AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Canadian readers will be happy to know that the 2014 Canadian International Auto Show is opening this weekend in Toronto. World premieres may be few (or entirely nonexistent) but there’s still plenty to see and do – and a lot of first time Canadian reveals. Here’s our take on the most important and interesting items at the show this year.
Canadians have it pretty easy. They get free healthcare, dirt-cheap college tuition and now free taxi rides…
Imagine if you condensed the time you spend commuting annually into one long stretch. It adds up to about a month and an organization in Canada is looking for individuals willing to do it in one shot for cash.
A pair of Chevrolet Impala taxi cabs were seized and their drivers are facing “stunt driving” charges out in Toronto, Ontario Canada when they were caught street racing on Canada’s longest street, Younge Street. Those charged with stunt driving will have their license seized for seven days and face a fine between $2,000 to $10,000.
The motives behind why both drivers decided to race it out is unknown, but sections of Younge Street have been known to be street racing spots in the past. Maybe both of them were just reliving the past or settling a grudge, either way we don’t think either of them owe the other a 10 second car.
Check out the news clip after the break.
[Source: CTV News]
Recently, we told you about ParkatmyHouse.com, an online site where you could rent out extra spots at your house for some extra cash. Well, in some cities it may actually cost you, because renting your parking space could be illegal.
A quick rundown – Parkatmyhouse.com lets you list extra parking spaces to renters looking for short-term parking, like for an event or airport parking alternatives, or even for long-term parking arrangements. Payments are done online, and the service takes a cut once the transaction is complete. Seems like an easy way to make a couple of bucks – in fact, a church in London, England, made $180,000 by renting out its lot just by using the online service.
But some cities, you could be breaking a bylaw. Take Toronto, Ontario, for example. According to Lance Cumberbatch, director of the City of Toronto’s investigations services, you’re breaking several bylaws if you rent out a private space to the public. Commercial garages are the only businesses that can legally rent out parking spots, and these garages have to be located in an industrial or commercial zone – not residential, where listings on ParkatmyHouse.com are usually located. On top of that, owners of commercial garages need a licence to operate.
For other businesses and companies that want to rent out extra parking spaces at its offices, they are out of luck too. In Toronto, bylaws state that parking spaces must be used for purposes associated with the building. So even when the lot sits empty after office hours, the business can’t rent them out.
Enforcement of these parking bylaws is usually made because of complaints, and if the violations go to court, fines of $25,000 can be handed down.
Check your city or town’s bylaws before you post your parking space listing on Parkatmyhouse.com – you want to make money, not spend it on tickets.
[Source: Toronto Star]
No you’re not watching an episode of Jersey Shore and yes, Derrick Zoolander would be proud.
Some might furiously mock this Lambo driver, but we’ll look past the tight t-shirt, pumped physique and requisite ball cap and admit that he at least doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Is this how you’re supposed to pump gas in a Lamborghini Murcielago? Even we’ll admit, it’s not the wrong way.
Our panel of judges has awarded top points for style an originality. Plus, he even followed the number one rule of filling up your Murcielago… doing so with both doors open.
Watch the video after the jump:
Audi has been busy courting Canadian media outlets with some of their hottest product. Sympatico Autos, a popular portal in the Great White North, was given exclusive drives of the A1 Quattro, RS3 and (earlier in the year) TT-RS.
Given the penchant for smaller (and premium) cars north of the 49th parallel, we understand the movie, and Audi seems to be putting its money where its mouth is by unveiling the 340 horsepower TT-RS at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. The CIAS usually falls on the same dates as the Chicago show, and we know that there will be simultaneous unveiling of the 2012 Acura TL at both shows. On the other hand, we have no word on when the TT-RS will make its official debut in the United States, so this could potentially be an interesting story. Audi Canada would only confirm that this was the Canadian unveiling of the car, but we’re pretty sure that an American launch is imminent.
