Some days my job is merely excellent. And then there are days like May 21st when it was damn near perfect.
One of the great perks of being an auto writer is that you occasionally get to drive the world’s best cars on one of the world’s great racetracks. Such was the case when I attended the Midwest Automotive Media Association Spring Rally at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin where 30 manufacturers had nearly 100 cars for us to sample.
While one hot lap can’t tell you everything about a car, there are truths that can only be revealed on the racetrack. So without further ado, here are my quick impressions of a few of the cars I was able to drive at speeds that would have been frowned upon on public roads.
Yes, the Jaguar F-Type is that good. From the confident crack of its exhaust to the quick shifting automatic transmission to its unbelievable grip, this was the best car I drove on the track all day. All I can say after one lap is that wasn’t nearly enough time in this nearly perfect vehicle.
No, the 2015 Corvette Stingray Convertible does not need to make any apologies for being either a Corvette or a convertible. Grab a hold of the 7-speed shifter, stab the throttle and not only will you feel every one of its 460 horses, you’ll also hear the tailpipes trumpet a most glorious noise. But that’s not the best part. Set the suspension to track mode and you’ll experience a Corvette that handles as well as any sports car on the road today.
If you ever get the opportunity to drive a Mercedes E63 AMG Biturbo Wagon do so. You’ll never have so much fun hauling groceries in your entire life.
The Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker is everything a badass muscle car from Detroit should be. It’s powerful, raw and just a little bit ragged in a very good way. And no, I’m not sorry for leaving all that rubber on the tarmac at the start of my run.
The Cadillac CTS Vsport is fast, impeccably well mannered at its limits on the track and just a little bit stealthy – everything a serious performance sedan should be.
The BMW M5 still sets the standard for high performance sedans, but really, do they have to “enhance” the engine noise by piping it through the stereo? Everything else about the car is so good and so authentic.
When it comes to luxury performance cars, there are so many good ones available today. The important thing is to find the one that fits both your personality and lifestyle. We’ll follow up over the next few months with longer posts about many of these cars and others as we get to spend more time with each. Because while a taste is nice, you can’t truly know how good a car is until you live with it for a while.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my friend and fellow journalist, Chad Kirchner for his help with the photography. You can read his work at MotorReview.com