2013 GMC Acadia Denali 1st Drive

26 10 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnZGSRJuuNM&list=UUhOss6OGf1l4diaw_SNuTIw&index=4&feature=plcp

Your friends at Team Hall & Nass and #Motorama LIVE were recently invited to the media preview and drive of the new 2013 GMC Acadia Denali. The vehicle will be available to the public sometime beginning in November 2012.

We paired up with our good friend Charlie from BurnoutRadio.com and Adam from TXGarage.com to bring you this informative ride along interview and to share our first impressions of this vehicle.

As you can imagine, when you put Team Hall & Nass, Burnout Radio and TX Garage together, a bit of hijinx does ensue. So sit back, have a snack, and enjoy our rambling discussion and driving impression footage of the NEW 2013 GMC Acadia Denali!

For more information on this, and other vehicles we test drive and review, as well as many things automotive and motorsports related, join us for our weekly #Motorama LIVE discussion on Twitter every Wednesday from 9-11 PM Eastern. Search on the #Motorama hashtag and join in!

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NORC 150 MPH Class Team Hall & Nass Z06 ORR May 2012 Full Course Run

21 05 2012

Image

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN7_lcU2MRo&list=UUhOss6OGf1l4diaw_SNuTIw&index=6&feature=plcp

The Mission – Drive down 90 miles of two lane blacktop on a closed public highway, breaking the light beam on the other end at as close to a perfect 150 MPH average in 36 Minutes FLAT as humanly possible.

The following is the Motorama LIVE Team Hall & Nass Corvette Z06 Open Road Racing in the 150 MPH Class at the Nevada Open Road Challenge (NORC) on Nevada Highway NV 318, May 20th, 2012. This is the Spring race, which is an exact replica of the Silver State Classic Challenge (SSCC) that runs every September.

PLEASE NOTE – Our race grid footage was chopped off to allow this video to begin at the true exact zeroing ‘0’ of the SSCC atomic timing and scoring clock on professional editing software. This video shows our entire run in all of its raw, unedited glory, then continues on less than a minute after the finish line as we say our recorded time aloud and exchange high fives. So sit back and enjoy 36 minutes of LS7 singing along two lane blacktop for 90 miles in an attempt to average a perfect 150 MPH average speed in 36 minutes flat on NV 318.

Additional information on this run:

As stated above, the goal in the 150 MPH Class at NORC and SSCC is to run the 90 mile course on NV 318 in 36 minutes flat at a perfect 150 MPH average. This is time/speed/distance racing on an uber scale.

The Result – Silver State Classic Challenge official timing and scoring listed our run as 36:00.5473 seconds at an average speed of 149.9620 MPH.

What is interesting is that our clocks (and the one on this video) show us as running it in 35:59.88 seconds at just a tick over 150 MPH. Ironically, note that IF our time of .12 of a second off of perfect had been recognized as our official scoring time, it still would have only been good enough for 3rd place out of the 14 entrants in the 150 MPH Class, as the winning time was a 35:59.0164. Yes, the competition in the 150 MPH Class is THAT tight! However, SSCC official time puts us in 6th place overall in the 150 MPH Class.

This video just goes to show that no matter how good YOU may think you are in time/speed/distance Open Road Racing, the fact remains that in the end, you are ONLY as good as someone else’s timing system in the official record books. Like it or not, sometimes, those are just the breaks in ORR.

We race because we love the speed, the people and the cars. The love of the sport is our friend, even if sometimes, the timing clocks are not.

We’ll be back …





Team Hall & Nass and Motorama LIVE to Attend SEMA Show 2011

29 10 2011

Team Hall & Nass and #Motorama LIVE to Attend SEMA Show 2011

It is that magical time of year when Team Hall & Nass once again make our pilgrimage to the mecca of everything that matters to automotive enthusiasts, racers and rally junkies alike – the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Viva Las Vegas (more commonly known as SEMA).

This year, Team Hall & Nass will not simply be attending SEMA for our usual vendor networking, sponsor schmoozing and party socializing purposes. Of course we’ll do all of that, BUT we will also be hosting the popular weekly enthusiast Twitter show #Motorama LIVE from the show floor of SEMA on Wednesday November 2nd!

Stay tuned to our #Motorama LIVE staff Twitter accounts from November 1st – 4th for continuous Tweets containing pics and exclusive content from the SEMA show floor, and be certain to log on to Twitter on Wednesday, November 2nd from 9-11 PM Eastern time to participate in #Motorama LIVE! Join in the discussion as we report on the latest, greatest things we uncover at SEMA show! There may also be a few surprise guests we include that we hope to meet up with at SEMA, so stay tuned!

Of course, there will be full, comprehensive converge on our Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels throughout our week at SEMA.

If you happen to be attending SEMA this year, be sure to let us know! We love meeting up with our fans! Who knows, if you have something cool on display, it could be featured on TeamHallnNass.com or on #Motorama LIVE!





Team Hall & Nass and DSTROYR at the Silver State Classic Challenge

15 09 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact
Landon Communications
PR Representatives for Team Hall & Nass
+1.702.940.9632
Berry@LandonCommunications.com

Team Hall & Nass and DSTROYR at the Silver State Classic Challenge

Team Hall & Nass look to DSTROY the competition at the famous desert race

DALLAS, Texas, September 15, 2011 – Team Hall & Nass today officially announces its continued sponsorship alliance with one of the coolest emerging lifestyle brands in the United States, DSTROYR, for the upcoming Silver State Classic Challenge Open Road Race to be run on Nevada Highway 318 on September 18th, 2011.

DSTROYR was started by artist and designer Jon Chase as a blog, with a mission to shine a spotlight on the local in and around the community of Riverside, California. Today, the DSTROYR site covers a wide variety of endeavors and helps spread the word about the latest, coolest things coming out of Southern California in the artistic community, motorsports scene and beyond.

