New Car Models At International Motor Press Association Test Days

2013 IMPA Test Days (select to view enlarged photo)

2013 IMPA Test Days
Brings out the best
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor; New York Bureau
The Auto Channel

IMPA, the International Motor Press Association, is this country's oldest organization of automotive journalists and public relations professionals. It was founded in New York City nearly 50 years ago.

IMPA Test Days is a two-day event providing members the opportunity to sample a broad number of vehicles in a variety of venues. Test Days takes place each year in mid-September and is held at Monticello Motor Club ( in Monticello, NY located in the Catskill Mountains region of the state.

About 90 minutes from New York City, the club is located off Route 17 and not far from old route 17 that was known as the Liberty Highway back in the 1920s. Now for me, living in Philadelphia, it’s a 200 mile drive taking about 3 hours.

Monticello Motor Club, billing itself as North America’s premier automotive resort and private racetrack, features 4.1 miles of billiard-smooth twisty asphalt dedicated to the driving pleasure of member individuals who are passionate about automobiles, who relish the driving experience, and who seek a place of belonging among like-minded people. MMC provides an array of services and amenities such as professional instruction, track-side support, premium car storage, racecar rentals, private race schools for novice to experienced track enthusiasts, karting, corporate entertainment, fine dining, and five-star services.

This year’s test day event provided an array of about 80 different vehicles for on-road, off-road and on-track evaluation. My plan was to pick and choose a few unique opportunities to drive new and somewhat special vehicles that hadn’t come my way as of yet. So, I drove what was at hand and here they are in no particular order.

2013 IMPA Test Days (select to view enlarged photo)

2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC 4matic sedan. MSRP $53,900.The 195HP, 2.1-L biturbo diesel mated to a 7-speed has this Benz scooting quickly and economically. Recently announced is 45mpg highway EPA test rating. The epitome of modern midsize luxury sedans.

2013 IMPA Test Days (select to view enlarged photo)

2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate. MSRP $61,000. With a 429HP, 5.0-L V8, 8-speed automatic, electronic air suspension and all the safety and infotainment features you could ask for.

2013 IMPA Test Days (select to view enlarged photo)

2014 Jetta SEL. MSRP $25,590. Features VW’s new 170HP, 1.8L turbo 4-cylinder and independent rear suspension. The old 2.5-L 5-cylinder is replaced by this smoother, more efficient, more responsive and better sounding turbo-four. Fewer is better…cylinders that is. (DSC_3958)

2013 IMPA Test Days (select to view enlarged photo)

2014 Fiat 500L. MSRP $21,195. Fiat’s first four-door more suited for families with children or young singles who need room for their stuff. Lots of headroom in this small wagon. I drove a diesel version in France this summer, and wonder if we may see that engine in the U.S.

2013 IMPA Test Days (select to view enlarged photo)

2014 Corvette Stingray. MSRP $51,995. What’s not to like. Pure adrenalin. Gen-7 of this American icon is better than ever with an interior you will love. Power, handling and braking are superb.

2014 SRT Viper. MSRP $102,485. More of what’s not to like; but a lot more bucks. And, really a sports car…perhaps better for track than road. Interesting how these two sport cars have similar looks.

2013 IMPA Test Days (select to view enlarged photo)

2014 Mercedes-Benz S550. MSRP $92,900. Some say, the best car in the world. Who am I to argue? A lot of impressive technology and safer driving features. (DSC_3956)

2013 IMPA Test Days (select to view enlarged photo)

2014 Bentley Flying Spur. MSRP $200,500. Bespoke and beautiful. Amazing performance for this large and heavy car. V-12 power and not-so-good fuel economy. But, an impressive automobile. Need I say more.

2013 IMPA Test Days (select to view enlarged photo)

2014 Ford Focus ST. MSRP. $24,115. A pocket rocket. Fun and practical. Very supportive seats and a 6-speed manual for spirited driving. No automatic transmission available. )

2013 IMPA Test Days (select to view enlarged photo)

2014 BMW 328i GT xDrive. MSRP $41,450. For a young couple not yet needing room for a child seat. Or, the established single looking for a coupe-like appearance with a bit of practicality. (DSC_3953)

2013 IMPA Test Days (select to view enlarged photo)

2014 Volvo S60 T6 R-design AWD. MSRP $42,700. This Volvo packs quite a punch with lots of torque to get it going quickly. A great combo with 4-door practicality and a-w-d for those slippery road surfaces.

Events like IMPA Test Days is a great way for the automotive media and vehicle manufacturers to come together en masse for product sharing and driving in a very efficient and effective program that benefits many.

Larry Nutson

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