2012 WAPA Rally was a Blast!

Last Friday I attended the 2012 WAPA (Washington Automotive Press Association) Rally at Indigo Landing.   The WAPA Rally was quite a lot of fun and I got to test drive a lot of cool cars, all on the same day! The vehicles I got to drive at the 2012 WAPA Rally included the Lexus GS350, Mecedes-Benz GLK, Ford Escape, Hyundai Veloster, Jaguar XF, Kia Optima, and the Subaru BRZ.  I probably would have driven more cars if I had gotten to the WAPA Rally on time.  I got held-up on the I-83 on ramp heading South, due to this.

honda accord

Not sure how this Honda Accord got into an accident, just glad I didn't get into an accident getting on the freeway.  Anyway I drove about 1/4 of the vehicles there that were available to drive.  I wanted to drive the BMW 640i, Audi A8L, Dodge Dart, and VW Golf but most of these were being driven by other auto journalists.  I just didn't have time to test drive them all but hopefully I will be have a chance in the future.

By far my favorite car that I drove at the WAPA Rally was the Subaru BRZ.  The handling is tight, acceleration amazing, and the car seemed to fit me like a glove.  I joked with a guy who came back from driving the Subaru BRZ, “I was almost tempted to drive it home!” his reply “Oh yeah! Me too!”  I only wish it was a stick shift.  The PR rep from ESI, the company that was handling the fleet vehicles, said they have a Scion FR-S (same car as the Subaru BRZ) that is a stick shift but most are automatics.

subaru brz 1
Subaru BRZ- Beautiful!
subaru brz
Subaru BRZ – Beautiful Behind!

The car I was most impressed would have to be the Kia Optima.  Compared to other Kias I have driven the Optima I was drove actually felt like a car and not a toy car.   Kia has definitely stepped up their game and it showed.  The Optima wasn't fast, but was agile and responsive and the interior was quite nice.  My only gripe would be the audio and navigation controls are a little confusing.  Still I am sure the other PR reps were looking over at the Kia and thinking, “How did Kia get that good so fast?”  That is something everyone is wondering.

The Ford Escape Titanium I drove was also much better then any other Ford SUV I have driven in the past.  The interior felt plush and well-appointed and the handling wasn't bad either.  It still felt like an SUV but a capable small SUV which is exactly what Ford was aiming for.  At $33,000 for the Ford Escape Titanium model I drove, I guess you get what you pay for.

My favorite luxury car at the WAPA Rally was definitely the Jaguar XF.  I mean it just looks sooo pretty and when you get in you feel great about yourself.  In my opinion this is just what luxury car should do.  The Jaguar XF also felt fast and responsive compared to some of the other luxury cars I drove at the WAPA Rally.  It's not a driver's car, but it sure fools you.  Like most people, I don't like the dial shifter for changing gears.  Seems cool at first until you use it.  If I owned a Jaguar XF I feel I would go into the wrong gear by accident a lot.

After the driving the cars there was a nice catered lunch.  Jessica Anderson, President of WAPA, handed out awards for Best Tweet, Best Picture, and a few other awards I can't remember.  You got points for filling out a questionnaire and driving as many cars as you could.  As well you were supposed to spot WAPA signs that were set out on the 3 different driving routes.  Apparently there were 10 but I only noticed 3.  Also I hardly took any pictures or tweeted since I was focused on driving as many vehicles as possible.  I guess I was having too much fun!

hyundai veloster
Hyundai Veloster
WAPA Rally
WAPA Rally

I love my Toyota Camry since it is a great and reliable car.  However, it is a bit disappointing when you get back into your own car after having driven so many other cars you want to own, all on the same day!

Baltimore Auto Show Coverage with Pictures!

I am a bit late in posting these pictures of the Baltimore Auto Show, but better late than never.  The 2012 Baltimore Auto Show was not too much to brag about though.  There were considerably less cars this year and no luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Porsche. Baltimore being poor, I guess it isn't surprising they didn't show this year.  Also there were no exotic cars like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, etc.  Worst part of all, no tuner alley!  It was a big letdown compared to the Washington Auto Show.

While I love seeing the new models automakers are offering and what is in store for new year in the car world, I felt the recent Baltimore Auto Show showed how depressed the economy was.  Through the grapevine I heard the convention center tripled there rates, which explained most of it.  Even considering that the displays weren't anything to brag about and people were generally not having much fun it seemed.  It sort of felt like 2008 was happening in the all over again, but hey this is 2012.

I hope next year will reflect a more robust car market and economy.  Also hopefully the Convention Center will lower their rates!

 

Scion Road Rage Show – October 16th

Scion Road Rage Show

Today, from 10am-6pm at Capitol Raceway in Crofton, MD there will be the Scion Road Rage Show.  It is Free and open to the public.  If you are interested in winning trophies or awards, just go to the show!  No entrance fees, judging fees, or show fees!

You can race your Scion, Toyota, and Lexus for $5.  Any other brand or type of vehicle will need to pay $10 to race their vehicle.  There is a gamblers race with a purse of $1,000!

This is kid and family friendly event.  There will be a moon bounce, obstacle course, and bungee run along with live bands, DJ's, food, waters, cotton candy.

On top of all this the entire lineup of Scion vehicles will be on hand to test drive at the Scion Road Rage Show.  This includes the tiny Scion IQ, the latest addition to the Scion vehicle lineup.

For more information visit: http://www.occarshow.com/