AutoGuide will have live photos of the Audi TT-RS launch in Toronto on February 17th, so stay tuned for the first images of Audi’s newest sports car.
The Toronto International Film Festival is a massive event, that brings thousands of film fans, A-list celebrities and professional celebrity worshippers together for a week of movie premieres, parties and camera-phone stalking.
TIFF is also a major hassle for some of the Autoguide staff, as we like to test cars in Toronto when given the opportunity; the landscape and roads can give us a simulation of nearly every environment, from smooth two-lane blacktop to Manhattan-like urban traffic. But when TIFF is in town, the place is mobbed.
Audi took advantage of this and decided to plaster Toronto’s downtown core with an untold number of 1/43 scale models and added magnets to their undercarriages. After placing them all over Toronto’s lamp posts and parking meters (and a competitors exhibit at a TIFF screening), Audi recorded festival patrons grabbing the model cars for themselves. To see what happens, hit the jump and view it yourself.
[Source: Sympatico Autos]
A 19-year-old man near Toronto, Canada has been charged with careless driving after bragging about going 87 mph in a 25 mph residential zone.
Vladimir Rigenco was given a 2006 BMW M5 by his parents as a reward for doing well in high school. Predictably, Rigenco also had a proclivity for speeding and bragging about it online – so much so that fellow forum members expressed alarm and notified the police after one incident.
Rigenco posted a thread about speeding in a subdivision, where he wrote comments like “I hit 140 [kilometers per hour] in like 6 or less seconds lol,” and “I cant stop racing with this car.”
A forum member in the United States tipped off police, who then canvassed the neighborhood. Police eventually found an eyewitness who saw Rigenco’s unsafe driving, and decided to lay charges.
Rigenco’s lawyer Aaron Spektor claimed that Rigenco’s parents aren’t knowledgeable about cars and were unaware of the M5′s capabilities.
“What business does he have behind the wheel of an M5? A 500-horsepower car?” “Suffice it to say, it’s gone. He doesn’t have it anymore. They took it.”
[Source: The Toronto Star]
New proposals like a London-style “congestion charge” and highway tolls for special lanes that would move faster are being floated both in Canada and the United States, as major cities grapple with traffic problems and infrastructure that wasn’t meant to deal with an increasing number of cars.
An article in the Chicago Tribune details how a government-sponsored panel concluded that new strategies, involving tolls on key expressways, involving fees on certain lanes during peak demand periods, may be necessary to discourage cars from driving into the city, and collect revenue from drivers willing to pay a premium to for the privilege of driving.
Minneapolis and Orange County, California have both implemented similar schemes, while Toronto, Canada’s largest city, with a population of 5.6 million people is also debating the whether to enact road tolls to discourage drivers in the downtown core.
The key element in all of this is public transit. Toronto has a fairly comprehensive system, that is expensive and fault, but the choice of many due to convenience, and the high costs of owning a car. London’s charge is similarly successful, by making those who can afford it pay the charge, while most people who wouldn’t have driven previously continue to take the subway.
[Source: Chicago Tribune]
Honda dealers in the Canadian province of Ontario are chipping in to help out with the Honda Indy in Toronto, sponsoring the Friday practice on July 16th, and allowing fans to watch the action for free.
The Ontario Honda Dealers Association is not only sponsoring the practice sessions, but also the car of hometown hero Paul Tracy, who drives the #15 KV Racing Technology car. Both Tracy and the dealer association will also be donating significant sums of money to the Make-A-Wish foundation, a charity that grants terminally ill children their “last wish”. The two were able to raise $100,000 for the foundation last year, and it is expected that a similarly substantial donation will be made this year.
In addition, seats for the Friday practice will be available on a first-come first-served basis, meaning that even the most expensive seats (save for corporate boxes) will be up for grabs.
Honda Indy manager Charlie Johnstone praised the initiative in an email to the Toronto Sun, stating ““This is one of the most significant initiatives in the history of the event for the community at large.” “To have free access to a world class event is unprecedented and wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the Ontario Honda Dealers Association. For this we are truly grateful.”