DSTROYR is on a mission to turn people on to something new. While the DSTROYR brand of apparel began from a simple necessity to promote their site, today it has become a reflection of influences. The concept behind DSTROYR is simple – be the best you can be for yourself. DSTROYR’s motto is “Whatever you desire to excel at, kill it, own it, DSTROY it!”

Team Hall & Nass driver Berry Lowman said, “DSTROYR is one of the coolest enterprises we’ve encountered on the automotive/speed/rally lifestyle scene. Their designs and their message are on the cutting edge, which is exactly where Team Hall & Nass likes to be. We believe in Jon’s philosophy and continue to support their cause. Pairing up with DSTROYR for the Silver State Classic Challenge will enable us to look and be that much better while we DSTROY the competition!”

About DSTROYR

DSTROYR is an alterative clothing franchise brand that represents the best elements of the speed lifestyle while also encouraging people to try new things and do their best at whatever they do. DSTROYR is the brainchild of artist Jon Chase, whose talented designs have been featured on major clothing brands and performance-themed artworks, sites and styles all around the globe. Check out the latest designs and cultural happenings on DSTROYR.com.

About Team Hall & Nass

Established in 2009, Team Hall & Nass has quickly become one of the premiere open road, rally racing and automotive performance review blogging teams in the United States. With a lighter, more humorous side than many involved in the automotive racing scene, their zany personalities tend to generate a lot of buzz and interest at every event. Decals bearing their beloved “anti-Hamthrax” (speeding ticket-avoiding) mascot, Pirate Pig, can be found on street vehicles and race cars of fans and competitors alike around the globe.

With a team philosophy to have as much fun as possible with fans and fellow competitors, while making every effort to get the most out of every event (or at least have the most fun trying), their tagline is as much a tongue in cheek sentiment of fun as it is a statement of fact – IF YOU’VE JUST BEEN PASSED, THEN YOU’RE NOT HALL & NASS!

For additional information on Team Hall & Nass, visit TeamHallnNass.com, view team videos on YouTube.com/TeamHallnNass or interact with them directly on Twitter at Twitter.com/TeamHallnNass.

Please note that Team Hall & Nass will be conducting pre- and post-Silver State Classic Challenge interviews with select media outlets as time permits. If you’d like to schedule an interview in person or via phone, please contact their media firm with your request.

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Team Hall & Nass to Compete in Silver State Classic Challenge

15 09 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact
Landon Communications
PR Representatives for Team Hall & Nass
+1.702.940.9632
Berry@LandonCommunications.com

Team Hall & Nass to Compete in Silver State Classic Challenge

Father and Son to compete together in a race-prepped 2007 Corvette Z06 on NV 318

LAS VEGAS, Nev., September 15th, 2011 – Team Hall & Nass today officially announces its entry into the field of the longest running open road race event in the United States, the famed Silver State Classic Challenge, to be held on Nevada Highway 318 on Sunday, September 18th, 2011.

In a twist on the usual driver/navigator configuration of Team Hall & Nass, this Silver State Classic Challenge effort will consist of road rally driver Berry Lowman serving as navigator alongside his father, unlimited powerboat legend and open road racer, Lanny Lowman. The father and son duo will work together as they attempt to win the 150 MPH class in their race-prepped 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

To accomplish this challenge, Team Hall & Nass must quickly get up to speed from a standing start, focusing on their ultimate quest to average a perfect 150 MPH, while staying underneath their class-maximum technical speed ceiling of 165 MPH. They must navigate the many long straits and winding corners of two-lane blacktop that comprise Nevada Highway 318 for a grueling, but lightning-fast, 90 miles. The car in their class closest to a perfect 150 MPH average over the 90 mile distance will win the class trophy.

It is not the first time this particular duo have joined forces in open road racing. This father and son combo have worked together before to compete in the Nevada Open Road Challenge in the 110 and the 125 MPH classes, with tech speeds up to 165 MPH. The Lowmans have also previously seen success at the Bonneville 100 in the highly competitive 110 MPH & 140 MPH classes with tech speeds up to 168 MPH.

Team Hall & Nass driver Berry Lowman said, “The Silver State Classic Challenge is the original and longest running event of the 100% legal open road races held annually in the United States. While this event offers a bit of something for everyone, the 150 MPH class at Silver State demands a much greater level of skill, cooperation and competition to win than any other open road racing event because it often comes down to a couple thousandths of a second separating a 1st place victory from a sorry 2nd. Plus, racing through the canyon known as ‘The Narrows’ poses a whole other level of psychological challenge that tests the abilities of veteran open road racers to the maximum. Silver State is truly a unique event, and one we intend to win!”

About Open Road Racing

While this type of racing is commonly referred to as “Open Road Racing,” it actually occurs on sections of temporarily closed public highway during the actual racing events. There is no risk to the general public, no oncoming traffic, no section of the road outside of the watchful eye of race command communications, and most importantly, no location on the course in which a race vehicle is ever more than one mile away from a course safety worker. There are typically ambulances with specially trained EMT crews located at each end, or in the middle of the course. There is also typically a life flight helicopter on standby at the midway point of the course at certain venues, but not at all.

Even though regular OEM passenger automobiles are eligible to enter, and they typically comprise upwards of 75% or greater of each open road racing field of cars, this is in no way a typical Sunday drive. With speed classes typically ranging from as low as 95 MPH all the way up to unlimited classes at some venues, it is not unheard of to see open road racing vehicles averaging speeds over 200 MPH for up to 100 miles with straightaway speeds in excess of 220 MPH on two-lane blacktop highways with less than optimal curves, not on perfectly smooth, banked corner race tracks.

Safety is paramount to the successful operation of open road racing events and the continuation of the sport. There are varying levels of safety gear required for all cars that enter these events. The faster the speed class, the greater amount of technical safety gear required. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot simply “run what you bring” without adding at least some measure of safety gear to your car and passing a rigorous technical safety inspection.

Due to the nature of this type of racing, it has been deemed “the most dangerous form of motor sports in the world”. It also happens to be the most exciting for participants.

About the Silver State Classic Challenge

The Silver State Classic Challenge is perhaps the best known of the four events left on the annual schedule of ORRs and is the oldest open road race in continuous operation. Having began in 1988 as a truly open road race event with no classes, gear limitations or safety rules, the Silver State Classic Challenge gained momentum over the years as the place to go test your medal (and your metal) against the open road in the ultimate time/speed/distance race on a public highway. As the race grew in size, it also grew in rules and regulations, evolving into what is today a series of progressive speed classes ranging from 95 MPH all the way up to the granddaddy of them all, the Unlimted class.

The 2011 event features four days of activities, with technical inspections and a welcome luncheon at Sam’s Town Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Thursday, September 24th, on site technical inspections and a “Parade of Cars” in Ely, Nevada on Friday the 16th, a public car show of all race vehicles on Saturday the 17th, and the 24th running of the Silver State Classic Challenge on Sunday, September 18th, with an awards banquet back in Las Vegas at Sam’s Town Casino on Sunday night.

The Silver State Classic Challenge is held due to the participation of over 100 race teams from around the globe, generous volunteer help from the Las Vegas Corvette Club, volunteer workers from all over the state of Nevada, and the permission and cooperation of the Nevada Department of Transportation. For additional information on the Silver State Classic Challenge, please visit SilverStateClassic.com.

About Team Hall & Nass

Established in 2009, Team Hall & Nass has quickly become one of the premiere open road, rally racing and automotive performance review blogging teams in the United States. With a lighter, more humorous side than many involved in the automotive racing scene, their zany personalities tend to generate a lot of buzz and interest at each event they compete in. Decals bearing their beloved “anti-Hamthrax” (speeding ticket-avoiding) mascot, Pirate Pig, can be found on street vehicles and race cars of fans and competitors alike around the globe.

With a team philosophy to have as much fun as possible with fans and fellow competitors, while making every effort to get the most out of each event they enter (or at least have the most fun trying), their tagline is as much a tongue in cheek sentiment of fun as it is a statement of fact – IF YOU’VE JUST BEEN PASSED, THEN YOU’RE NOT HALL & NASS!

For additional information on Team Hall & Nass, visit TeamHallnNass.com, view team videos on YouTube.com/TeamHallnNass or interact with them directly on Twitter at Twitter.com/TeamHallnNass.

Please note that Team Hall & Nass will be conducting pre- and post-Silver State Classic Challenge interviews with select media outlets as time permits. If you’d like to schedule an interview in person or via phone, please contact their media firm (listed above) with your request.

###





Team Hall & Nass 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible NASCAR Drive Away Experience and Review

27 04 2011

Team Hall & Nass 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible NASCAR Drive Away Experience and Review

Preface

This particular tale will be different from any other review or adventure you have read from either Team Hall & Nass or Motorama LIVE before. To say our time spent with this particular 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible was a unique experience would be a massive understatement for a host of reasons. We’ll get into a few of those wild tales below. Somewhere in the mix, we may also manage to do a review on the car, too.

However, before we launch into our crazy adventure and impressions of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible, we’d like to point out that this story is being prepared for both our Team Hall & Nass site, as well as our Wednesday night 9-11 PM Eastern Time #Motorama LIVE enthusiast discussion on Twitter. So while this is technically a Team Hall & Nass adventure, it is also being conducted with our Motorama LIVE audience in mind. If you’re confused by any of this, visit both our TeamHallnNass.com and MotoramaLIVE.com sites for information on what both entities are all about.

One Treat of a Favor

It all began when a local DFW area Chevrolet dealership called one day with a question. They asked if we were planning to attend the NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway in April, and if we wouldn’t mind doing them a favor. They asked if we could represent their dealership at the NASCAR dealer VIP event in the Team Chevy pavilion and take delivery of a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible for them at the track after the Sprint Cup Series night race. If so, we would get the full Team Chevy Dealer VIP treatment, including hospitality tent access, food, drinks, free tickets to the race, and the opportunity to participate in the Team Chevy parade lap as part of the dealer “drive away” program. As an added bonus, after the race was over, Thomas said we could keep the car for a week or so to put the break in miles on it, drive around with the top down and enjoy. If only more people called up to ask such favors of us! Of course, it took about half of a millisecond to say “YES!”

We arrived at Texas Motor Speedway the night before the dealer drive away event to enjoy the NASCAR Nationwide Series race, courtesy of our good friends on the GM Communications Team. While watching a highly competitive race, we were treated to something even more fun to watch. A father and his young son who were sitting directly in front of us were both rooting for Ford driver Carl Edwards, who held the lead of the race numerous times throughout the night. While seeing young race fans show their enthusiasm for motorsports always warms our hearts, this kid was priceless. Every time Edwards took the lead, he did a celebratory dance and high fived his dad. Then, in a rare exhibition that would make any veteran NASCAR fan proud, when perennial bad boy Kyle Bush wrecked, this little guy jumped up, pointed at the track, and broke out into a full on running man dance! So when it became apparent that his favorite driver was likely going to win the race, we decided to capture the moment on the likely chance it would be highly entertaining. Enjoy the video of his celebration here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEhtLKnY7wE&feature=channel_video_title.

Our 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Parade Lap Adventure Begins

On the day of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, we arrived at the Chevy Chalet in time to enjoy hanging out and having dinner with the owners and managers of the North Texas Chevy Dealers. Afterward, we were led into the infield of Texas Motor Speedway to a row of 43 special decaled triple black 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertibles. We were assigned car number 17, with Chevrolet decals on the doors. While the inside of the car was covered in dust from sitting at the track with the top down most of the weekend, the outside was shining like new money. We got into the cars, strapped on headsets that were linked to race communications, and headed out in a procession from the infield onto the surface of the track on the front straightaway.

The sight of 43 matching drop top muscle cars anywhere is an amazing sight, but sitting behind the wheel of one as you drive out onto the surface of a NASCAR track in front of over 100,000 cheering fans mere moments before a race begins is beyond intoxicating. For someone who’s been around racing all their life and longs for a ride in the big time, honestly, it’s addicting!

We pulled up in front of the driver introduction stage and picked up the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the #1 Tracker Boats Chevrolet Impala SS, Jaime McMurray. While we drove around the apron of the track on the parade lap, the wind howling between 20 and 40 MPH on a blustery Texas evening, we cautioned him about coming out of two onto the backstretch. After circling the track and driving down a pit road crowded with the cars and crews of all 43 teams, we headed out to a secure parking lot to “officially” take possession of the Camaro from GM.

Our 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Drive Away Adventure Begins

After enjoying the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from the stands, we headed out to the parking lot to retrieve our Camaro, drop the top, and begin the drive back to our house, roughly 30 miles from the speedway. Thus began a dance everyone lucky enough to have purchased and/or driven a brand new muscle or performance car knows all too well. The mental battle between knowing you must keep the engine RPMs at lower levels for the first 500 miles until the rings are properly seated and those run in miles are on the engine versus the almost uncontrollable urge to drop the hammer and experience that roar and rush that only a hot rod car can provide. Well, in Team Hall & Nass world, just because you keep the RPMs low doesn’t exactly mean you have to drive like a senior citizen. Once we broke free of the race traffic and found some clear highway closer to home, the heads up display started to show numbers a bit more to our liking … all while keeping the revs moderate.

Admittedly, I am a very lucky person. My whole life I have owned, rented, borrowed, raced, rallied or somehow had access to some of the best new muscle, speed and luxury cars America builds. So while I have a wide-ranging palate and appreciation for driving new hot rods, it is rare that one truly gets under my skin. Sure, there are many cars I get excited about. That happens all the time. However, this particular Camaro really appealed to something deeper in me, which became apparent as soon as I got it home.

That first night, I spent hours sitting out in my driveway inside of the triple black Camaro SS Convertible with the top down, the dials lit up, the radio down low, and just took it all in. The longer I sat there, the more this old feeling came back to me. One I haven’t felt since way back in the early ‘90s on the first night after I bought my 1994 fourth generation black on black Camaro Z28. The longer I sat there, the more that feeling came over me. This was not what you feel sitting in a Corvette. It was not what you feel sitting in just any cool new car. This was a feeling I only get in a Camaro. This is something I’ve felt many times over the years, as I’ve owned a few Camaros and have always had at least one model (if not multiples) in my possession all the way back to that first 1979 Z28 I bought when I was 16 years old. This is a feeling you get when you encounter an old friend you haven’t seen in ages and almost forgot how much you missed until they are standing there, and suddenly, all that lost time just vanishes and you’re back in a place that seems just like yesterday. Yes, I knew this particular car was not going to be just another drive and review project. This was special. This was a homecoming. This was a Camaro.

My History with the Chevrolet Camaro

Before I can describe the fifth generation Camaro SS Convertible properly, I should first briefly share my longstanding history with being a Camaro aficionado. My love, and even sometimes ‘less than love,’ relationship with the Chevrolet Camaro has existed for as long as I’ve had a drivers license. Having owned and driven many second, third and fourth generation Camaro Z28s over the years, and having kept a fourth generation Camaro Z28 as a semi-regular daily driver for the last 17 years, I’ve got quite a few “butt in seat” miles of Camaro driving experience.

As much as I love driving and racing C6 Corvettes, to me, there is still nothing quite like driving a hot rod Camaro. They have always been quick, twitchy, sideways, unapologetic beasts to drive. They do championship level burnouts with little throttle effort, they command respect at drag strips and race tracks everywhere, and they can whip most cars that cost up to 10 times more without any fear of trying to be something they are not. Since 1967, V8 Camaros have always provided those people on a more conservative budget with the experience of driving a slightly detuned Corvette in a less expensive wrapper (minus the dark period of disappearance from 2003-2009). But more than anything, as long as Camaros have been built and sold, they have always been the ‘best bang for buck’ vehicle Chevrolet has offered. With each new generation, Motor Trend always declares it so.

Describing the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible

In November 2009, Team Hall & Nass got behind the wheel of every flavor of the all new fifth generation 2010 Camaro Coupe (base and RS V6 automatic and manual, SS and SS/RS L99 V8 automatic and LS3 manual models) while at the SEMA show. When we drove the cars, we were immediately smitten. We hijacked the LS3 six speed manual for a clandestine run down the Las Vegas Strip and a few hard blasts around some off the Strip backstreets. We quickly discovered that while the new Camaro had plenty of power, it also had a few shortcomings. It was too quiet due to a restrictive exhaust, it was hard to see out of in any direction, and it just didn’t seem to want to drive sideways very easily. All things I wasn’t expecting. The car wasn’t perfect, but then again, the Camaro was never supposed to be. What it did better than anything was capture the essence of the original first generation Camaro in a visually stunning way. If that was the goal, then it was a goal well met.

Fast forward to April 2011 and we find ourselves in the newly released 2011 Camaro SS Convertible. Our 2SS-optioned car with an automatic rang in at $42,532 on the maroney. It had every single option you could get except for the RS package, and the only RS options it was truly missing were the HID headlights, the halo lights, the HID fog lights and the smoked rear taillight lenses. That would have pushed the sticker up another $500 and change, putting a completely loaded SS/RS Camaro Convertible at roughly $43,000. So HIDs and white SS badge versus red SS/RS badge aside, this car had it all.

A lot has been said about the excellent modern retro exterior and interior styling of the fifth generation Camaro, and how well it captured the first generation. The only thing we could add to that would be to say GM did a great job keeping the lines of the convertible top the same as the coupe. Rare is the drop top that looks good with the top up, but the 2011 Camaro Convertible manages to do just that. In fact, the only thing that looks different between the exterior of the coupe versus the convertible would be the smaller back window on the soft top, which significantly decreases outward visibility on a car already known as unnecessarily difficult to see out of by everyone. Otherwise, they look darn near identical.

However, drop the top, and this all new Camaro Convertible really shines. With the top down, the car looks even better. It may sound funny, but while most muscle cars look mean in coupe form, the Camaro actually looks even meaner with the top dropped. Top down operation is as easy as turning one center latch that releases two locking pins, push and hold down the top button, and all four windows drop and the top folds back flush into the rear boot in about 10-12 seconds. Putting the top up is about a 24-26 second operation accomplished by pressing and holding the top button, then pulling down and twisting the one center latch, which locks the two pins. All four windows are a one touch up and down operation via the drivers’ door switches. This is a feature that all new vehicles should have. Kudos to GM!

Another advantage of the Camaro Convertible is that the aforementioned visibility issues in the fifth generation coupe vanish with a release of a latch and the press of a button. Well, all except for the still too low windshield header, but those who enjoy increased rollover protection should not be so choosy. With the top up, you can lose a Mack truck in the rear blind spots, but a few days of adjusting your sightlines and learning to tow your mirrors out a bit further go a long way toward learning to deal with similar visibility issues that plague most convertibles on the market.

Speaking of the large windshield header bar, it houses the world’s shortest sun visors. Some may even say they are “cute” … but at least they are wide and effective. They serve as a great place to mount a radar detector, but they sure are short! Of course, as short as the dash to windshield height is, they have to be short or else they would block too much of the forward view.

The center stack old school gauge package adds to both the retro flavor and the visible vital information you need when you plan to drive the car hard. The additional vital operation information that you can easily scroll through in the center pod of the gauge cluster is a very welcome addition to the fifth generation Camaro. The LED light strips along the tops of the color door inserts are cool, although we don’t understand why GM didn’t extend them all the way across the matching color panel in the dash to finish out the illusion. Also, it would have been nice to have the same LED lights in the cupholder rings and as ambient lighting in the floors like the Ford Mustang has. And having the capability to change the colors of the LED lights would have also been a really nice touch. Maybe we’ll see this come refresh time?

The seats in the Camaro SS are one of the best overall interior features of the car. The leather, the stitching, the bolsters, the two-stage heating, the adjustable headrests and the SS embroidery are all spectacular! If only the C6 Corvette had these seats, we’d be able to remove the headrests to use the HANS device when we track the car, then simply put the headrests back in for regular street driving versus having to replace the entire seats to use the HANS. Are you listening Team Corvette engineers?!? Please and thank you.

Much has been said about the fifth generation Camaro steering wheel. Some like it, many do not. We found it to be decent. We like the controls for the audio system, the phone (via Bluetooth connection) and the cruise control. We also like that you can access both layers of the center gauge cluster menu from the left stalk without taking your hands off of the wheel. Our only gripe with the wheel is that the spokes are about an inch and a half too tall for optimal hand and thumb wrap position.

One thing GM engineers hit right on the mark on the Camaro that they failed miserably with the C6 Corvette are the paddle shift buttons. You click on the right to upshift, and on the left to downshift. Just like every race car and video game steering wheel on the planet. Try that sequence next time you’re in a paddle shift C6 Corvette and see what happens (but be careful)! Of course, the lag time in the downshifts mirror the second to second and a half delay the Corvette has, making the whole GM paddle shift program beyond annoying for us to use. If GM would adjust the push to downshift timing to instantaneous shifting (to match the upshift timing), then this system would be fun to use!

Two questions we have on the otherwise very well designed and executed interior of the new Camaro – who came up with the radio design and why was it not designed with a navigation screen? Between the sun glare on the screen with the convertible top down and the obvious limitation of ever being able to have a navigation radio option, someone fell asleep at the drawing board here. Different is cool and all, but functionality is key in vehicle electronics. Even the badly outdated navigation screen in the C6 Corvette would be welcome over this in-dash experiment. Head unit complaints aside, the Boston Acoustics sound system rocks! The bass is hard hitting, the highs are crisp, the mids are smooth, and there is always enough sound to rock out even at high speeds with the top down. Kudos on the sound of the stereo even if there is a glare and navigation fail.

The trunk has as much room inside as the C6 Corvette Convertible, once you pass your items through the very restrictive opening. A high trunk lip makes it challenging to get anything bigger than a 24” suitcase in, and the shape of the decklid makes it difficult to access the side areas. There is a netting guide inside to remind you how much space the convertible soft top requires when it is down, but you can easily move that netting to utilize the entire truck space should you need to. Just remember when you do, if you try to put the top down, something is going to get smashed or possibly broken. So using the netting as a guide is a good visual trunk space rule of thumb.

Driving the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible

The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible is an absolute blast to drive! It is more addictive to drive around in than anything else in recent memory. You can just cruise along one moment, then in the next moment, twitch your right foot a bit and suddenly be in full hoon mode. Of course, it’s more fun to drive with the top down that up, but that’s true of just about any convertible.

One of the best things GM did outside of the engine bay was putting four piston front and two piston rear Brembo brakes with thick vented rotors on it. They haul it down from large speeds nice and quick, and don’t seem to fade when really pushing the car through the twisties for hours on end. Of course, we look forward to the six piston front and four piston rear Z06 calipers on the upcoming Camaro ZL1. With over 550 horsepower, it’s going to need it!

Inside the car, one of the best things GM did to enhance the driving experience is the heads up display. In a unit that is very similar to the one found inside of the C6 Corvette, you can adjust the height of the display, the brightness, and select display modes of speed only, speedo and tach (which we used), or speedo, outside temp and compass direction. Another cool feature of the heads up display is the radio station and name of each song pops up along the bottom when a change is made. What is absent versus the Corvette is the G meter. What would be nice to have on the heads up would be a scroll feature along the bottom that relays all of the vital temps and tire pressures. Being able to see that information without having to look down at the center gauge cluster or press a toggle button would be very helpful while attacking long runs of twisty terrain, especially while in competition. A great enhanced safety feature idea if you’re listening, GM!

We are big fans of heads up displays, especially when they are done right. Being able to see your speed is helpful in many circumstances. Especially when tracking your entry speeds for corner setup, trying to stay under the speed limit when a cop is near, or simply as a constant visual reminder that you’re probably going faster than you think you are.

For enhanced grip, our car was rolling on 20” rims with Pirelli tires mounted front and rear, which, frankly, boggles our minds. The C6 Corvette in base, Z51 and even Z06 form only rolls on 18s on the front and 19s on the rear. Sure the ZR1 has 19s on the front and 20s on the back, but it also has 638 horsepower! The 20s look cool, but as every hot rodder knows, larger circumference wheels take more power to turn over. It just seems like overkill for the Camaro to have such large wheels. Yes, the Pirellis are super sticky for stock OEM tires and do a great job to aid the overall handling of the car, but when the point of the Camaro has always been that it offers Corvette ‘like’ performance for those on a budget, to force those customers to have to pay for 20” tires just seems a bit harsh. We dig the 20s, but we would dread paying $400-600 per tire for replacement sets of either Pirelli or upgraded Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires on the Camaro. Ouch!

As mentioned by everyone who has tested both V8 variants of the fifth generation Camaro, we’re curious to know what GM was thinking when they put on an uber silent exhaust. It sounds anemic until you get to wide open throttle, and even then, you can hear that it needs to be opened up to enable less restrictive flow. There is easy power gain to be had just by immediately upgrading the exhaust. I can best sum this up with a comment made by a 60-something year old neighbor lady, who asked, “Why does your new Camaro not sound mean sitting there running like your old Camaro or that new Corvette does?” My sentiments exactly.

When we asked a GM rep about this very issue at SEMA in 2009, the response was, “We’re trying to appeal to a wider range of buyer with a quieter exhaust on the Camaro” and “we know the first thing enthusiast buyers will do is replace the exhaust.” Our point remains the same now as it was then – if you know we’re going to have to replace it to make it right, why not just install the correct-sounding, less restrictive exhaust in the first place? Come on GM. We love this car, but why leave the cork in the bottle? A muscle car should sound like a muscle car, at idle and at wide open throttle. Period. At least you can hear the roar of the exhaust at WOT a lot better with the top down than up. Yet another reason to buy the convertible over the coupe!

Speaking of power, we could go on and on about the wonderful power and fuel economy delivered by GM’s wonder engine, the LS3. It is our favorite GM engine right now (well, aside from the LS7). But the single largest unpleasant issue with the fifth generation Camaro, the one that absolutely boggles our minds, is why do all of the automatic V8 Camaros have the weaker L99 engine installed in them instead of the LS3? The very same LS3 that is already installed in all manual V8 Camaros. Of all the smart moves GM has made in the “new GM” era, this is perhaps the single biggest disappointment/mistake/mind boggler of them all. Why?

It cannot be that the automatic transmission used in the Camaro can’t handle the power of the LS3 when you consider GM has an automatic transmission mated to both the 436 horsepower LS3 in the Corvette and even to the 556 horsepower LSA engine in the Cadillac CTS-V. It can’t be that it’s somehow cheaper to install two different V8s in the same Camaro SS platform on the same assembly line at a similar sales price point. It can’t really be a fuel economy issue, because the LS3 is the most fuel efficient V8 engine GM has ever made. It also can’t be a weight issue, because unless we just happen to be wrong, the LS3 is a lighter engine than the L99, making it a better power to weight ratio option for the Camaro. So why are automatic buyers saddled with receiving the weaker- powered L99 engine when the higher horsepower, stronger built, more fuel efficient LS3 engine is already being installed in all of the manual Camaro SS cars on the same assembly line? We look forward to discussing this with GM and getting to the bottom of this odd issue on Motorama LIVE.

Engine/transmission combination dictations aside, the L99 V8 puts out 400 horsepower, 410 foot pound of torque, and launches the automatic Camaro SS Convertible forward at an impressive rate at any speed! From a standing start, you can easily put the Camaro SS over 100 MPH on any standard length highway on ramp. The fun doesn’t stop there, either. In fact, whether you have the 400 horse L99 automatic car, or the 426 horsepower, 420 foot pounds of torque LS3 V8 manual shift car, the fifth generation Camaro SS pulls hard all the way from 0 to as far as you dare take it. It has been published by Chevrolet from day one that these cars have an electronically limited top speed of 155 MPH. The car is such a hard charger that it is actually hard to resist the temptation to dig into the throttle every time you leave a light, a stop sign, merge onto a freeway, pull out to make a pass, or even when you just happen to have open lane in front of your car.

This brings us to perhaps a touchy area of this review … fuel economy. Get your wallet out, because this is where all that money you saved buying a Camaro SS instead of a Corvette is about to start coming in handy. Under “normal” Team Hall & Nass driving conditions, we struggled to stay in the 12-14 MPG range. In fact, when we went on a highly spirited drive one night with a couple of other road rally teams out in Middle of Nowhere, Texas, to attack some long straights and lots of twisties, we saw a full tank run average of 11.1 MPG. I filled the Camaro up to go on the drive, and I filled it up to get home, all inside of 200 miles. If you get on the throttle a lot in town, you may actually see your averages dipping down into the 9, 8 or even the 7.6 MPG range. We did. And, folks, that’s not being hard on the car or driving it like a buffoon. That’s just having fun every time you drive the car around town. By comparison, I’ve never seen gas mileage that bad driving a C6 Z06 around Las Vegas and having all sorts of stop light and on ramp fun.

In an effort to find out what the absolute best miles per gallon average we could achieve in the 2011 Camaro SS Convertible could be, we drove at constant speeds on a long, flat stretch of smooth highway in sixth gear. Granted, we did so with the top down, because, let’s face it, unless it’s raining out, everyone’s going to drive this car with the top down. While no doubt there is a bit of drag created by the cavern behind the front seats, here is what we found. At 60 MPH, the best we saw was 24 MPG. At 70 MPH, 22.5 MPG. These numbers were only maximized by holding everything rock steady (including our breath) and with the A/C turned off. By contrast, a similarly equipped 2009 LS3 Corvette Convertible Z51 automatic with 3.42 gears and the top down gets 22.5 MPG at 100 MPH with the A/C on and both occupants breathing normally. It’s all about aerodynamics folks. Well, that, and we suspect the L99 isn’t getting nearly as good of fuel economy as the LS3 can, but we are speculating.

The long and the short of it is if you want to have maximum power and see the best fuel mileage in a fifth generation Camaro SS, you should stick with the LS3 six speed manual.

Please note, we waited until we had put all the run in miles on this car before we ran it anywhere close to what you could call hard. Yes, we stretched its legs out to give it a thorough shakedown, but more than that, we exercised a ton of patience making sure we ran the motor in right first, just as if we owned it. After all, someone out there will be buying this car as a NASCAR Parade Lap car, and that owner deserves to purchase a properly run in car. This one is a true gem and should serve them well.

Protecting the 2011 Camaro SS Convertible Come Hail, Highwater, or BIGGER HAIL

As you may have gathered by now, we at Team Hall & Nass are big Camaro fans. So when we were caught off guard by a freak large hail storm here in North Texas, we didn’t let the fear of personal injury keep us from springing into insane action to save the 2011 Camaro SS Convertible from potential hail damage. Our tale was so outrageous that not only did we capture it on camera (and ruin a new smart phone doing so) to prove it happened, but popular automotive site Jalopnik did a piece on our efforts to save the Camaro. In case you haven’t seen the videos yet, here is the Jalopnik story – http://jalopnik.com/#!5793142, a video of our rescue effort – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4Oz_jW4Yyw&feature=channel_video_title and a video summary after the storm subsided – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG4sPVYgrO0&feature=channel_video_title. Don’t try this at home!

The miraculous news is that we managed to keep the new 2011 Camaro SS Convertible from receiving a single dent throughout 20 minutes of pounding hail ranging from pea sized up to golf ball sized. The sad news is that our personal fourth generation Camaro Z28 paid the price with dents covering the hood and both rear quarter panels. As of this story, the dealer we saved the new Camaro for has offered to have his hail dent repair guy look at our Z28 to see what they can do to fix it. Stay tuned for a future update on either a dent repair miracle, or a project Camaro Z28 build up, coming soon!

In Summary

Team Hall & Nass fell in love with the new Camaro SS Convertible for a lot of reasons. As we said before, the new Camaro isn’t perfect, but it’s not supposed to be. The Camaro is a bit heavier, a bit less agile, and not quite as quick as the Corvette, but considering it costs $20K less, it’s closer than the price suggests. If GM’s goal with the new Camaro SS Convertible was to offer a modern day retro drop top muscle car with Corvette ‘like’ performance for considerably less money, then they nailed it. No matter how you order or option the car, it is a lot of fun to drive. The fifth generation Camaro V8 has returned from a long absence to regain the “best bang for the buck” title. Period.

Team Hall & Nass Buy, Wait or Skip Rating

Based on our impressions of our time behind the wheel of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible, coupled with impressions from other enthusiasts, friends and neighbors we showed the car to and took out for hot laps, we’re going to give the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS a ‘Strong Buy’ rating with one caveat. If you’re going to buy one, buy the manual. Why? Because it is the only way to get the 426 horsepower LS3 engine. If you have the least bit of interest in adding power to your Camaro, either now or down the road, you’re going to want the LS3 over the weaker L99. It’s just a better, stronger, stouter engine. Besides, if you’re buying a muscle car, why wouldn’t you buy the one with maximum horsepower? Exactly.

When you visit your Chevrolet dealer to test drive the new Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible, do us a favor and tell them Team Hall & Nass sent you. If you do buy a Camaro of any variety, please let us know! We always love hearing about our fans’ rides, and so does GM when we tell them about you. In turn, it makes them feel better about giving us access to their cars to review and share with you. We appreciate your support!

Team Hall & Nass and Motorama LIVE Camaro SS Convertible Coverage

We hope y’all have enjoyed our Team Hall & Nass 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible coverage. Be sure to check out our 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible videos, some of which are already posted, with a lot more coming soon on our Team Hall & Nass YouTube channel YouTube.com/TeamHallnNass. You know our Camaro videos are going to be wild! Also, stay tuned as we continue to share our experience of what life is like behind the wheel of other exciting new vehicles on TeamHallnNass.com and on MotoramaLIVE.com.

Our 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Was a GM “Drive Away” Car

We want to publicly thank our good friends at General Motors, Team Chevy, the GM Communications Team and Chevrolet for allowing us access to the NASCAR events, dealer VIP treatment, and to review one of their cars. Note that this particular car didn’t come from the GM media fleet. It was a brand new car, for sale to the public, delivered to us by Team Chevy as part of the North Texas Chevy Dealers NASCAR “drive away” program. It was a Chevrolet dealer who asked us to represent his dealership at the NASCAR dealer VIP event, and who allowed us to keep the car for 11 days to drive, enjoy and review. Thank you very much. We hope you enjoyed the publicity as much as we enjoyed driving and reviewing your car!

