Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Taste of Lexus

On Sunday, I made my way to the Taste of Lexus event at that field where the football team from Washington plays (I can't give them the respect of saying their nickname since I hate them). I went last year and really enjoyed it. The idea is you not only get to drive lots of Lexus models, but that you also experience the Lexus "lifestyle" (read: high income). After checking in at my reserved time, I walked to this open room to see a new hybrid luxury SUV and some other well-waxed Lexus models under shiny lights.

Of course I quickly made multiple trips to the fingerfood (I'm sorry that would be hors d'oeuvres in Lexus Lifestyle Language). Most of them were really good, especially the little cheesecake squares. I still enjoyed last year's food selection better as it had real lunchtime food with large servings, but it is a free event afterall. I tried signing up for a hot stone massage, but was told I couldn't signup for another 2 hours. I came back two hours later and was told the earliest I could get in was 3 (it was already 1) so I passed. That really would have been a sweet deal though. Oh yeah, the portable bathrooms had wood trim and automatic faucets...who knew the Lexus Lifestyle extended to porta-poties.

I test drove 3 sedans while my cohert drove the SC 430 (convertible) and an LS 470 ( SUV). Lexus sure makes a nice car, but I still think KITT and The Rocket would be angry if I ever bought a luxury car. The SUV course was great since they had a ramp that one side of the car drives on to show how far you can tilt. I swear we were going to tilt over my side, but the car survived. I've never been a big SUV fan unless you have lots of equipment that needs lugging around (and gas money). They're too top-heavy for my driving which outweighs the feeling I get inside being so high off the road. As a side story, this one woman gave us a dirty look inside the lexus tent while we were getting food and she and her friend were directly behind us in the SUV line. So, what else did I do but tilt the bottom seat cushion forward and tilt the back cushion pretty far back so she'd have to readjust. Also, I turned the radio all the way up so when they turned it on, it would blast (though I bet a Lexus car does things to reset the volume to a normal level). Call me petty if you will, but I was sick of hearing their comments about the weight and appearance of everyone riding before them. They had it coming.

The convertible looked great, but we drove the white one instead of the navy blue we wanted. I drove the ES330, which was the "worst" car there, and had nobody in line. It let me learn the grand prix course before moving up in class. I then drove the LS430 which was the best ride of the day. Of course, this is as close as I'll get to that sedan for the time being. I'd like to say I tore up the track. Though I didn't hear the tire squeaking I heard with the 330, I swear I smelled some burnt/hot rubber after getting out. I wish they had more than 2 cars from their competitors. Last year, there were a handful of Jaguars, BMWs, and Benzs. Beggers can't be choosers I guess.

There was also a golf instruction station that I passed on b/c I'm a stubborn golfer and like all of us hackers, I didn't want advice I was just going to ignore/forget. There was another race course where some more powerful cars were lined up. The wait was too long for those cars so I just moved on, but I think one of them was a new IS model of which there are only 20 in the world or something special like that. I did drive another course that didn't involve as much speed, but can't recall the model since it wasn't as much fun as the grand prix - so much for being a car guy. A few times there was a live shot with some Lexus representative and host, but they all sucked because most of the driving examples didn't work well (except to show how little a Lexus rolls vs. BMW) and the photog kept using the wrong light filter so each shot was washed out. What else...I was bored in line so I edited their car spec charts and told a representative about their errors...time to freelance?

It was a really fun event that lets you floor (really abuse) cars you won't own for a while and eat delicious food. I hope they bring back the real lunchtime food spread next year and give more time slots to the hot stone massage.

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