Niagara on the Lake, ON – The competing vehicles are all gassed up, shined up and parked in groups according to category, awaiting the first day of testing by the full AJAC (Automobile Journalists Association of Canada) voting contingent tomorrow.
At 7:30 AM, the runways at Niagara Regional Airport will be shut down to air traffic and within a couple hours they'll be converted into a full-fledged handling evaluation course buzzing with cars, not airplanes. And they'll continue in that role through Friday (October 26).
More than 80 AJAC journalists will spend the week evaluating 60 entries in the Canadian Car of the Year competition on surrounding roads as well as on the airport handling course.
Performance testing began today as a team of specialist testers put three vehicle classes – Sports/Performance under and over $50,000 and Prestige Performance – through their paces. They measured such things as 0-to-100 and 80-to-120 km/h (passing/merging) acceleration times and 100-to-0 km/h braking distances.
The results won't be released until all the classes have been tested but rumours suggest some impressive numbers were laid down for both acceleration and braking. They will be published later this week on AJAC's website.
Measurements were recorded with extreme accuracy using GPS-based Racelogic VBOX dataloggers and multiple tests were conducted, in opposite directions, sufficient to account for wind effects and to ensure statistical validity.
Tomorrow, that test team will complete performance testing on the other vehicle categories, while the rest of the journalists break into virtual teams to begin broad-based testing of all the categories.
It is required that testers evaluate all the vehicles in a given class, back-to-back, under the same conditions, on the same day to ensure valid comparisons.
Let the competition begin!