Emily got an invitation to a GM-sponsored "In Motion" test drive event at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. Basically, GM lets you drive all sorts of GM vehicles (and some of their competitors) in hopes that you'll purchase a GM vehicle in the future. Personally, it's unlikely that myself or Emily will buy a GM vehicle any time soon, but swinging out the rear of a Corvette for free was pretty cool.
The event is arranged with various tents organized by the handful of vehicle genres: SUVs, trucks, luxury or sporty sedans. Two other tents house the lines for a Hummer H2 terrain course and the "performance" (Corvette/Caddilac CTS) track. One can try out any vehicle from the regular tents as many times as they want, but each driver may only drive through the H2 or performance track once. (Yes, there was lots of waiting in line, but it was worth it.)
Emily and I started with the Pontiac GTO (this model and color). We whipped it around some turns and put our foot to the floor a little. Our impressions were that it really felt like a canned sports car -- throw leather bucket seats, a >300 hp engine and a dual exhaust into your Honda and you've got the same thing. And what's with handbrake being all the way on the far side of the console? How am I supposed to power slide into a parking space?
After we "qualified" for the performance track (meaning that we didn't drive the GTO into the bushes) and waited in line, Emily and I both hopped into a Corvette each alongside a paid, instructional driver. The track was a mere two turns followed by a 2/10ths-of-a-mile straightaway, so I was able to fly out of the second turn with my foot all the way to the floor, sliding the rear out a little and correcting it. (Rock on!) Emily, unfortunately, had a little problem with skipping 2nd and 3rd gear, but they gave her another go. Those cars certainly haul the proverbial ass, but I wouldn't want to own one. Waaaay too impractical.
Shortly after the Corvette, we tried out a competing Toyota Highlander and completely forgot that I was no longer in the Corvette. ("Ian, five miles an hour!" -- "Oh.")
Next we tried a gigantic Dodge Ram, which is a vehicle best suited for when you need to transport eight tons of meat. I can't understand how anyone would want to own one of those ridiculously large vehicles unless they carry around lumber for fun.
Finally, Emily and I made it to the H2 terrain park. (While in line, we were informed about how the new H3 is more safe and it gets an amazing twenty miles to the gallon, highway! Greenpeace rejoice!) Despite driving a vehicle I've learned to hate, it was a lot of fun to drive up and down forty-degree inclines. Emily performed much better than me over the moguls and 45-degree sideways tilt. I'd rather do it with a real Hummer, however.
Cars I rather would have driven today: Dodge Neon SRT, Toyota Prius, GMC's hybrid truck, PT cruiser, and anything from the Ralph Lauren Collection. Mmm... McLaren... Mercedes '55 300SL Gullwing...
Needless to say, no orange cones were knocked over on either of our parts. I can't say the same for some other attendees that I witnessed...