Every year around valentine’s day, the auto-show makes it way to Toronto. When I was really young, I can remember walking through the show with my dad and being absolutely amazed with different manufactures concept cars. As I’ve gotten older, I started going to the show by myself or with friends and spending almost entire days there staring and sitting at all kinds of new cars (last year I made 3 trips…)
Being a 21st century car enthusiast, the majority of my automotive media consumption comes from the internet in the form of YouTube videos, podcasts and blog posts. All of the online content producers that I follow daily always seem to have had interesting experiences at media days at auto shows. After listening to an episode of ‘The Smoking Tire’ podcast where they were arguing which manufacturer provided the best free coffee and croissant (it was Volvo) at the Los Angeles Auto Show, I became extremely intrigued with trying to get into media day. About 3 weeks ago I was sitting at home, bored of doing data homework and I googled “Toronto Auto Show Media Pass”. I ended up filling out the application form just for fun on the off chance that it might get accepted. Later that night I got an email from the auto show relations department, they had accepted my application.
Because this was my first time attending an event like this, I wanted to make sure that I was doing it correctly. I started by ditching my baseball hat, hoodie and salt stained Adidas for a sport jacket, a fresh pair of jeans and a dress shirt. Next, I figured that if I was going to look like somebody from the media, I needed a camera that looked more impressive than my phone. Thankfully, my mum very kindly lent me her Nikon DSLR and tripod. Although I used my phone for most of the pictures that I took, the camera really helped me pull off the press look… or at least I thought so.
Media day started early, the complimentary breakfast starting at 7 am. I have never been so excited to wake up at 6 am in my life. After enjoying a free breakfast burrito and orange juice, it was time for the show to begin. It was kicked off with Christian Von Koenigsegg, introducing his new car, the Koenigsegg Agera RS, officially, the fastest car in the world, in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre theatre.
I have seen many Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s in my life but the Agera RS is heads and tails above anything else when it comes to presences. The car is entirely made of carbon fibre and it appears as though every piece on the car was engineered with form following function. After that presentation [what a great way to start the morning] the media unveiling tour began. It started with VW releasing the new Passat GT and Arteon and proceeded to move onto Mitsubishi, Nissan and Hyundai. At the Hyundai press launch where they were showing off the new Veloster N hot hatch, I ran into 2 guys that I watch on YouTube called ‘The Straight Pipes’. Once I had finished being a fanboy, they told me that for the best auto-show experience, I should skip some of the more boring unveiling and make my way over to the other hall because it would be completely empty. They couldn’t have been more right. I ended up walking around all by myself getting great pictures of cars that would be otherwise swarmed. One of my favourite things to do at the car show is try out different car stereos.
Another plus of media day is the fact that many of the cars that are locked to the general public are open for the press. When I was in the second hall [by myself], I made my way around connecting my phones to various cars stereos. Now…I’m no audiophile, but I found the Mercedes AMG GTR, Cadillac CT6, Tesla Model 3 and Lincoln Navigator to have the most impressive stereos.
As the the media tour wrapped up, the majority of them either left or went to the reception, something I wasn’t allowed into because I am 17 and can’t legally drink. I spent the rest of the day wandering around continuing to look at cars and watching them do the final setup for the official opening of the show the next day. At around 4pm, I was politely asked to leave the show as all the media had left.
If there was anything that I took away from this experience is, first, attending media day is the BEST way to go the the car show and second, it never hurts to ask. One of my favourite sayings that my dad uses is “the worst they will say is no”. When I applied for the pass, I figured that he was right, the worst that could happen is that I would end up going to the auto show with the public, not a big deal. Because I decided to apply, and then ended up with a media pass, I had one of the most fun days of my life. And considering I woke up at 5:50 am, that says a lot.