With the 2012 model year upon us, it was time for the annual TAWA (Texas Auto Writers Association) Spring Roundup, where media-types get to drive a bunch of new cars on the Texas Motor Speedway infield road course. Why in a road course? Because it’s fun. Don’t ask silly questions, sheesh.
ANYWAY….. So, this year was dampened (pun intended) by about a gagillion feet of rain, which makes it really hard to drive things like say, the 2012 Ford Boss 302 Mustang around the track, but a little (ok, a lot) of rain isn’t going to stop these goobers. Hell no, we’re from Texas, as they would say. I may not be from Texas, but I am just as stubborn. Long story short, I have some really fun stuff coming your way. Check back every day to see what’s new. And tell your friends, they want to see too, don’t be selfish, Red Dirt Rodz is for everybody.
There were some really cool cars, some serious performance cars, but today I am going to talk about some of the other stuff.
The 2012 Nissan Murano…..wait for it…… convertible. Yeah, I said it. While I like the concept – a convertible crossover, this one pretty much looks like a Bratz doll car. The top is funky. While I am sure there will be some, I just don’t think there are that many soccer-moms willing to sign the papers on this Nissan version of the Aztek. If you don’t get that reference, then you have probably been in a coma for the last 10 years, Welcome back!
Fiat has finally reentered the US market after a 27-year absence. Armed with the Mexico-built 500, Fiat is selling all models though boutique dealerships (which Fiat calls a “Studio Dealer”), that cater more to the fashion side of the auto market. I drove it. It was really fun to drive, especially on the track. This little econobox sticks to the road in ways you wouldn’t expect, I was quite impressed. Unlike every other economy car out there (except for the Fiesta),the Fiat has real personality, it is decidedly European (duh!) and while inexpensive at $17,500, it isn’t chinsy like the others. I had a blast driving this little Fiat, I can see why they are popular in Europe. I could park this one in my kitchen pantry. If I had a pantry.
As if bringing back the fabled Boss 302 name wasn’t enough, Ford had to turn it to 11 (is that overused? yeah, I know) with the Boss 302 Laguna Seca. A tribute to Parnelli Jones’ first Boss 302 win at Laguna Seca, this factory-packaged model is at home on the track, and obnoxious on the street, exactly what most Mustang owners want. One of the coolest parts of the Boss 302 line is that it comes with 2 keys- a street key for regular driving and a track key, which changes a bunch of parameters in the computer, giving you more power, less computer controls (like traction control) and aggressive handling features. This car will flat scare your grandma to death, so don’t use it to take her to the doctor. Unless she likes that sort of thing.