AutoMatters+

Autos, Consumer Electronics, Motorsports, Travel, Entertainment & More!

By Jan Wagner - syndicated weekly columnist/photojournalist
Home Up Photography News & Views Most Recent Column Other Publications COLUMN ARCHIVES Contact Jan







 

GM AutoShow In Motion

 

From time to time some of the auto manufacturers hold what we call ‘Ride & Drives’ for consumers, like you. These events give prospective auto buyers the opportunity to learn more about their automobiles. The idea is that you will be favorably impressed and, therefore, consider them when making a future automobile purchase.

GM’s “AutoShow In Motion” is one such show. While the local locations can and do change, they’ve held these before and, I hope, they will hold them again. In case you’ve never been to one, take my word for it that they are well worth your time.

This one was at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium, in the large west parking lot. It was huge.


Corvette on the hi-performance course

They probably call this “AutoShow In Motion” because you get to actually test drive the cars. This is no static auto show, although there are plenty of displays to look at and learn from too. One of my favorite things about this auto show was that we got to drive the new Corvette, as well at the hot Cadillac CTS-V. These cars are seriously quick, with great acceleration, braking and handling. Of course the track layout provided for us, and the helpful GM representative riding shotgun, would not let us drive too quickly. After all, they wanted to keep all four wheels on the cars for the duration of the show. However, several of the other vehicles were also available for extended test drives on the city streets.

Another useful feature of GM’s show was that we were also given the opportunity to drive many competitors’ vehicles, on the same courses and under the very same conditions. That provided us with an excellent opportunity to really compare them, as opposed to reading carefully researched and prepared advertising materials that are – let’s face it, designed to make the advertiser look better than the competition. It is amazing how ad and PR people can, if they are good at what they do, find points of comparison – no matter how inconsequential they may actually be, that make their clients’ products look better than those of the competition. Here, you did not need to take their word for it, or anyone else’s for that matter. By providing the actual competitive vehicles for us to drive, GM took a big chance and let us truly see, experience and decide for ourselves. They deserve credit and your consideration for doing that.

There were lots of vehicles there, representing virtually every class and brand that GM sells. In addition to the high performance Cadillac and Corvette already mentioned, the list also included Hummers, a wide variety of passenger cars, trucks and SUVs. Competitors listed as being available for us to drive included vehicles from Ford, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Acura, BMW, Lexus, Mercedes and Jeep.


Hummer H2 SUT on the off-road course

A pleasant surprise, and rarely found at these parking lot ‘Ride & Drives,’ was the Hummer offroad course. GM brought in a large amount of dirt to add to the realism.


XM Satellite Radio display

There were displays from XM Satellite Radio, GM Accessories, Chevrolet, Saturn and Buick – where we could try to win golf-related prizes. At the “Hot Products” display, we learned about GM Mobility, where we could see a demonstration of the “Sit-N-Lift” power seat. That is a dealer-installed accessory designed to make it easier to enter and exit GM’s midsize vans. “OnStar” was represented, and GM even provided free food for us, in their café.


Pontiac GTO

Another opportunity for some fun was at the “Pontiac Performance Drive,” where we could drive the new Pontiac GTO to our heart’s content. I especially love it when it is not my gas and tires that I burn through!

A special kids’ area included fun activities for those well under the minimum age for driving.


Cadillac Escalade EXT on the handling course

My thoughts on the vehicles present? Well, I really was impressed by the taught handling of the Cadillac CTS-V and the new Corvette, as well as Acura’s TSX. I also liked the on-road handling of the Lincoln Navigator – but not the Suburban. I’d also hand out good marks for handling to the BMW X5 and Honda’s Pilot.

That’s about all for this installment of AutoMatters. The next time you hear about GM’s AutoShow In Motion coming to town, check it out. It’s free, fun and informative.

As always, please share your stories and send your comments to AutoMatters@gmail.com. Enjoy the archives and more at www.AutoMatters.net. Drive safely and do join me again next time.

 

Copyright © 2005, 2006 Jan R. Wagner – #148r1 AutoMatters

Send email with your comments and suggestions about AutoMatters+ and this Web site.
Copyright © 2014 Jan R. Wagner – AutoMatters+