It’s been a while since I’ve been here in the middle of January. Now I remember why: It’s freezing in Montreal at this time of year! Thankfully, there’s a tunnel from my hotel to the Palais de Congress, so I don’t have to walk outside to get to the Montreal International Auto Show.
Starting the same week as the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, there aren’t many surprises for journalists in Montreal. However, there was one world debut here this year along with some Canadian premieres. Following are some of the highlights:
Chevrolet had three new models and two concept cars making their Canadian debuts here, while a Cadillac was awarded the Canadian Automotive Jury’s (CAJ) Best of the Best Award.
The all-new Chevrolet Trax small SUV arrives now in Canada, starting at $18,495. It features Chevrolet’s 1.4-litre Ecotec turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque.
The AWD Trax is available with a six-speed automatic transmission, featuring a fuel economy rating of 8.7 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 6.5 L/100 km on the highway.
Available with a six-speed automatic or manual transmission, FWD models feature fuel economy ratings of 7.8 L/100 km in the city and 5.7 L/100 km on the highway (manual) and 8.1 L/100 km in the city and 5.9 L/100 km on the highway (automatic).
The all-new 2014 Silverado 1500 features three all-new EcoTec3 engines, a 4.3L V6, a 5.3L V8 and a6.2L V8.
Chevrolet’s two Youth Concepts — Code 130R and Tru 140S — also made their Canadian debuts here. The concepts were designed at the North Hollywood Design Center, based on input from people below the age of 30 across the United States.
General Motors also had a winner in its Cadillac brand as the ATS was awarded the Canadian Automotive Jury’s Best of the Best top prize for 2013. The ATS beat out 11 other finalists to win the prestigious award presented annually by the CAJ.
The lone first look came courtesy of Honda’s new Gear concept, or what the automaker calls a Concept Study Model. The subcompact is aimed at young urbanites who want a car that is “simple and utilitarian, but also customizable, connected and full of personality,” according to the automaker.
Honda says the Gear is inspired by fixed-gear bicycles, hence the name. And the Gear is also purported to be more affordable than more expensive competitors, although there’s no word on how much it would cost or when the car is scheduled for production.
Longer, lower and wider was a recurring theme among many automakers here, including Kia. The all-new 2014 Forte made its Canadian debut, featuring — you guessed it — a longer wheelbase and a lower, wider stance than its predecessor.
The new, more muscular Forte also features two new engines — a 1.8L four-cylinder engine producing 148 hp and a 2.0L Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine with 173 hp.
The 2014 Forte has Flex Steer electric power steering. which allows the driver to select a steering setting – Comfort, Normal and Sport – to match his or her driving style.
Kia also unveiled its redesigned Sorento SUV, which features a new look and a new engine.
While the 2.4L gasoline direct-injection (GDI) four-cylinder engine continues as the standard engine on the LX model, an all-new 3.3L GDI V6 delivers an estimated 290 hp and 252 pound-feet of torque — Kia says that’s more than the 3.5L V6 it replaces.
Both vehicles are scheduled to arrive in Canada in the Spring.
Kia also showed its track-inspired Track’ster, a performance-oriented three-door Soul coupe concept.
The Track’ster features a bold Whiteout and Inferno Orange exterior paint, integrated headlights, aluminum LED round fog lights and an oversized lower intake grille, enhancing its aggressive look.
Kia says the concept hints at the future design language of the Soul.
The all-new 2014 Mazda6 made its Canadian debut here, featuring a new SkyActiv-G 2.5L I4 engine.
The automaker says the new Mazda6 is the first vehicle to use i-Eloop, Mazda’s capacitor-based brake energy regeneration system, and i-ActivSense safety technology, designed to aid the driver in recognizing hazards, avoiding collisions and reducing the severity of accidents.
The new Mazda6 will be available with a choice of SkyActiv transmissions in either the SkyActiv Drive six-speed automatic or SkyActiv-MT six-speed manual, mated to the new SkyActiv-G 2.5L gasoline engine. The 2.5L produces 184 hp at 5,700 rpm and 185 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm.
Fuel economy for the 2014 Mazda6 is rated at 5.1 L/100 km on the highway and 7.6 L/100 km in the city when equipped with the optional six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission. Fuel economy for the standard six-speed manual transmission is 5.3 L/100 km on the highway and 8.1 L/100 km in the city.
The new Mazda6 is available now and priced at $24,495.
The 2014 Porsche Cayman made its Canadian debut here. Re-engineered from the ground up, the two-seat coupe has a longer wheelbase, wider track and larger wheels.
The Cayman features a 2.7L engine with 275 hp and will go from zero to 100 kilometres an hour in 5.4 seconds when equipped with the Sport Chrono package, according to Porsche.
The automaker says the coupe is also more fuel efficient than ever with a fuel economy of 7.7 litres per 100 km.
The Cayman S features a 3.4L engine producing 325 hp. With the PDK transmission and Sport Chrono package, it accelerates to 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds and has a combined city/highway fuel economy of eight L/100 km.
The new Cayman and Cayman S will arrive in Canada in the Spring, starting at $59,900 for the Cayman and $72,900 for the Cayman S.
Subaru’s 2014 Forester XT also made its Canadian debut here.
Forester 2.0XT models feature a new 2.0L direct injection twin-scroll turbocharged Subaru boxer engine producing 250 hp, while the naturally aspirated version will continue with the 2.5L horizontally opposed boxer engine producing 170 hp.
Standard on the new Forester is Subaru’s symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive.
Subaru’s estimated fuel economy rating for Forester 2.5i models equipped with its Lineartronic CVT is 6.2 L/100 km on the highway.
The new Forester will arrive in Canadian dealerships in the Spring.