Sunday, February 19, 2006

club smartcar cruise to the CIAS

To smart centre Mississauga for the cruise to the Toronto Auto Show -CIAS. Coffee and doughnuts courtesy of Ed & Justin, our smart specialists. Eleven strong we head out down the 401 and the Don Valley Parkway to smart centre Midtown where we hook up with some 60 odd smart cars making an estimated total of 75. We cruise down to the Rogers Centre en masse. A passing motorist asks, "Are you all together?".
Free parking on the Lakeshore and shuttle bus to the venue, courtesy of Nissan, without a hitch. The show is a bit of a zoo but we battle our way to the smart stand where the $40,000 Canada 1 racing red Brabus show car is on display. The stand is a magnet for fellow cruisers and we bump into Glen, owner of the lovely Gina, in town from London and already dreaming of a smart grandstyle special edition. We head over to the Subaru stand to view the new all electric R1e, not for sale in North America, there are only a handful on the streets in Japan. It uses new manganese lithium-ion battery technology that means it could be recharged to 90% capacity in just five minutes. But of course at present there is no network of recharging points.
We checked out the NASCAR stand briefly on our way to view the Cruise Nationals winners. Saw a splendid display called "Octagon Dreams" hosted by the MG Car Club of Toronto. We headed up into the North Hall to Transport Canada's stand where they had a smart forfour cdi on display. A spokeswoman said, "we are expecting type approval for this car in 2007 or 2008". The forfour has a 1.5 litre, 3 cylinder 12-valve diesel engine fitted with a turbocharger.
We were delighted to receive free tickets to the show from smart centre Mississauga, coupled with the free parking it made for a splendid day out at low cost. After collecting our complement of free newspapers, we cheerfully headed home.
Many thanks to club smartcar, Brian, Ed, Justin and others who made the event possible.

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