It’s February again, and you know what that means: it’s time for the 2014 edition of the Canadian International AutoShow! The event will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Center from February 14 to February 23 and promises to showcase Canada’s hottest new automotive trends.
At the top of everyone’s must-see list this year: the sizzling new 2015 Ford Mustang, the head-turning new 2015 Edge concept, and the unveiling of the most eagerly anticipated next evolution of Canada’s favorite truck for 48 years running – the all new 2015 Ford F-150. Following the unveiling, expect a tactile deep dive featuring F-series workshop tables, a tour of the torture-tested 2.7L EcoBoost engines, and a hands-on first look at all of the new features that went into making the F-150 achieve such an evolutionary leap in truck design. From design to performance, every truck standard is about to be rewritten with this unveiling. It’s going to be an amazing event.
In addition to the vehicles themselves, the Ford pavilion will feature some of its most advanced new technologies, chief among which are the obstacle avoidance and autonomous driving systems (yes, you read that right), adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist (one of my personal favorites), and a whole new generation of next-gen user-optimized displays and smart device connectivity. If you haven’t experienced those technologies for yourself yet, do yourself a huge favor and spend a few minutes playing with them. It will totally change the way you look at driving. (Tip: take advantage of the device charging stations while you’re there.)
It isn’t all about the cars though: to make sure you are entertained as well as inspired, Ford also plans to knock your socks off with augmented, 4D, and virtual reality tech immersion experiences for all ages. Here’s a quick overview of what to look for:
- The 4D “kick it up” Escape challenge will let you use your smart phone to kick virtual soccer balls into the Ford Escape and try to unlock all of its new features. It’s a fun way to test your virtual athletic skills, discover all of the Escape’s best new features, and maybe even feed your competitive streak by challenging other visitors to virtual soccer duels. (Just don’t sprain your kicking fingers!)
- The 4D “roughing it made easy” app will let you use the Ford Explorer’s terrain management system dial to select the roughest terrain conditions possible, get the Explorer nice and dirty, and see how fast you can rinse it off – all virtually of course.
- The absolutely insane “Oculus Rift” virtual race car driving experience will let you sit in a Recaro racing seat with Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles, and strap in for one of the most mind-blowing virtual race course experiences of your life.
- For those of you who prefer a more leisurely pace, look for the “Focus ST Virtual Reality Ride,” which will let you experience the show floor as if you were riding shotgun in the hot new Focus ST… but without the risk of running anyone over.
- If you plan on bringing the little ones along to the show (and you definitely should), the family-friendly EcoBoost ‘Fan Cam’ and selfie-friendly Electrification Station at the “Power of Choice” tables will capture their interactions with some of today’s coolest green energy technologies. It’s a great way to see how Ford’s green technologies actually work while making memories together. And since not everything has to be about technology, also look for the adjacent colouring stations set up for your young graphic artists in training.
- Last but not least, be sure to also visit SiriusXM’s display to bask in the sultry radiance of the one and only 2014 Mustang convertible, and register for this year’s really fun DanceDuel challenge. The way it works is you pick the SiriusXM music station and then compete in a dance-off with a pre-recorded dancer on a big flat screen. Make sure that you practice your dance moves ahead of time though because SiriusXM will then send you a split-screen Facebook-friendly .gif of your dancing adventures. If your moves are worthy, you will be able to share them with all your online friends with just one click. If not, well… you’ll always have the memories.
It’s pretty clear that this year’s Canadian International AutoShow is gearing up to be something pretty special, so make sure to set aside a day or two to go check it out; and of course, plan to spend some of that time discovering all of the new amazing design, safety, quality and innovation that Ford has been working on this past year. If you want to get a good look at the future of the auto industry, now you know where to go to get a front row seat.