An Audi R8 GT at the Detroit auto show.

While it may be an entire month away, automotive manufacturers have been preparing for February’s Canadian International Autoshow in Toronto since shortly after it wrapped up last year.

Kicking off with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the 2012 autoshow season has brought an air of optimism not seen since before the dire days of 2008. North of the border, more Canadians treated themselves to a new vehicle in 2011 than the year prior, contributing to nearly two-per-cent growth in the industry.

The numbers bobbed up and down throughout the year but finished strong as sales in December grew 2.6 per cent over the last month of 2010 with the third consecutive monthly increase. According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, automakers sold 1.59 million vehicles in 2011, up from 1.56 million in 2010, proving that things are definitely moving in the right direction.

Once again residing at both the North and South buildings of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the CIAS will run from Feb. 17-26 and is aptly themed, The Next Dimension.

New models on display will offer fresh designs and exciting technological innovations that will define the future automotive landscape for years to come.

The Eco-Drive Showcase presented by CAA is a brand new feature for 2012, demonstrating clean fuel-efficient vehicles and technologies.

Not only will the show profile where we’re going, but also where we’ve been with the Cruise Nationals exhibit and a display profiling the history of the Triumph Motor Car Company, with 40 rare and renowned models.

Always a fan favourite, the Auto Exotica exhibit will showcase the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls Royce. They may be out of reach for all but a few but we can still dream, can’t we?

Visit autoshow.ca for more details.

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