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.

Top three Valentine's Day two-seater sports cars

2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe S
This Valentine’s Day, surprise a loved one with a two-door sports car, like this red Jaguar F-Type Coupe. Photos by Benjamin Yong/Andrew Ling.

Overpriced flowers, hearts in store windows and pink everything — love is definitely in the air this week. If you really want to surprise your partner this Valentine’s Day, skip the chocolates and snuggle up to a loved one in one of the following brand new two-seaters instead.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Soul Red Metallic

With much fanfare, Mazda showed sports car nuts around the world what the new Miata is going to look like months back (shown here in the very romantic Soul Red Metallic), but not many other details had been released. Until recently, that is.

In early February, it was revealed the update of the legendary roadster will have 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft — slower than the outgoing 2015 model with 167 hp — but will also be 100 kilograms lighter. It should arrive in stores sometime this summer, perfect for blasting down country roads top down with your significant other.

2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe

2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe R

Nothing says “I love you” like a shiny new Jaguar in the driveway. There are all kinds features to get you in the mood, like the ambient interior lighting with five colour choices; dual zone climate control to heat things up or cool them back down; and a Meridian 10-speaker premium audio sound system to enjoy whatever music the situation calls for.

2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe S interior

There are three different trims too to fit your budget: the standard supercharged V6 F-Type with 340 hp (starting at $72,900), the S that bumps up the horsepower to 380 (starting at $84,900) and the mighty V8 550 hp R pictured above (from $109,900).

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder

For that eco-supercar-enthusiast in your life, put your name on the waitlist for Porsche’s brand new hyper hybrid for two: the 918 Spyder. See this segment where Richard Hammond treats himself to an up-close-and-personal drive of the vehicle on everyone’s favourite automotive television series, Top Gear.

OpenRoad hosted an unveiling of Porsche’s halo car last week at the Langley dealership featuring one that was sold to a local customer for a cool mill. The price tag might seem hefty, but this is what you get for your money: net 887 hp, the ability to run in an electric-only mode, a top speed of 350 km/h and a 0 to 100 km/h time of just over 2 seconds.

The Best All-Wheel-Drive coupes to survive Canadian winters

Now that winter is officially upon us, you may think that your days of piloting a sporty two door coupe are over. Typically, coupes are banished into a garage or parkade till the clear spring time weather arrives, nary a threat of snow or ice.

These days, increasing number of luxury auto manufacturers are offering their formerly rear-wheel-drive only coupes with all-wheel-drive variants.

No longer does owning a sports coupe have to be an oxymoron to the word “winter”. Just swap out the all-season or summer tires for a set of good snow tires, and you are set to go!

Here are a few examples of all-wheel-drive two door luxury coupes with different price points to suit your budget.

Infiniti Q60 coupe

The 2015 Infiniti Q60 AWD coupe

The 2015 Infiniti Q60 AWD coupe. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Canada.

The Q60 is a well-appointed coupe that combines the Infiniti brand’s blend of value, performance, and luxury. It’s powered by a 330-hp 3.7-litre V6 engine and available with a seven-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed downshift rev matching manual transmission.

Infiniti’s Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system can adapt to the changing conditions by constantly monitoring wheelspin, throttle position and vehicle speed. In dry conditions, the system is able to send 100 per cent of the power to the rear wheels for more responsive road performance. However it can automatically divert up to 50 per cent of the available power to the front wheels to enhance traction and control in adverse conditions.

Price for the Q60 AWD coupe starts at $51,800

Shop the New Infiniti Q60 at OpenRoad

Audi A5/S5/RS5

The 2015 Audi A5 Quattro. Photo courtesy of Audi Canada.

Audi was the company who pioneered all-wheel-drive in a road going car for performance reasons. For many years, they were the only choice on the market if you wanted a coupe with the year round safety and security of all-wheel-drive.

Unlike some of the vehicles in this article, the Audi A5 coupe (and its higher performance S5 and RS5 variants) is solely available with Audi’s famed Quattro all-wheel-drive system; two-wheel-drive versions are not available in Canada.
With standard Quattro all-wheel drive, the A5 coupe is a comfortable and stylish car that will perform well on pavement or in rain and snow.

Shop the New Audi A5 at OpenRoad

BMW 228i xDrive Coupe and M235i xDrive Coupe

The 2015 BMW M235i xDrive Coupe and the 1968 BMW 2002. Photo courtesy of BMW Canada.

In the late 1960’s, the BMW 2002, spiritual forerunner to the BMW 2 Series Coupe, set new standards in dynamics and design and established the BMW tradition of sporty coupes.

Today, the BMW 2 Series Coupe combines exciting dynamics and a design with reminiscences of the legendary 2002 coupe in BMW history. However unlike the rear-wheel-drive only 2002, the 2 Series is now available with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system for the 2015 model year.

Available with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, the 2-series is a sporty coupe with tons of charm and fun.

Price for the 228i xDrive coupe starts at $39,750, and $48,750 for the M235i xDrive coupe.

Shop New BMW 2 Series at OpenRoad

Lexus RC350 AWD

The 2015 Lexus RC350 AWD. Photo courtesy of Lexus Canada.

The all-new Lexus coupe aims to bring back a blend of styling and performance that has been unseen in many of Lexus’ product offerings until recently.

The RC350 is equipped with a 306-hp 3.5-litre V6. When equipped with the optional all-wheel-drive system, it’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Price for this all-new Lexus coupe starts at $54,000.

Shop New Lexus RC at OpenRoad

Jaguar F-Type with AWD

The 2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD. Photo courtesy of Jaguar Canada.

For model year 2016, the beautifully-styled Jaguar F-Type coupe receives substantial upgrades, including the addition of the company’s Instinctive All-Wheel-Drive system.

This system is engineered to maintain the rear-drive character that is important to Jaguar sports car DNA while offering even greater dynamic capability.

Operating on the torque-on-demand principle, Jaguar Instinctive All-Wheel-Drive has been programmed to send 100 per cent of the engine’s output to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions. However in slippery conditions, the system can transfer up to 50 per cent of the engine’s torque to the front axle to mitigate the loss of traction.

Instinctive All-Wheel-Drive will be optional on all F-type S models (with a 380-hp supercharged V6), and standard on all V8 R Coupes (now upgraded from 495-hp to 550hp).

Prices have not yet been announced but are expected to start at above $85,000 for the F-type S with AWD.

Shop New Jaguar F-TYPE at OpenRoad


Porsche 911 Carrera 4 / Turbo

The 2015 Porsche Carrera 4. Photo courtesy of Porsche Canada.

Over the course of its 50 year life cycle to date, the iconic 911 has retained its unmistakable look and design while being constantly updated with the latest technology. To many, the 911 is one of the best sports cars available.

While all of the 911s still maintain their signature rear-engine configuration, a sophisticated active-all-wheel-drive system is available on Carrera and Carerra S models, and standard on all 911 Turbos.

This system distributes engine power between the permanently driven rear axle and the front axle by means of an electronically variable multi-plate clutch. Porsche Stability Management and enhanced Porsche Traction Management work together to ensure the optimum distribution of drive power for maximum traction depending on the driving and road conditions.

Price of the Carrera 4 starts at $103,900.

Shop Porsche 911 AWD at OpenRoad