Posted Jan 13th 2012 6:26PM
The 44th edition of the Montreal International Auto Show got underway today and there was lots to talk about at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal. The show caters to thousands of car-crazy Quebecers a first look at the new models before the rest of Canada. And since Montreal is such an important market for many upscale brands, there was a host of them that were missing from Detroit!
The list of high-end marques Montreal had that Detroit didn't included: Aston Martin, Land Rover, Range Rover, Jaguar, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, more than an SUV from Maserati and even a couple everyday brands like Mitsubishi and Suzuki. The luxury brands typically try and make a case for staying away from Detroit's NAIAS, which usually involves some excuse like "well, that isn't an important market for us." True, but there are a load of international media there to promote the said brands all over the world too.
However, there were no major players absent from Montreal, so manufacturers rolled out many Canadian reveals and a handful of debuts. Infiniti had been touting that their JX cross-over would be debuted at Montreal but curiously we saw it in Detroit lurking in the shadows. Then Mercedes-Benz rolled out the second generation B-Class, which is not available in the U.S. Finally Nissan unveiled the brutish NV passenger van which looks about as utilitarian as it can get but seats 12 doing it. Lastly Nissan did a Canadian reveal of the LEAF Nismo RC and electric racer that promises all kinds of innovation and we have been following it since it's New York Auto Show debut last April.
There were many eyes on the Subaru BRZ but strangely it's Scion twin, the FR-S was missing?! The sporty front engine rear wheel drive Subaru coupe is promising for the affordable sporty market and will be very popular to modify. Speaking of modified, Quebecers are crazy for motorsports and fast cars, so there was a jam packed house in the 'Zone Performance' area of the show and we shot it for you to check it all out.