The Canadian International AutoShow Returns in Full Force

Rare, speedy, and fun cars were on display at the Toronto auto show.

The 2024 edition of the Canadian International AutoShow has come to a close, and in many respects, it was the best ever. A record crowd of 371,559 attendees crushed the previous mark set in 2018, a statistic that bodes well for the future of the 51-year-old event. While car shows like the North American International Detroit Auto Show have faded like a leather dashboard, the CIAS has defied the odds and emerged with new energy.

A big part of the success of this year’s show was the return of more car brands. This year, 45 car companies participated, a huge boost from the 28 last year. This year’s CIAS also hosted 31 new vehicle debuts, including the first appearance on Canadian soil of the controversial Tesla Cybertruck.


Canadian International AutoShow


“With so many new brands adding to the roster of presenting manufacturers this year, an expanded indoor and outdoor test drive program, and a diverse and well-presented series of features, our consumers came out in force,” says CIAS general manager Jason Campbell. “We had positive word-of-mouth, media coverage, and social media activity from early attendees, and that helped propel us to a strong finish and a new attendance record.”



The show also featured more exotic vehicles than usual, many of them arriving from the downtown showroom of Grand Touring Automobiles. This year, GTA made an enormous splash by bringing four new brands to CIAS: Rimac, Zagato, Himalaya, and The Little Car Company.



The four could not be more different.

Touted as the fastest all-electric hypercar in the world, the Rimac Nevera is the brainchild of Mate Rimac, a Croatian inventor who’s been electrifying automobiles since he was a teenager. His latest creation, the Nevera, can blast from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour on 1.81 seconds and achieve a terminal velocity of 412 kilometres per hour. This year marked the first time the car has appeared in Canada.



Founded in 1919, Italian design firm Zagato has partnered with numerous brands ever since, including Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Fiat, and Lamborghini. These relationships have resulted in unique and collectible automobiles, the latest of which is the Zagato Porsche 356 Coupe. Inspired by drawings of a coupe version of the original Porsche 356, the car on display at CIAS is one of only nine produced.



While the latest Land Rover Defender is an absolute winner, many people still have a soft spot for the original Defender, which went out of production in 2016. The original was back on stage in the form of the Himalaya Mariner, a fully restored and modernized vehicle based on the Land Rover Series 88 from the 1960s. GTA recently became the exclusive Canadian distributor for Himalaya rebuilds.



Lastly, the vehicles on offer from Britain’s The Little Car Company are just as the name suggests: little. The builder creates scaled-down versions of some of the most legendary cars in history. On stage at the CIAS were three examples of the company’s work: the Bentley Blower Jnr, Bugatti Baby II, and Ferrari Testa Rossa J.



Although they may look like toys, The Little Car Company’s cars are hand-built, officially licensed products created in partnership with the iconic brands themselves. The cars are battery powered but offer plenty of performance—the company even staged a race series in the U.K. last year with everyone piloting identical Baby IIs.