Concept cars from Canadian International Auto Show 2018

The 2018 Canadian International Auto Show is in full swing right now at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and this year it’s all about the concepts. Here are a trio of big ones from three different manufacturers.

MINI Electric Concept

MINI Electric Concept

Not even a year after MINI released its first production plug-in hybrid, the Countryman PHEV, the brand has introduced a fully electric concept. Looking like a futuristic Cooper, much of the grille has been smoothed over to reflect to reflect the removal of the internal combustion component. The body sports special aerodynamic pieces, unique badging and “Striking Yellow” paint accents for differentiation. A production version is scheduled for 2019.

Infiniti Project Black S

Infiniti Project Black S Concept

A collaborative project between Infiniti and the Renault Sport Formula One Team — a partnership that has existed since 2016 — Project Black S is a racy reimagination of the Q60 Coupe. Finished in a menacing matte grey, the designers have blacked out all the chrome found on the standard Q60, such as on the front bumper and door pillar surrounds, and utilized healthy amounts of carbon fibre in fabricating the exterior parts. Under the sheet metal, an Energy Recovery System recoups unspent electricity to boost power and torque output.

Toyota i-TRIL

Toyota i-TRIL Concept

This environmentally friendly compact EV is the product of Toyota Motors Europe and affiliate ED² design studio based in Nice, France. Intended for those living in a so-called SMESTO (small to medium-sized town), the one-plus-two seater uses Active Lean Technology, which allows the front wheels to lean to one side during cornering similar to a motorcycle, while the rear pair stays perpendicular to the road. This allows a super tight turning radius with no physical discomfort to the passengers. The i-TRIL can travel more than 200 kilometres on a single charge and is operable in manual or autonomous modes.

Toyota i-TRIL interior

Top five manufacturer unveils at SEMA Show 2017

The SEMA Show held annually in Las Vegas typically draws more than 60,000 visitors every year.

The Speciality Equipment Market Association (SEMA) just wrapped another show in Sin City, putting on display the wildest things to come out of the auto industry both from the OEM and aftermarket sectors. OpenRoad has rounded up some mouth-watering performance dishes served up by manufacturers at this year’s event.

Toyota CH-R R-Tuned

Toyota CH-R R-Tuned

Toyota has dubbed this little crossover “the worlds quickest CUV,” which indeed pushes big power from a 2.4-litre turbocharged engine running 23 psi of boost. DG-Spec modified the CH-R to produce 600 horsepower, resulting in quicker lap times than a Porsche 911 GT3 at Willow Springs International Raceway.

Hyundai HyperEconiq Ioniq

Hyundai HyperEconiq Ioniq

The Seoul-based automaker regularly teams up with Bisimito Engineering to unveil something truly hair-raising for SEMA, like 2015’s 700-horsepower Sonata. Now, however, it’s a greener project called the HyperEconiq, a slammed, kitted-out Ioniq that achieves a combined city/highway fuel economy of 2.9 L/100 km.

Audi TT clubsport turbo concept

Audi TT clubsport turbo concept

Channelling the Audi 90 IMSA GTO racecar circa 1989, the TT clubsport turbo concept gives the coupe an entirely different look wearing boxy fenders, a manually adjustable carbon fibre polymer wing and an overall 140-millimetre wider presence. The uprated turbo motor propels the coupe from 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds.

Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha concept

Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha concept

The grade-topping Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 is already considered quite quick utilizing a 400-horsepower boosted 3.0-litre V6 making 350 lb-ft of torque. But that hasn’t stopped the luxury brand from enlisting the services of AMS Performance to upgrade the intercooler, exhaust, ECU and other items — many soon to be available for purchase at dealerships and AMS distributors — increasing horsepower by 19 per cent and torque, 29 per cent.

BMW M3 30 Years American Edition

BMW M3 30 Years American Edition

A little over three decades ago, an automotive icon was born: the M3. And then one year later, the vehicle reached our shores. To commemorate the anniversary, BMW Group Designworks and BMW Individual have created the 30 Years American Edition featuring a red, white and blue colour theme and a whole bunch of M Performance parts from an adjustable suspension system to a handmade carbon fibre rear spoiler complete with racing stripes.

