Tuesday, May 09, 2006

TAWA 2006 Spring Challenge

The last weekend in April (30th), I went to the capital city Austin, Texas, for The Texas Auto Writer’s Association’s (TAWA) Annual Spring Challenge. This is a press event where automotive journalist from all over the state of Texas, as well as a few other places, come together and test drive the latest and greatest automobiles known to mankind. Next to Lake Travis on a beautiful sunshiny day, we convened across the street from the rebuilt Austin landmark restaurant, The Oasis. The driving route consisted of two moderate hills, four right turns, and a few curves lasting approximately 7 minutes for each car.

Out of the 60 available cars to drive in the press fleet, I drove a Mazda Speed6, BMW 330i, Kia Amanti, Mercury Milan, Ford Fusion, Lexus IS 350, Volvo C70, Range Rover HSE, Ford Five Hundred, Kia Rio5 SX, Buick Lucerne, Toyota Camry, Cadillac STS, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Hyndai Azera, Mercedez-Benz S550 and a Dodge Viper.

The winners for the 2006 Spring Challenge consist of: the Corvette Z06 for Writer’s Choice, the Jaguar XK for Best New Design, the Lexus GS 450H for Best Use of Technology, and the Volvo C70 for Most Innovative.

Personally, I was most impressed with the Mercedez-Benz S550. All in all, each respected vehicle offered the journalists something interesting to talk and write home about. For more photos, check out www.photo32.com.

E. Dewayne Gibson Jr.

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