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APA at the Canadian International Auto Show Media Day

The Media Day of the Canadian International Auto Show (or Toronto Auto Show to its friends) was a low-key affair this year. Journalists who had attended the Detroit show and the—stellar for 2018—Montreal auto show, found few significant reveals in Toronto.This report covers vehicles that were unique to the Toronto show as well as some that were not yet covered in our reports on the Detroit and Montreal shows.

Auto Journalists of Canada (AJAC) Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year finalists arrayed on stage just before the winners were announced
(AJAC photo)

The Car and Utility of the Year awards bestowed upon the Honda Accord and Chrysler Pacifica van were the result of two rounds of anonymous voting by nearly 100 AJAC members. In a big departure from previous years, vehicles introduced in previous years were eligible for consideration. In the past, voting was restricted to all-new or extensively redesigned vehicles present at the AJAC autumn "Test Fest." With this significant change, AJAC is hoping to represent more faithfully the choices a consumer would make in a current model vehicle. Mazda was a big beneficiary of this year's change; even though none of them were all-new, the Mazda 3 (in the last year of its current design!), CX-5, and CX-9 were all finalists; under the old rules, the CX-3 and CX-9 would have been excluded, though the CX-5 is significantly updated and available with a new engine. In future years, the top three vehicles from the previous year in every category will be considered alongside new and redesigned vehicles for the awards.


VW's sleek new Arteon features a massive cargo bay

The Arteon replaces the Passat CC as Volkswagen’s range topping passenger car. Based on VW’s ubiquitous MQB platform, the Arteon is a substantial vehicle. Power is derived from a high-output version of Volkwagen’s familiar 2L turbo four. A conventional hydraulic eight-speed automatic sends power to all wheels via VW’s 4Motion system. The cabin is impressively spacious, as is its versatile hatchback cargo area.The Arteon will go on sale this fall.


The Eclipse Cross is a new upscale crossover from Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi's Eclipse Cross is a crossover fastback coupe in the spirit of German vehicles like the BMW X4 and X6. The dimensions are similar to those of the Mitsubishi's RVR that is built on the same platform, but starting at around $28,000, it carries a higher price. A new 1.5L turbo four powers all four wheels via a CVT transmission. Disappointly, active safety equipment such as adaptive cruise control and forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, is limited to a package on the top model. Mitsubishi Canada expects that the Eclipse Cross will bring new customers into its showrooms, but also hopes it will retain current owners of the discontinued Lancer; that's a question mark as the new vehicle carries a significantly higher price.


The new RAM is sleeker and less imposing than its predecessor

After an astonishingly successful long 11 year run, the Ram 1500 is all-new from the ground up for 2019. The cabin is very luxurious; featuring a giant, Tesla-like, dash centre screen on premium models.The familiar 3.6L V6 and 5.7L V8 engines return, but with a new twist for 2019. Both engines are equipped with a mild-hybrid system called eTorque, thats adds 90 lb-ft of torque to the V6 and 130 lb-ft of torque to the V8. Both engines include a stop-start feature and the V8 employs a cylinder deactivation system as well. An eight-speed automatic is the sole transmission available. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive available.

RAMs with conventional steel suspension utilize Frequency Response Damping that reportedly can alter alter shock absorber valving to improve handling stability. The plush riding but sometimes troublesome air suspension continues to be optional. Active safety equipment such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with active braking, blind spot and lane departure warning and lane keep assist, are offered. The 2019 Ram goes on sale this spring.

The Infiniti Prototype 9 combines retro looks with an electric powertrain  

Infiniti’s Prototype 9 concept channels the spirit of open wheel Formula 1 cars like the Auto Union Type D and Mercedes W165 that dominated racing in the late 1930s.

The Prototype 9’s structure consists of a ladder frame clad with hand-beaten steel panels.
Power is derived from an electric motor hooked up to a 30 kWh battery.