Just did this event in Miami. This was the first of several cities scheduled:
Got relatively lucky with the weather with my time slot that it didn’t rain while I was there.
The event is divided into four sections:
- Neighborhood Drive
You get the choice of several vehicles: CT6 3.0TT and hybrid, XT5, and Escalade. They take you in a line in a ~5 mile drive around the neighborhood. About half way in the drive you get out and switch with another driver. This was nice because you don’t have a rep with you in the car. They also let you know over the radio where you can open it up a bit.
I drove the CT6 3.0TT and Escalade. I wanted to try out the CT6 hybrid, especially since they claimed there are only about 20 in the country so far, but I didn’t get the chance. The 3.0TT though is definitely nice to drive. Very quick and maneuverable with the 4-wheel steering. The camera rear view mirror was also very easy to get used to, though the size of the screen itself is much smaller in person.
In this section they demonstrate a few of the safety features and automatic parking.
They have the vehicles inside a dark tent with a fog machine going, and you are facing another vehicle about 50 feet away with its highbeams on. They have someone walk out beside the other vehicle and although they are almost not visible, the night vision picks up everything clear as day since it is thermal based.
Low speed safety features:
Here they demonstrate the automatic braking where the vehicle stops itself before hitting a prop vehicle or pedestrian. Worked very well, even in the wet conditions.
The automatic parallel parking works just as it should. Hit the button and as you drive the car actually identifies an acceptable spot. After that, you control the shifter and modulate the speed and it handles the steering.
They have a short track setup in the parking lot. You can chose between an ATS or CTS, with either the 2.0T or 3.6. All were RWD and had magnetic ride. Everyone got as many laps as they wanted in about 15 minutes and you could switch cars as often as you wanted. It was also nice once again that you drive with no rep with you in the vehicle.
The ATS was the most enjoyable here since it was a tight technical course. Since the road was still damp you couldn’t push them too hard. In the short time I had with them both engines felt similar. The 2.0 probably had the extra initial grunt of the higher torque, but the V6 was maybe a bit quicker since it was hitting redline sooner in 1st at the end at one of the longer sections.
This is a short full acceleration in an ATS-V and CTS-V. You get up to about 60 mph. Once again because of the damp conditions you couldn’t get the full experience. You had to roll into it - especially in the CTS to minimize spin.