This Month In Auto: Volume 2

For this month, we visited the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) in Toronto for a look at the most exciting new cars making their way up north of the border. Indeed, no self-respecting Canadian car publication is going to go without spending plenty of time in the halls of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in early February!

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

For the first time in decades, Canadians will be able to walk into a Toyota dealer and – assuming availability – snag the keys to a truck with one of the most famous nameplates the world over. Available only with two rows of seating and only with hybrid power, the latest Land Cruiser gets a wicked dose of contempo/retro styling punctuated by an optional contrast-colour roof and switchable headlight inserts. Want some nice round items, the likes of which the Land Cruiser has had for years? No problem. Want to switch them for a pair of modern horizontal items? It’s a simple visit to the dealer away. Since the light housings don’t match the body colour, there’s no restrictions there, either.

Power from the standard i-FORCE MAX hybrid engine is rated at 326 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, enough to cruise the land with ease, to be sure.

Porsche reaches for the sky

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S High Altitude Project

While the Porsche 911 sports car has had its fair share of aftermarket off-road ready “safari” editions for quite some time now (a trend Porsche itself finally capitalized on by releasing the Dakar earlier this year), this particular version takes it to a new level—literally. This heavily-modded 911 Carrera 4S – think portal axles, rugged off-road tires, shorter gear ratios and bulletproof underbody protection – climbed to 22,093 feet (6,734 metres) up the Ojos del Saldo in Chile, setting the record for highest altitude attained by a car. Former Porsche factory driver Romain Dumas was at the helm – no doubt a career spent rally racing and contesting the Paris-Dakar epic off-road race made him just the man for the job.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally

The Mach-E – especially in GT form – is already a fun drive in its own right, with instant throttle response in all trims, plus sharp handling and braking in the performance-oriented GT trim. Seems that wasn’t enough for Ford as they’re about to get wilder still with the Mach-E Rally. It gets a spoiler that appears directly lifted from the much loved Focus RS, additional rally lights mounted into the “grille”, a higher ride height and our favourite bit: bright white wheels that wouldn’t look out of place on the late Colin McRae’s WRC car. Then there’s the power: that’s 480 hp and 650 lb-ft sent to all four wheels.

2024 Ford Ranger Raptor

2024 Ford Ranger Raptor

After what seems like eons, we Canadians are finally going to get a Raptor-ized version of the Ford Ranger small pickup. The model has been doing duty in other markets for quite some time now, but with diesel power as opposed to the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 we’ll be getting here. Power is rated at 405 hp and 430 lb-ft, but the big add is in the chassis: Fox dual-reservoir dampers, underbody skid plates, a higher ride height and brand-new Bridgestone K03 tires are the order of the day. The Ranger Raptor will be available only as a four-door and with a five-foot bed.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

While the thought of an all-wheel-drive Corvette is beyond sacrilegious to some, remember that it wasn’t so long ago that a Corvette would be front-engine only, and we won’t even hear you breathe a word otherwise.

Well, that last line of thinking was thrown out the window as soon as people started driving the new mid-engine Corvette Stingray and we have the feeling that once folks get behind the wheel of the E-Ray, they’ll feel the same way. Why? Well, how does a 6.2-litre V8 with added EV motor helping make 655 hp sound? Or the ability for the front axle-mounted EV motor to send power directly to the wheels for great pull out of corners? Add performance-oriented Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 rubber, and you have what could truly be the first ever four-season ‘Vette.

2025 RAM 1500 REV

2025 Ram 1500 REV

Well they weren’t just going to very well sit on their hands while the other two-thirds of the Detroit Big 3 were bringing out electric pickups, right? Not to mention newcomers like Rivian and – maybe (a very big maybe) – VinFast. Of course not! So, in that light, Ram came to CIAS with their take on the tech, the Ram 1500 REV. What we have here is a very sleek (which is necessary for the low-drag required by EVs) pickup that is identifiable as a Ram, but one that you can tell is a little different thanks to that grille-less front end and aero-designed wheels. According to Ram, range is expected to come in at around 500 miles (or over 800 km) with the ability to tow up to 14,000 pounds (1,800 kg). No to worry, Ram fans; the stuff you’ve come to love from the gas-powered trucks – RamBox storage, well-appointed interior, numerous trim choices – will all be available when the REV becomes available in late ’24.

Hyundai Elantra N-TCR

Hyundai Elantra N-TCR

While the Elantra N cuts quite a swathe through the compact sedan landscape in it own right, even it can’t beat the swagger of a full-on race-prepped number complete with Quaker State racing livery, sky-high rear spoiler and those oh-so-great white wheels. And you KNOW how much we like white wheels.





Infiniti Vision Qe

Infiniti Vision Qe Concept

Is it a sedan? A coupe? A grand tourer? Well, with sleek styling like that and hardly a hint of door handles or gaps, we suppose that’s up to you to decide. Not that it really matters, though, because after spending time considering the spectacular rims whose spokes actually blend into the tire sidewall, the complex lower splitter and ultra-sleek stance, there’s little time to worry about door counts. This being a concept, no powertrain stuff has been discussed but it will set the tone for a future Infiniti production EV, you can be sure of that.

Team Pfaff Motorsports McLaren 720S GT3 EVO

Pfaff McLaren 720S GT3 EVO

Sure; it has a long name, but it’s built to compete in long – think 24-hours long – races in the top-flite IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, so what’s it to you? All you have to know is this beauty of a sports racer is campaigned buy a Canadian team and being driven by a Canadian driver – one James Hinchcliffe.






OPP Hummer EV

While you won’t have to worry about this most beastly of EVs filling your rear-view mirror on the 401 as it’s mainly a showpiece for the Ontario Provincial Police, you have to admire the ol’ coppers for having a bit of a sense of humour, no?








Lego Car

Speaking of a sense of humour: no need to adjust your display or throw on your reading glasses; this little convertible is not a pixelated mirage but a car fashioned almost completely form Lego — right down to the dice in the in the mirror — and given seating for two. Talk about a photo op!








“Barbie” Corvette

Speaking of photo ops: Mattel brought all kinds of goodies to the show – mainly from the Hot Wheels brand, obviously – but this pink Corvette surrounded by all kinds of Barbie-ness (including a very Instagrammable photo booth) stole the show. It’s not a lift from the movie – the fact that it only has two seats is a dead giveaway – but it looks right on the money and if we’re honest, that’s what counts here.


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