Recently, I headed down to Santa Monica for a bi-annual event, Heels and Wheels.
Heels and Wheels is an automotive event just for women in the automotive industry, including automotive writers like me. During the event we are given the opportunity to drive lots of cars, including sports cars and trucks.
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1966 Mustang Convertible
One of the main sponsors of the event was Hagerty. Hagerty has long been known as the go to insurance for classic cars, but they now have a new program I think is amazing, called Drive Share. Drive Share is the AirBnB of classic cars. Which means if you’ve ever dreamed of taking a road trip across America in a 1966 Mustang Convertible like the one I drove around Malibu, now you can. I gotta say this car was so much fun to drive until it died and we waited about an hour for a jump in the heat.
2019 ASTON MARTIN DBS SUPERLEGGERA
The 2019 DBS Superleggera by Aston Martin is a dream inside and out. As it should be considering the starting MSRP is $303,695. The one I got to drive was slightly more, $308,081. It is the most powerful production Aston Marin ever, and that’s why they refer to it as a “brute in a suit”. With sculpted carbon fiber body panels outside and hand stitched leather on the inside. MPG highway and city combined is 22.9.
0-60 in 3.3 seconds
Engine: V12 twin-turbo / 5.2 liter
Transmission: 8-speed automatic ZF
Horsepower: 715 @ 6,500
Torque: 663 @ 1,800-5,000
2019 CHEVROLET CORVETTE ZR1
The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR is the loudest, meanest corvette yet and it was a blast to drive. The one I tested out cost $121,995. This was by far my favorite car at the event. I mean just look at it. It’s gorgeous, but what’s even better is how it handles. This thing is a beast.
0 – 60 2.58 seconds (We tested this out twice and can confirm, it can hit 60 mph in just seconds.
Engine: LT5 6.2L Supercharged V8 with dual fuel system
Transmission: 7-speed manual with Active Rev Match / 8-speed paddle-shift automatic
Torque: 715 lbs
– The 2019 ZR1 is a super car that advances Corvette’s performance legacy with the highest power, greatest track performance and most advanced technology in its production history!
– The ZR1’s aggressive appearance is driven by function, with a unique front fascia designed to channel air for propulsion-system and drivetrain cooling, including four new radiators bringing the heat-exchanger total to 13.
– Two aero packages are offered: A standard rear Low Wing, which delivers the ZR1’s highest top speed and an available two-way-adjustable High Wing that offers maximum downforce on the track for quicker lap times.
– Built-in Wi-Fi® Hotspot with available 4G LTE data (3GB or 1-month data trial, whichever comes first) But seriously, who needs wifi if you are driving a Corvette?
2019 GMC SIERRA DENALI
The 2019 GMC Sierra Denali DENALI AT4 is part of GM’s 65 billion truck business and it’s easy to see why consumers are buying them. This truck is fastest selling Sierra, which is a bit surprising considering it costs around $67,735. Chances are you have seen the commercials bragging about their new Multipro tailgate. They have a reason to brag the tailgate can be used 6 different ways. You even have the option of having a built in speaker put into the tailgate. I had the opportunity earlier this year to off-road this truck and it can handle some intense off road conditions.
Engine: 5.3L V-8 VVT DI with Dynamic Fuel Management and Stop/Start
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
EPA Fuel Economy (City / Highway / Combined) 15 / 20 / 17
– Redesigned from the ground up and larger in almost every dimension, including a longer wheelbase and longer crew cab body that offers about 3 inches more rear legroom than the previous model
– GMC-exclusive, industry-first MultiPro Tailgate offers six functions and positions for enhanced second-tier loading and load-stop solutions, a standing workstation and easier access to items in the cargo box
– Segment-first Multi-Color Head-Up Display projects key, customizable vehicle data on the windshield in a 15-inch diagonal display
-The rearview mirror now doubles as a camera, in case you cannot see out the back. The camera will see for you. I know a lot of people hate this feature, personally I love it.
