Image from Test Drive confirmation mailer
Location: Pelican Hill resort, Newport Beach, CA
Passenger: Matt, factory test driver
Weather: sunny and hot (90), cloudless
Car: as pictured
With virtually zero familiarization with controls, push the start button and learn that the brake will disengage when I give it some gas. That's the same brake that engages itself when the car is turned off, with the key. It seems a bit old fashioned that you should need a key to be inserted into a lock.
Four cars with New Jersey plates. Red, White, Blue (2?).
GoPro camera on windshield pointed at driver (me). That could be interesting.
Lots of power at the right revs.
The door closes with the right sound and feel.
The Test Drive car
Looking at the photo of the test drive car and the top photo, the car looks better with the A-pillar and top painted black. It seems to highlight the lines of the body.
The wheels on the test drive car are definitely better than in the top photo.
I want to go badge-less, especially on the fenders. It's too much.
I count at least 18 logos or brand names on the exterior and cockpit combined, and that just seems unnecessary. Almost seems a bit needy of attention, like trying overmuch. A bit too much influence from the marketing department. I'll do my best to simplify to the minimum number of signage elements for a total low profile automobile.
Saw the top operate,
but did not look closely.
Didn't get under the car.
Didn't get to drive with top up.
Didn't play with any features, controls, etc.
Took one photo.
Didn't look at engine (saw it at Prototype viewing in May).
It's amazing to me all the stuff I didn't do,
and all I can think of in my defense is that
I was fully hypnotized by the drive.
I was totally jacked up by the time it was over
because I drove it with great enthusiasm,
and got well over 100 for short bursts.
Driveway clearance was a concern, but if the Viper could do it, the California should be ok.
(But really should verify)