The electrification of the automotive sector set the pace at the Media Day preview of the 2023 Canadian International AutoShow — the 50th anniversary of the event.
The Canadian debut of the Project Arrow concept, the popularity of the EV Test Track, the ribbon-cutting of the all-new Electric City feature, dozens of new electric vehicles showcased by the manufacturers and a double-win for fully electric vehicles in the AJAC Car of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards put a stamp on the direction the automotive industry is headed.
“We are headed full-steam towards an electric vehicle future, and that is reflected in this year’s AutoShow,” says Jason Campbell, General Manager of the AutoShow. “All of our manufacturer partners at this year’s Show have electric, hydrogen or hybrid vehicle options for people to browse; but we are taking that a step further with our EV Test Track, giving consumers a chance to try an electric vehicle out for themselves from behind the wheel.”
The Media Day event started with the first Canadian auto show appearance of Project Arrow, a concept electric vehicle that was designed, engineered and built entirely in Canada with Canadian parts. A project of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association in collaboration with more than 50 partners, it is an answer to the challenge of the Canadian government to be at Net Zero by 2050.
That was followed by the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada presenting its Car of the Year Award to the BMW i4 and its Utility of the Year to the Hyundai IONIQ 5 – both of which are fully electric vehicles.
“IONIQ 5 continues to win awards around the world, and we’re honoured to receive this top accolade from our automotive experts here in Canada,” says Don Romano, president of Hyundai Auto Canada. “Over 5,500 people in Canada own an IONIQ 5 in appreciation for its retro design; ultra-fast charging; spacious interior and competitive range, and we’re excited to share this award with them, and our network of committed dealers across Canada.”
Hyundai also unveiled two alternative fuel vehicles during Media Day, with the hydrogen hybrid “rolling lab” N Vision 74 making its Canadian debut and the North American auto show debut of the fully electric RN22e.
Media Day also included the official Canadian unveiling of the refreshed 2024 Kia Seltos and the fully re-designed 2024 Subaru Crosstrek. Other Canadian debuts at the AutoShow include the 2023 Dodge Hornet, 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale and the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary Edition from Stellantis, the GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition and the global debut of the 2024 Buick Encore GX.
One of the new features added to the 2023 AutoShow is Electric City, which was opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included federal cabinet ministers François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, as well as Vic Fedeli, the Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. Electric City is a showcase of the electrification of the automotive sector and micro-mobility, with an indoor micro-mobility test track where attendees can try a range of electric bikes from Amego EV, as well as the SARIT (Safe Affordable Reliable Innovative Transport) – the latest innovation from Magna founder Frank Stronach.
Also part of the Media Day activities, LEGO presented the AutoShow with a steering wheel built with LEGO bricks and emblazoned with a “50” to commemorate the important anniversary of the Show.
The Canadian International AutoShow opens to the public at noon on February 17th, and runs until February 26th. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit autoshow.ca.
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