The rain really hampered the two most anticipated rides of the day, the all-new 300 horsepower Mustang GT and 400 horsepower Chevy Corvette. I had to wait in line to hop into the pale green Mustang. It is an imposing figure in person. Large and wide with a grill that screams "I mean business," the GT rolled up and I was next in line. Imagine my disappointment when I got in to find an automatic transmission waiting for me.
But the initial reaction was eased when I pulled out of the lot and felt the 300 horses idling smoothly underneath me. My first thought was ?Man this thing is quiet.? Not the engine just the car. One of the worst parts of the former model was the feeling the thing was going to shake apart. There were constant rattles etc. Here there was none of that. The turning was sharp, the road and wind noise was minimal and I was enjoying the ride.
Unfortunately I had little opportunity to really let loose but it felt that there was a lot of power waiting for me when a full-test arrives down the road. The interior was very nice and the materials felt good to the touch with the exception of some of the plastic on the doors. But how often do you feel-up the door panel? Leather seats and a lot of added interior space, for the driver and front passenger, made the GT superbly comfortable. I was ready for more but that will have to wait.
The Corvette was also an automatic. A manual was on site as well, but was always in use. So I got behind the lonely automatic?s wheel and hit the street. Immediately there were those flashbacks to other Corvettes I?d driven and rode in. And some of the style was still there. But a much nicer interior, highlighted by cleaner lines and richer materials (photo), was welcoming. Only the ugly steering wheel disrupted the setting.
On twisty roads and rolling hills the Vette was masterful. Turning was so fluid any novice driver would feel like an Le Mans veteran. The 400 horses never strained no matter what I could manage to ask of them. Again the weather and conditions limited full-throttle acceleration, but I got enough joy out of what I could manage to respect this new Corvette.
The interior had some great highlights too. The button release door handles (photo) were totally trick as was a one button push ignition button. I didn?t love the center stack interface screen (photo). Next to the Acura RL it was the most confusing of the day. Although I didn?t have a lot of time to learn either one.
Both the Mustang and Corvette were joys to drive and full tests are more than needed, they?re a basic necessity.
*There wasn?t much time to take a lot of pictures of the Mustang due to its popularity at the event.