Oshawa’s Automotive Museum brings “visionary” Magna Torrero concept car to the Auto Show

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Published February 21, 2023 at 2:10 pm

Canadian Automotive Museum board member Greg Johnstone and Executive Director Alex Gates with the Magna Torrero concept vehicle at the Canadian International Auto Show

The Canadian Automotive Museum usually has a presence at the Canadian International Auto Show and this year – the first show after a two-year COVID-induced hiatus – is no different with the visionary Magna Torrero concept vehicle on display.

The car, built in 1987 and introduced at the 1989 Geneva Auto Show, has been called “a piece of art, loaded with innovations.” Despite an appearance that is an acquired taste, the car came loaded with technology unheard of in passenger vehicles of the time, including computers, satellite navigation, 11 cameras and a fax machine for rear passengers.

The car, powered by a massive all-aluminum 8.1L V8 engine producing 532hp with a top speed of 240 km/hr, was equal parts SUV, luxury sedan and technology demonstrator and set the standard for today’s SUVs and crossovers.

The ambitious program was axed a few years later, however, with Magna, an auto parts giant based in Aurora, mired in debt at the time and in the midst of major cost-cutting to soothe nervous investors.

The car, one of just two models ever made, was kept on display at the Magna headquarters until it was donated to the Auto Museum in 2022.

The Magna Torrero concept vehicle can be seen at the Oblivion 80s and 90s exhibit at the Auto Show, which set a single-day attendance record on Sunday and has experienced its largest audience over the first three days of the show in its 50 years. Sunday’s attendance of 56,122 topped the previous high from 2019 — which was also set on the Sunday of the Family Day long weekend.

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