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By Jan Wagner - syndicated weekly columnist/photojournalist
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GM AutoShow In Motion, Round 2

 

For the second time this year, GM brought its toys to Qualcomm Stadium for everyone (of licensed driving age) to play with at the GM AutoShow In Motion. This time it was even better than the first.

For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure to experience one of these events, let me set the stage for you. Once or twice a year, GM takes over a large paved area and brings in a rolling auto show. Featuring a very wide variety of cars, trucks and SUVs, GM gives prospective buyers the opportunity to learn about these products in a hassle-free (no salespeople), fun environment.

These are really first-class productions. The vehicles are divided up into logical categories and courses are set up to test them against each other, and some of the competition. Courses are typically delineated by soft plastic traffic cones, although the idea is not to race through them. Rather, you are supposed to experience the handling, power, comfort and convenience characteristics of the vehicles.


Hummer 

Vehicles with off-road capabilities can be driven through an obstacle course and up a steep dirt hill specially prepared for this event. It may not look intimidating but believe me when I tell you that when you are looking out the windshield of a Hummer and all you can see is sky and trees, that gets the old heart rate going. At least it does for me.


Corvette and CTS-V

I especially enjoyed driving the new Corvette. The special course for that car and the hot Cadillac CTS-V included a relatively long, drag strip-like section where one could get going pretty quickly before having to slow down for a series of tight turns. Did I mention that I like the new Corvette? I can only imagine what the more powerful Z06 version will be like to drive, when the ‘ordinary’ one already has a whopping 400 hp, a top speed of 186 mph and can do zero-to-60 in only 4.2 seconds. Oh, and this car turns, too – corners and heads! For an MSRP in the mid-40s, you really can’t beat its combination of style and performance.


HydroGen 3

In contrast, GM offered us a look at – and a chance to drive, their HydroGen 3. This is an early prototype of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and probably represents what we’ll be driving in the future. We need to do something to end our dependence on increasingly expensive oil. With a top speed of 99 mph and room for five, this is a vehicle that people could live with. I was impressed.

 
Accessories and food

Aside from the cars, there were plenty of displays too, featuring neat accessories like XM Satellite Radio. Also, there is a cafe. I’ve been to similar events that scrimped in this area, which is not a good idea. GM fed us well, which helped to put us in a good frame of mind to evaluate their products. That’s smart.

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 – #160r2 AutoMatters

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