[Source: The Toronto Sun]
Toyota Canada has announced that it will expand its product offering significantly in Canada with the introduction of the youth-oriented Scion brand in September of 2010. The launch will be targeted at several major markets including Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. In total 45 dealers will be a part of the expansion.
The Scion dealers will operate as a “store within a store” and will be part of existing Toyota dealerships. There will be 18 Scion dealers in Montreal, 20 in Toronto and 7 in Vancouver.
“This is a great time to launch Scion in Canada,” said Larry Hutchinson, Director of Scion in Canada. “As the auto industry emerges from recession, one of the largest and youngest demographics will be entering the marketplace. Young buyers will be looking to the ever-growing small car market. They are not only looking for a safe, high-quality and fuel efficient vehicle, it is important to them that the vehicle reflects their personality and lifestyle, and the stylish and trendy Scion brand will be there to fulfill that need.”
The launch of Scion in Canada will start with three vehicles, all of which are currently offered in the U.S. (Scion’s only other market). The vehicles include the sporty tC, the funky and functional xB and the sub-compact xD. Scion is also expected to deliver new models in the near future, with one possibility being a version of the Toyota iQ mini car.
For a full list of Canada’s Scion dealers, see after the jump:
Napanee judge declares two-year-old law unconstitutional
A judge in Ontario has overturned a charge of street racing against a grandmother from the city of Oakville (just outside Toronto), declaring that the law is unconstitutional. This ruling now opens the flood gates for others charged under the province’s “Street Racing” law to contest their charges in court. And there are a lot of others.
Two years ago the Ontario provincial government passed a law stating that anyone charged going 50 km/h (31 mph) over the posted speed limit would be labeled a street racer and would face a roadside license suspension for seven days, having their car impounded and face a possible $10,000 fine and jail time if convicted. Since the law was passed, over 15,000 people have been charged.
The judge ruled that the law was unconstitutional because it allows for jail time even though the speeder can’t fight the charges. To put it more simply, because the charge is based on undeniable proof from a police radar gun that the person charged was in fact exceeding the posted speed limit by 50 km/h or more, a conviction is automatic, thereby removing the possibility of a defense.
The case was brought to court by Jane Raham, who was clocked doing over 130 km/h (80 mph) in a 80 km/h (50 mph) zone, while passing a truck.
Despite the ruling, Ontario Provincial Police constable Dave Woodford said, “It’s business as usual,” declaring that his police force will continue to charge people under the law even though it has been declared unconstitutional.
We’re not legal experts, but that sure doesn’t sound like “the true north strong and free.”
The Ontario government has declared it will appeal the ruling.
[Source: London Free Press]
[Photo Credit: Canada.com]
Dealerships to open in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver first
Eight years after the Scion brand was launched in the U.S., Toyota’s youth-oriented offshoot will open dealerships in Canada in 2010. With a dealership-within-a-dealership approach, Scions will be available at several Toyota stores in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Expansion to other urban centers (or “centres” as they say in Canada) is expected but not yet official.
Scion will enter the Canadian marketplace with all three of its vehicles, the tC sport coupe, the xD five-door hatchback and the cube-shaped xB five-door hatchback.
And of course, all Scion models in Canada will be available with numerous accessories and upgrades, from wheels to shift knobs and from stereo systems to TRD (Toyota Racing Development) performance parts.
“Scion is a unique brand, yet still a member of the Toyota family so it benefits from the same high standards as our Toyota and Lexus lines,” said Larry Hutchinson, Director of Toyota Canada Inc., commenting that in the U.S. 70 percent of Scion buyers are new to Toyota, and over fifty percent of Scion owners migrate to a Toyota vehicle as their needs and wants evolve.
For more information on Scion Canada visit: www.scionnation.ca
Official release after the jump: