If the annual Toronto AutoShow is any indicator, and it always is, 2019 is going to be a very good year for cars. This year brings something for everyone, including $30 million of spectacular supercars, a fresh wave of luxurious SUVs, and a pair of all-electric machines that may finally persuade you to leave gasoline behind for good. Not only that, but the show itself is bigger and better with more to see and do; yes, we’re going to play with the huge Hot Wheels track and no, we’re not afraid to admit it. Toronto’s importance as a global automotive market is on the rise, and this show is proof. Here are the cars you’ve got to see this year.
The last time we saw these two names got together — McLaren and Ayrton Senna — they won three Formula One World Championships. Senna is, arguably, the greatest racing driver of all time. You can’t put his name on any old supercar, but McLaren’s latest limited edition is worthy. The McLaren Senna is $1 million of pure racing machine, uncompromising in its pursuit of speed, just like he was. You’ll probably never see one on the road, so see it here.
It’s finally here. The E-Tron is Audi’s first fully-electric SUV. It’s a technological marvel, and not just because of the huge 95 kWh battery pack that powers it. The cabin is wonderfully high-tech, loaded with advanced driver-assist systems and an expansive all-glass infotainment system, as befits a car that drives like it’s from the future.
If you’re not quite ready to make the leap to all-electric, Audi has another big debut on its stand this year. The Q3 is all-new for 2019, and it’s a major step forward. The motor is a little peppier and the styling is some of Audi’s best work in recent memory, but what we like most is the huge range of customization available. From interior trim, to paint colours, to wheels, you can build a Q3 that’s entirely unique.
There’s never been one of these before. The X7 is BMW’s biggest, most luxurious SUV offering to date. It’s the brand’s newest flagship and it shows. You’ve got to sit in it to appreciate the quality of the wood and leather in the cabin. The enormous glass roof and tall windows give it an airy ambiance. If you’re interested but can’t make it to the show, BMW can bring one to you for a test-drive.
This is the first electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz, and the brand’s first mass-produced electric car. The tide has begun to shift, away from gasoline and toward electric. The shift is slow, but it’s happening now. Tesla is not alone in its niche anymore. The EQC’s appeal is that it looks like a conventional Mercedes SUV. It doesn’t shout about its eco-friendliness. Plus, it’s not slow. Mercedes says it’ll sprint to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds and we can’t wait to test out that claim.
Lamborghini Aventador SVJ
Bless Lamborghini’s crazy heart. They were the first company to sell a mid-engine naturally-aspirated V12-powered supercar, and — we’re sad to say — as of today Lamborghini is also the last. The SVJ is the ultimate expression of the old-school supercar. It is a dying breed, no doubt to be replaced with something faster, more high-tech and more fuel-efficient, but we’ll miss beasts like these when they’re gone. If you want one, it’ll cost you $517,770 USD and move fast; there’s only 900 of them.
Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
If that Aventador SVJ is a beast, the newest Aston Martin is a beauty. It is a perfect shape, long and low like all of Aston’s greatest grand-tourers. The twin-turbo V12 engine works like a sledgehammer, delivering a massive whallop of torque at virtually any rpm. Make sure you have a good long bit of road ahead before trying to experience all 715 horsepower. The British brand is on the up and up these days, and its new flagship is a sight to behold. Yours from $365,434.
It is, quite obviously, the Rolls-Royce of SUVs. We were admittedly a little worried when we heard the regal British brand would make a 4×4, but we needn’t have been. The Cullinan is a perfectly executed product. It’s larger and more imposing than even the photos would indicate. The driver’s seat is throne-like. It’s a Rolls-Royce you can drive year-round, to any occasion, and frankly we just wonder why they didn’t build it sooner. It starts at $370,500 but most customers will spend much more.
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Sports cars are too fast for the street these days. If you have a serious need for speed, you really must get yourself to a track day. For that, there’s no better instrument than the pro-level GT4 Clubsport racecar. It’s not street legal, but you wouldn’t want it to be. It’s slammed to the ground and stripped of nearly all creature comforts. It’s just you and 425 horsepower of mid-engine Porsche. If this doesn’t satiate your speed addition, nothing will.
In the company of so many luxurious and exotic cars, the Mazda3 is very humble indeed. The all-new 2019 model, however, is an impressive machine in its own right. The sharp design belies its mass-market badge. The minimalist cabin is a refreshing change of pace. It’s available as a sedan and hatch, and, for the first time, with all-wheel drive. In fact, we’d say the new 3 is a worthy alternative to entry-level luxury machines. It’s a bargain when you consider you could get 20 of them for the price of a single Cullinan.