Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin – May 25, 2017 – The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) held its annual Spring Rally last week at Road America – one of the world’s premier permanent road racing tracks. Over the course of two days, 95 media members from across the country were able to put 110 vehicles through their paces through a variety of driving including on-track, street, off-road and autocross.
Automakers selected the MAMA Spring Rally to showcase their latest cars, trucks and SUVs, and a few even gave MAMA journalists a sneak peek at some of the hottest vehicles that have yet to be seen – or driven – outside of an auto show.
2018 Lexus LC 500
Lexus opened the MAMA Spring Rally with a breakfast presentation to spotlight the 2018 Lexus LC 500. One of the first times seen outside of an auto show, Lexus is giving MAMA journalists the chance to take it for test drives for performance and driving impressions.
Powered by a normally aspirated 5.9-liter V8 and matched with the luxury class first direct shift 10-speed automatic transmission, the LC 500 delivers 471 hp and 398 lb.-ft. of torque. The vehicle is expected to hit dealerships this May and will have a starting price of $92,000.
2018 Subaru Crosstrek
Subaru’s Car Line Planning Manager Todd Hill was on hand to give MAMA members an insider perspective on the 2018 Crosstrek, which is all-new from the ground up with revised styling, new engine and improved features.
Safety is a huge priority for Subaru. The automaker equipped the new Crosstrek with improved visibility, seven airbags, enhanced seatbelts and is targeting best-in-class for hazard avoidance performance. Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology suite consists of forward-collision warning and prevention, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control. Base, premium and limited trim levels will be available.
In terms of connectivity, Crosstrek has a brand-new infotainment system and comes standard with Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
Under the hood, the Crosstrek has the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine found in the Impreza, which produces 152 hp.
2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Dodge charged up rally-goers with the surprise appearance of the 840-horsepower 2018 Challenger SRT, first time the fastest muscle car ever has appeared outside of an auto show. Dodge also just announced its pricing, starting at $84,995, and said deliveries are expected to begin this fall.
Tim Kuniskis, head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat, FCA North America, said in an earlier statement, “We worked very hard to build as much value into the Challenger SRT Demon as possible – features, performance and exclusivity that simply can’t be duplicated with a goal of maintaining, and possibly even growing, as much future value as possible.”
Dodge also brought the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT to the rally, following up on its reveal at this year's Chicago Auto Show. With 475 hp, the Durango SRT is America's fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV. It can out-haul every three-row SUV on the road with best-in-class towing capacity of 8,600 pounds.
2017 Nissan Rogue Sport
Right as the Rogue Sport rolled into dealerships, MAMA members were among the first to get a glimpse.
Nissan opened the second day of the MAMA Spring Rally with a breakfast to tout its all-new Rogue Sport, which is set to go on sale this spring. While the Rogue Sport shares the Rogue name, platform and numerous advanced safety and security features, Nissan says the Rogue Sport stands on its own as a stylish, nimble, fun-to-drive and affordable compact SUV that’s intended for an urban market. Right-sized for the city, the Rogue Sport has a 2.3-inch shorter wheelbase and a 12.1-inch shorter overall length than the Rogue.
On the safety front, the Rogue Sport offers forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure prevention and rear cross traffic alert.
The Rogue Sport comes in three models – S, SV and SL, each in a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive – with a starting price point of $21,420.
Just as MAMA members thought the two-day event was concluding, Kia had another surprise in store. The Stinger, Kia’s first high-performance sports car, made its first-ever regional press association appearance. While indeed powerful, with 370 hp, Kia says the Stinger is more synonymous with luxury, comfort and grace.
“Kia is proud to be associated with MAMA and looks forward to many years of success in the future, and the future of Kia is easily seen in the all-new Stinger,” said Kia Director of Communications James Bell. “We were pleased to present this amazing five-door sports sedan to the passionate journalists here at Road America; MAMA is the first regional press association to see this car outside of a traditional auto show.”
The Stinger is expected to go on sale this summer, with a price range of $35,000-$45,000.
Here's a sampling of some featured stories from the Spring Rally:
Northwest Indiana Times
Rumblestrip.net Instagram Video