the Grand Touring Automobiles Display.

With more than 650,000 square feet of exhibits, displays and attractions at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and annual attendance of 360,000, the Canadian International AutoShow, presented by the Toronto Star and wheels.ca,  is not only the largest automotive expo in Canada, it is also the country’s largest consumer show — a leader in lifestyle, technology and all things automotive. It boasts more than 1,000 cars, trucks, SUVs, concept cars, exotics, classics, muscle cars, fully electric and autonomous vehicles each year.