Last week an invite appeared in my inbox inviting me out to New Jersey Motorsports Park racetrack for a day of racing, driving and learning with Chevrolet. Did I want to go? HECK YEAH, I did! Before I had kids, cars, cars shows and the like were a big part of my life. I’m no stranger to spending my days at the track but they were all as a spectator. This time I would be driving some these vehicles on the track so I just couldn’t say no. I didn’t realize that I’d learn a few things about myself in addition to the cars. This event was something I can cross off my bucket list!
I learned via the invite that I’d be getting a first-hand look at Chevrolet’s line up of cars and trucks like the Silverado pickup, the Colorado ZR2, the electric Volt, the Corvette Grand Sport and last but certainly not least the Camaro ZL1. For the girl who’s loved Camaros since she was 5, drove Camaros practically her entire life, and even met her husband because of his Camaro, this was a dream come true. I woke up super early to do my hair (a complete waste in the 90 degree heat and humidity) and headed out the door not sure what to expect but ready to learn and drive!
Our day started with breakfast while we checked in and waited for everyone to arrive. Our morning was packed full of learning and driving and I couldn’t wait to get started. So let’s check out some of the awesome cars shall we?
My group started with a ride in the Colorado ZR2. I actually never drove a pickup truck before so this was a great vehicle to get behind the wheel of for the first time. The first part of the ride and drive saw us drive through a course to see how the truck would handle over different terrains. My co-pilot, who came along for the ride to show me the ins and outs of the Colorado, was great at showing me the features. Now you probably won’t see me off-roading any time soon, but hey never say never, but I loved how the Colorado ZR2 handled the makeshift course and how it literally danced over the bumps and terrain.
After my turn driving it, they suited me up in a helmet and chest strap for a ride up their makeshift mountain track. I’ll be the first to tell you racing helmets are not fashionable but hey, safety first. With just a push of a button, Off-Road mode kicked in and this truck glided up this hill and down amazingly. I was impressed with the handling of this truck. Off-Road Mode works with other vehicle systems to give the driver better control and responsiveness.
SILVERADO 2500 HD
Next up was the driving expereince in the Chevrolet Silverado 25oo HD. As we made our way over to the course, I saw the trucks lined up and waiting for us with one BIG surprise – we were going to be towing another vehicle. Towing. For a girl, who’s never driven a pick-up truck, driving one while towing a Chevrolet Equinox was nerve-wrecking. I wish I had a dash cam in that truck to see my face. My driving parter from Chevrolet, let me know as soon as I closed the door that he is a professional race car driver and not to worry. His chants of “faster, faster” saw me pushing myself out of my comfort zone to driving at speeds of over 75 mph TOWING A CAR. Now listen, driving 75 mph is not that big of deal. I do it all the time. It’s just so different in a big truck pulling a trailer with 6,000 lbs. on it!
I never thought I would drive a truck towing another vehicle but I’m super proud that I not only tried it but I kicked butt doing it! When Chevy says the SIlverado 2500HD has advanced towing technology to put the driver confidently in control when trailering, they are not kidding. I was seriously impressed with the trucks Integrated Trailer Brake Control (yes, I tried it on the track) and the Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel with legendary Allison transmission.
My husband has talked about getting a pick-up truck in order to tow his 2012 Chevy Camaro SS to the track and I already told him, he needs to take the SIlverado 2500 HD for a test drive. At least I know I can drive it and tow his car for him!
The Bolt EV is now the second electric vehicle I’ve had a chance to drive and it was a great expereicnce. For a small car, it definitely wasn’t lacking on space on the inside. I never felt crammed inside and had plenty of room.
I was really surprised about how much trunk space there was. The floor panel in the trunk also lifts out for more storage and can withstand over 100 lbs of weight so no need to worry about overloading the top.
One of the favorite features was the Electronic Prescision Shift (ESP). The ESP is a first for Chevrolet and allows drivers to easily and electronically select gears while providing a smooth and prescise response. I tried it out first hand during my test drive and it was seamless.
Then there’s the charging options – 3 to be exact.
- Basic (level 1) allows the vehicle to be charned anywhere there is a 120-volt, 3-prong outlet. A 12-hour charge will yield roughly 48 miles of range.
- Fast (level 2) can provide up to 25 miles of range per hour of charge time and it’s the fastest way to charge the vehicle at home. The home charging unit is available through GM Accessories and requires professional installation
- Super Fast (level 3) DC fast charging capability provides accelerated charge time of up to 90 miles of range in about 30 minutes of charge. This is available on the LT and Premier models.
CORVETTE GRAND SPORT
I’ve always been a Camaro girl over the Corvette but the latest models of the Corvette have me second guessing that decision everytime I see one. Once we were suited up again in our safety helmets and gear we were set loose to pick a Corvette for a ride around the track. Simply summed up, the Corvette Grand Sport combines the Corvette Z06 and the Stingray into one package (minus the Z06 supercharger)
With a starting price of around $65,000, the Grand Sport packs 460 horsepower under the hood and does 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. If you’re looking for speed and head turning looks, the Grand Sport is a great choice and one sharp looking car.
I definitely saved the best for last here. I’ve talked about my love for Camaros before so this was literally the highlight of my day. While we didn’t get to drive them, we did get to go for a ride in them to show off their speed and spectacular braking abilities. My first ride was in the automatic, followed by ride in the manual to see the difference between the two. I preferred the manual (even though I can’t drive stick but shhh don’t tell anyone). When he hit the gas, I literally lost my breath. The power in this car is simply unbelievable and must be driven to experience it first hand.
It was great getting to expereince these cars in a professional environement with drivers to show us exactly what these cars can do and how well they can do it. Overall it was an amazing day that taught me new things about the different vehicles on display but most importantly it taught me to never doubt myself. To get out there and have a good time and try new things.
Thank you Chevrolet for an amazing experience.
Here’s a little behind-the-scenes video and some of the ride footage.