Key to the Highway

Observations about cars and the auto industry

Posts Tagged Motor Press Guild

Motor Press Guild Track Day 2012

The L.A.-based Motor Press Guild is an organization for automotive journalists, analysts, industry and public relations people. As it has for several years, MPG recently held its Track Day event over two days at AAA Speedway east of Los Angeles. Thirty automakers brought nearly 100 vehicles for journalists and analysts to drive. While the brief […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2012 BMW 335is Coupe

Mentioning how fast the 335is can reach triple-digit speed on the racetrack seems obvious. All that turbocharged power gives the coupe performance that isn’t brutish, but it’s ever-present like a grouchy bouncer at a Vegas … never mind. On the track, the 335is is reasonably agile, but softer than I’d like. BMW has moved toward […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Scion FR-S

The idea of an automatic transmission in any car with sporting intentions was scoffed at before this century. Dual-clutch gearboxes – born on the racetrack – have dispelled the idea that ultimate performance requires the driver dance on three pedals. Still, the idea of an old-fashioned hydraulic torque converter automatic in the Toyota/Subaru designed sport […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Cadillac ATS

If you liked the CTS, you’ll love this car. It’s like a business suit with a rapid pulse. Stylish, comfortable – although I had to fiddle a bit to get the seat where I wanted it – and available with just about every luxury feature you could want, the ATS takes what the CTS offered […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

The quirky looking Veloster arrived last year and was well received for the most part. One criticism was the sporty look didn’t deliver when it came power. Enter the turbo version, with 201-horsepower from the 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine. That puts it squarely in the ring with the Honda Civic Si and VW GTI. I wanted […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Mazda CX-5

Built entirely with Mazda’s new Skyactiv vehicle technology, the compact crossover boasts some best-in or class-only features: smart key with pushbutton start, 29 mpg combined fuel economy, 35 mpg highway, and a fold-flat 40/20/40 back seat. The 2.0-liter, 150-horsepower engine mates to a six-speed manual or automatic. While the CX-5 isn’t going to win a […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Buick Verano Turbo

Verano is one of Buick’s comeback cars, created to revitalize a brand many thought wasn’t going to survive. A premium compact isn’t a new idea, but it’s a segment automakers didn’t pay any mind until recently. With the 2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine the Verano gets to speed quickly, but it would be quicker if the […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Honda Fit EV

It’s been said that if you sit still in an anechoic chamber – that’s a soundproof room for the less nerdy – that you can hear your blood circulating. The Fit EV isn’t that quiet, but the lack of noise is eerie, and not just when cruising at parking lot speed, but all the way […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2012 Coda Sedan

Don’t feel bad if you just asked yourself, “What’s a Coda?” The electric car company was founded in 2009, which makes it a newcomer in a new vehicle segment. It’s an ambitious undertaking to be sure. You want to make a car? Great. Spend all the design, development and pre-production costs to make a few […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Dodge Dart

It wouldn’t have taken a lot of effort for Dodge to have made a better compact vehicle than the awkward looking, awkward driving Caliber. Even an SRT version failed to elicit much excitement. Enter the Dart; based on a successful Fiat sedan, it brings a higher level of techno look and feel to the interior […]