Best of Canadian Car of the Year 2018 program

As is the case every October, writers and broadcasters from all over Canada gathered in Clarington, Ontario last week for one reason and one reason only: the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) program. This is where some of the newest vehicles from several manufacturers were made available in one place for thoughtful evaluation – on regular roads, highways and a high-speed test track — so that the 2018 CCOTY winners can be determined. These are five of the standout models in different categories from the event.

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Plus

Hyundai Ioniq Electric Plus (Small Car)

After a successful release of the Ioniq Hybrid and Electric, Hyundai is releasing the third and final electrified variant of the platform: the Electric Plus plug-in hybrid. Offering the best of both worlds, the PHEV allows up to 40 kilometres of pure electric driving and has an onboard 1.6-litre four-cylinder internal combustion engine ready to provide assistance for longer distance trips.

2018 Infiniti Q60 Sport

Infiniti Q60 Sport (Small Premium Car)

Beautifully sculpted and boasting a trio of powertrain options, the Infiniti Q60 is a worthy successor to the much-loved G37 Coupe. Positioned smack in the middle of the trim range is the Sport, packing a silky-smooth 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 under the hood generating 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Other highlights include standard Dynamic Digital (electronic) Suspension and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

2018 Toyota Camry XSE

Toyota Camry XSE (Large Car)

As good a car as the Camry is, excitement isn’t usually the word people think of when Toyota announces a new version. The 2018 is truly another story as it has experienced a full redesign. The XSE grade is styled the most excitingly of the bunch with large blacked out central mesh grille, body kit, 19-inch machined-finish alloy wheels and features an available 301-horsepower 3.5-litre V6 engine.

2018 Porsche Panamera

Porsche Panamera Turbo (Large Premium Car)

This second-generation luxury sports sedan from Porsche was made to form a closer link, both in appearance and performance, to the iconic 911. With a more coupe-like roofline and front/rear fascias, the twin-turbo V8 Panamera generates 550 horsepower that will take anyone’s breath away during full acceleration. The three-piece active rear spoiler is also a thing of beauty.

2018 Honda Civic Type-R

Honda Civic Type-R (Sports-Performance Car)

Believe they hype — the first Type-R to grace North American shores is the real deal. The 306-horsepower turbocharged i-VTEC mill, Brembo brake calipers and adaptive damping suspension system should be a clue as to how the CTR was able to achieve the title of world’s fastest production front-wheel drive car at Germany’s famed Nürburgring racetrack. 

Infiniti Q50 receives enhancements for 2018

Four years after the initial launch of Infinity’s luxury sports sedan, the company is giving the Q50 a well-deserved facelift. And the exterior changes differ, depending on whether customers opt for either the Luxe or Sport grades.

“Its benchmark performance and athletic styling make it an important cornerstone in our product line. We are excited to get this newest sports sedan in the hands of our fans when it arrives in INFINITI showrooms later this summer,” said Infiniti Americas vice president Randy Parker.

2018 Infiniti Q50 sport rear

Some of the upgrades fall uniformly across all models, like the updated signature double-arch grille that features more texture and detailing in the chrome surround and centre mesh, and slimmer rear LED tail lamps lifted from the Q60.

To separate the two main trim levels, those designed with Sport, which includes the top-of-the-line Red Sport 400, receives accoutrements to increase performance and enhance appearance. The front bumper contains additional aerodynamic lines, corner splitters and lower, wider side air intakes. The door mirrors are blacked out, and at the rear, a section of dark metallic trim sits between the twin exhaust pipes.

2018 Infiniti Q50 interior

Designers have sought to raise the level of refinement inside the Q50, adding authentic, natural wood to the dashboard rather than the usual high gloss veneer.  The instrument cluster is shrouded in double-stitched leather. Further influence from the Q60 can be found in the cabin such as a new steering wheel boasting thumb grips and more ergonomically shaped paddle shifters. The “double wave” gauge hood has been reshaped to fit the slightly elongated centre console.

The powertrain selection remains the same — consumers are still treated to a large selection of engine offerings. Four to be exact: at the top, a 3.0-litre twin turbo V6 making 400 horsepower, a similarly set up mill with 300 horsepower, a turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder producing 208 horsepower and 3.5-litre V6 hybrid that has a combined output of 360 horsepower.

Approximately 210,000 Q50s have been sold since first being released in 2013. Look for the 2018 model to arrive in the coming weeks.