– GMC-exclusive, industry-first CarbonPro carbon fiber cargo box was developed to increase durability, efficiency and functionality, while offering best-in-class dent, scratch and corrosion resistance
– ProGrade Trailering System with Trailering App offers a connected and comprehensive suite of trailering technologies
2019 VW JETTA GLI AUTOBAHN
If you have been a reader of this site before you know that I am a massive Vollkswagen fan. My love for them continues with this Tornado Red 2019 Jetta GLI Autobahn version. Just earlier this year I had the chance to test out one of their more basic models the Jetta. I loved that one too, it was much more affordable than this version. What’s nice is that you can actually order this vehicle in a manual option.
Starting MSRP $25,995 / MSRP as Tested: $30,890
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct injection 4-cyl. EA888 TSI® Engine
Transmission: 7-speed DSG Automatic w/ Tiptronic (6-speed Manual is standard)
EPA Fuel Economy (City / Highway / Combined) 25 / 32 / 28
– Sixth generation of Volkswagen’s performance sedan has the heart and soul of the GTI
– 2.0-liter TSI® engine puts out 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque
– Performance equipment shared with Golf GTI and Golf R includes VAQ limited-slip differential, Golf R brakes, and multi-link independent rear suspension
– Unique GLI styling includes 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, aggressive front and rear bumpers, black honeycomb grille, rear spoiler, and dual chrome exhaust
– Standard features include: front and rear LED lighting, 10-color ambient lighting (I set mine to neon pink), driver personalization, heated front seats, App-Connect, KESSY® keyless access and push-button start, dual-zone Climatronic®, Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert
– Second row offers 40/60 split
-10.35″ digital cockpit
2019 INFINITI Q60 RED SPORT 400
Looking back at my notes from this event, I literally wrote down next to nothing about the 2019 Infiniti Q60 Sport. To me the car just doesn’t justify the price, it’s a bit too small. Is it a good car, yes. Is it overpriced, yes.
Starting MSRP / MSRP as Tested $56,900 / $64,130
Engine: 3.0 V6
Transmission: 7 speed automatic
350 lbs of Torque
EPA Fuel Economy (City / Highway / Combined) 19 / 21 /26
– The Q60 gives expression to INFINITI’s “Powerful Elegance” design philosophy
– A tailored, driver-centric, passenger-minded interior
– Sophisticated craftsmanship
– Spacious, beautifully appointed environment
2019 Dodge Durango SRT
One of my absolute favorite cars is the 2019 Dodge Durango SRT. I was so pleased to see it at the event. This SUV is a rock star. I would probably buy one, but it’s slightly out of my single mom budget, $62,995 – $78,535.
- The 2019 Durango SRT remains America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV with the proven 392-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 delivering 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing it to go from 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 4.4 seconds and covering the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds as certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), all while out hauling every three-row full-size SUV on the road with a best-in-class towing capability of 8,700 pounds
- Durango SRT is loaded with standard performance features, including a performance-tuned AWD system, a sophisticated Active Damping System that opens and closes the Durango SRT’s suspension’s damper valves and an exhaust system tuned to offer an unmistakably deep, high-performance Dodge//SRT exhaust note
Here’s a video I did a while back of this Dodge Durango SRT when I took it on a road trip with the kids.
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivan
I wanted to hate this minivan so much, because in general I really hate minivans. However, there’s no denying the overall appeal of this particular minivan. They’ve pumped it so full of features, anyone would love it. They only thing I wasn’t impressed with was the hybrid feature. The hybrid version will get a tax credit, but that’s about all. I managed to get about 32 electric miles per tank of gas, so basically nothing. The minivan costs $39,995 – $50,375.
- The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the industry’s first and only electrified minivan, has an innovative, advanced powertrain that delivers a seamless, efficient driving experience and achieves 82 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe aka for one gallon you will achieve 82 mpg, then back to regular.) in electric-only mode,a range of 32 miles solely on zero-emissions electric power from a 16-kWh lithium- ion (Li-ion) battery, as well as a 520-mile total gas and electric range.
- The Pacifica Hybrid is the most technologically equipped vehicle of its kind, offering the Uconnect Theater entertainment system with two 10-inch seatback touchscreens, 7-inch full-color driver information display, Uconnect App and an array of other features, including the Uconnect 4 systems with a 7-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and available 4G Wi-Fi
- Pacifica Hybrids qualify for the Federal Tax Discount of $7,500 and the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project in California offers a cash rebate of up to $3,500 for owners or lessees of a Pacifica Hybrid.
Here’s a video overview I put together of the minivan: