Highlights from 2015 Canadian International Auto Show


Lexus RC F GT3 Concept
The face of the Lexus RC F GT3 concept vehicle, introduced at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. Photo by Benjamin Yong.

Yesterday marked the official start of the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS), the Great White North’s largest automotive event held every year in Toronto. As always, some crazy stuff was presented to audiences, as well as more mainstream examples that consumers might actually be able to get their hands on. If you aren’t able to make the trip out east, scroll down below for a taste of CIAS 2015.

Lexus RC F GT3 Concept

Lexus RC F GT3 Concept front

In case the recently released RC F coupe isn’t already impressive enough for you, Lexus introduced the RC F GT3 concept car to Canadian audiences for the first time. It’s based on the production version but boasts bigger wheels and tires, aerodynamic add-ons, a faster engine and has hopes of racing in the FIA GT3 European Championship.

Lexus RC F GT3 Concept rear

Toyota i-Road Concept

Toyota i-Road

CIAS visitors were treated to indoor demonstrations of the Toyota i-Road concept, a three-wheel, single-occupant electric vehicle. With a range of 50 kilometres, it’s only 870 millimetres wide meaning four of them can fit into a traditional parking space. The i-Road has already been tested on public streets in Japan as well as France.

2016 Honda Pilot

2016 Honda Pilot

A completely redesigned Honda Pilot, a three-row SUV, will be available this summer looking and feeling a lot different than the previous generation. The Pilot goes high-tech with available LED lighting, a Blu-Ray disc player with HDMI input and an Earth Dreams Technology Powertrain consisting of a fuel-efficient V6 engine and first-ever nine-speed automatic transmission.

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration

Alfonso Albaisa, executive design director at Infiniti, used the description “progressive, audacious and ingenious,” as he unveiled the range-topping Q80 four-seater fastback. “The Q80 Inspiration represents Infiniti’s vision of category-breaking, supreme luxury driving,” said Albaisa. It features autonomous driving capability with a hybrid powertrain producing 550 horsepower.

2016 Jaguar XE

The British car company is getting set to launch yet another four-door sports sedan in 2015, slotted below the mid-level XF and XJ flagship. It will be the first Jaguar equipped with electric steering, and is designed to look and drive like a sports coupe with a low and wide profile, partially aluminium construction and a supercharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder powerplant.

Audi TTS Coupé

2016 Audi TTS Coupe

The Audi TT has been reborn for its third generation. The extra S stands for sport, or speed, or probably both: it’s got a 265 hp TFSI turbo engine, Quattro all-wheel drive and a fancy Audi Magnetic Ride Suspension that continously readjusts the dampening settings to match the driving conditions.

Cars from SEMA part three

SEMA Show 2016 Global MX-5 Cup car
The car to be used in the Mazda 2016 Global MX-5 Cup racing series, above, was revealed at the Las Vegas SEMA Show. Photos by Zak Tang.

To kick off the Las Vegas SEMA Show earlier this month, an automotive trade show that brings together aftermarket parts industry representatives from all over the world, an awards ceremony was held to crown the industry’s hottest vehicles.

Accepting the title of Hottest Sport Compact was the new Honda Fit, the small four-door hatchback recently entering its third generation. The company brought out nine personalized versions of the subcompact — six were built by tuners for the 2015 Fit Performance Project and documented on the social networking website Tumblr.

Sema Show Spoon Sports USA 2015 Honda Fit

Honda performance specialist Spoon Sports USA created the Super Taikyu (Endurance) Fit, unmistakable due to the heavily featured signature blue and yellow paint scheme. Not surprisingly, most of the new parts “fitted” on the car are made by Spoon, including a titanium exhaust, brake rotors, calipers, pads and lines, suspension, aero mirrors and sunroof delete. The body aero, though, is made by Honda, and the wheels are 15×7 CE28 Club Racers by Volk Racing.

SEMA Show Bisimoto 2015 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai collaborated with Bisimoto Engineering for the third consecutive time to build something that not only looks good, but more importantly, goes fast to show at SEMA. This year, it’s a 700-plus horsepower sedan. Using the 2015 Sonata as a canvas, the original 2.4-litre engine has been massaged with forged pistons, a high-revving valve train, high-boost turbocharger and more. The exterior features a custom laminated body wrap, body kit, 18-inch wheels and a Burns stainless steel exhaust system.

SEMA Show Bisimoto 2015 Hyundai Sonata engine

Roadster enthusiasts the world over held their collective breath when the redesigned 2016 Mazda MX-5 was revealed in September. After having the question ‘What will it look like?” answered, the next most popular query was “Where will it race?” At a global announcement during SEMA, Mazda responded with the announcement of a new 2016 Global MX-5 Cup racing series to take place in North America, Europe and Asia.

SEMA Show Mazda 2016 Global MX-5 Cup

Although Mazda provided no information on specs or equipment other than confirming a 2.0 L SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder engine will be used, they did have a cup car on display. Enjoy the pictures.

SEMA Show Mazda 2016 Global MX-5 Cup

SEMA Show Mazda 2016 Global MX-5 Cup

SEMA Show Mazda 2016 Global MX-5 Cup

From Toyota Prii to Mazda2s: A look at available fuel-efficient vehicles


With gas prices approaching $1.50/litre in Metro Vancouver this summer, the topic of fuel-efficient transportation is on a lot of people’s minds. Fortunately, with modern technology many manufacturers are able to squeeze more performance out of small engines, like Mazda with their subcompact Mazda2, or offer gas-sipping hybrids such as Toyota and their extensive lineup of legendary Prii (yes, that is the official Prius plural term).  For the consumer, that means there is something to suit virtually every taste and budget. Below is a look at what’s currently available on the market.


Fuel consumption*: 8.0 L/100 km city, 6.7 highway (manual)

Estimated annual fuel cost*: $1,625

The 100 horsepower produced by the Mazda2’s 1.5-litre engine might not seem like much, but with an impressive power-to-weight ratio and a manual transmission option, expect a lot of fun in the corners as you row through the gears. It’s quite well equipped for its class as well, with standard power door mirrors, locks and windows, MP3-capable head unit, USB inputs and 15-inch wheels. The car will undergo a complete change for the 2015 model year.

Honda Fit

Fuel consumption: 8.3 L/100km city, 6.4 highway (automatic)

Estimated annual fuel cost: $1,638

In its second generation and about to enter a third, the Honda Fit has been a popular choice for a wide demographic from budget-conscious students to families looking for an additional car. Like the Mazda2, the engine is also a 1.5-litre but makes slightly more power at 117 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque. Despite its sub-compact form factor, the Fit can still carry plenty of stuff with 585 litres of storage space behind the rear seats. Fold them down and the hatch will swallow up 1,622 L of cargo.

Lexus CT 200H

Fuel consumption: 5.5 L/100 km city, 5.8 highway (CVT)

Estimated annual fuel cost: $1,196

Paving the way for entry-level luxury hybrid vehicles to come, Lexus launched the CT 200H a few years back giving consumers the option of being eco-friendly while enjoying upscale features. Refreshed for this year, the front fascia gets the “Spindle Grille” as found on other models across the lineup, the rear spoiler has been redesigned, and the speakers now include bamboo-fibre components. The hatchback is powered by a 1.8 L Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder engine coupled with an electric motor making 134 net hp.

Toyota Prius

Fuel consumption: 4.7 L/100 km city, 4.9 highway (CVT)

Estimated annual fuel cost: $968

There can be no discussion of fuel-friendly vehicles without the mention of the Toyota Prius. Available in Canada since 2000, it now comes in four configurations (standardplug-in hybridthe smaller “c” and the “v” station wagon) and tops the Natural Resources Canada list for best in-class fuel efficiency year after year. Utilizing Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, it has the same powerplant as the CT 200H that shifts smoothly between gasonline engine and electric motor.

There are just some examples of what you can expect when you walk into any OpenRoad Auto Group dealership in the Lower Mainland, with more on the way! For a full list of vehicles, visit openroadautogroup.com/new-cars.

* Based on the 2014 Natural Resources Canada Fuel Consumption Guide with revised federal testing methodology.