Disclaimer

Due to FTC guidelines, please note that GM did not pay us to write or film any of this, nor did they ask us to. They simply granted us access to the Team Chevy pavilion at the Texas Motor Speedway NASCAR races, two days of awesome race tickets, and the chance to participate in the Team Chevy parade lap and dealer drive away program. We sincerely thank all of you, our amazing fans, for taking the time to read all about it. We appreciate you all!

This site entry has been approved by Pirate Pig, official mascot of Team Hall & Nass. Learn more about Pirate Pig at TeamHallnNass.com. Pirate Pig offers hamthrax protection for all, and would like to remind you, “IF YOU’VE JUST BEEN PASSED, THEN YOU’RE NOT HALL & NASS!” :@)~

Motorama LIVE!

If you are an automotive enthusiast, or would enjoy learning more about cool cars, automotive trends, auto shows, events and anything else that goes on in the automotive world, join us for our wildly popular weekly interactive automotive enthusiast discussion Motorama LIVE, every Wednesday from 9-11 PM Eastern, only on Twitter! Check us out at MotoramaLIVE.com, ‘Like’ Motorama LIVE on Facebook, and of course, follow us on Twitter @MotoramaLIVE Twitter.com/MotoramaLIVE. To join the conversation, just use the #Motorama hashtag and jump in! We’ll see you on Motorama LIVE!





Team Hall & Nass Drive the 2011 Cadillac DTS

25 04 2011


Team Hall & Nass Drive the 2011 Cadillac DTS

Preface

When Team Hall & Nass learned that 2011 would be the last year of the Cadillac DTS, we decided we just HAD to do a review of one before that last big Caddy build by the “old GM” sailed off into the sunset. Why? Because we like big, old school Cadillacs!

This review also happens to technically be a Team Hall & Nass review, but we also conducted it with our Motorama LIVE audience in mind. If you’re confused by all of this, visit both the TeamHallnNass.com site as well as the MotoramaLIVE.com site for more information on what both entities are all about.

Be sure to check out our 2011 Cadillac DTS videos, coming soon on our Team Hall & Nass YouTube channel YouTube.com/TeamHallnNass. Yes, a bit of hoonage of the DTS will ensue!


DTS – The Last Cadillac DeVille

While the “new GM” has done a superb job of cranking out cool new cars under the Cadillac brand, such as the CTS sedan/coupe/wagon, the ground pounding uber Cadillac CTS-V sedan/coupe/wagon, and the ultimate new Cadillac SRX crossover, the DTS has kind of been relegated to second class citizen/afterthought status. The big bodied Northstar V8-powered Cadillac DeVille Touring Sedan (DTS) is the last of the big Cadillacs still being produced by GM that has been around since the “old GM” was cranking out profits on SUVs and DotComs were still considered a wise investment. Because of this, the DTS is often thought of as the “old man car” or “airport limo service car.”

But the DTS roots run much deeper than just a long-in-the-tooth platform car that has fallen behind its siblings in terms of power, options and design. It’s also the last in a long, storied history of the DeVille moniker, a badge worn proudly by big bodied Cadillac cruisers for half a century. In fact, it wasn’t so long ago that when you heard the word Cadillac, the Coupe DeVille or Sedan DeVille was likely the first car that came to mind (except for maybe the Eldorado).


Cadillac holds a special place in my family, and it all started with the DeVille. Growing up, we always had GM cars, but in 1980, my dad, my great uncle and my cousin all decided they wanted to step it up beyond just owning Corvettes and pickup trucks. So they walked into our local Cadillac dealer and bought all three cars sitting on the showroom floor. My great uncle got a red Sedan DeVille, my cousin got a black Coupe DeVille and my dad got a blue Coupe DeVille for my mom. In true old school fashion, they all paid cash and drove them right off the showroom floor. Thus began my family’s long run of driving Cadillacs.

Those three Cadillac Coupe DeVilles were true classic Caddys in every sense of the word. They were big, they were long, they had 500-cubic inch big block motors, they would light the rear tires up with a flick of the right foot, they rode like you were floating on a cloud, they had enough body roll to scare you to death, but they were indestructible. But more than anything, when you rolled up in a Coupe DeVille, people noticed. Why? Simple. Because it was a Cadillac.

Sadly, 2011 is the last year for the Cadillac DTS. Instead of being updated or refreshed, Cadillac has plans to launch an entirely new car to replace the DTS for 2012, under a completely different moniker. While there is little doubt the new car will be awesome like the rest of the new Cadillac line, it is also sad, because this may be the last car to ever be badged as a Cadillac DeVille. So in short, we HAD to review this car before it heads off into the sunset. In a way, it was almost like saying goodbye to a family member.


Describing the 2011 Cadillac DTS

Many adjectives are associated with the DTS by today’s luxury car buyers and the enthusiast community alike. Most are less than kind, and we feel that is a shame. Why? Well, for starters, the DTS may be long in the tooth, but it’s still got more bite in terms of classic Cadillac style and comfort than anyone remembers. After all, when was the last time anyone took the time to review a DTS? Exactly. So let us refresh your memory of a true gem.

The DTS is the last Cadillac that instantly reminds you of what driving a Cadillac used to mean. It is big. It is plush. It rides like you are floating on a cloud, absorbing pot holes and bumpy roads like a dream so you barely notice as you cruise along. (We are convinced the powers-that-be in Dallas who can do something about the ridiculously bumpy roads must all drive Cadillac DTSes and thus not be able to feel how rough the roads are!) The hood on the DTS is long enough to play golf on, and its trunk is big enough to take your entire wardrobe on a road trip, while still allowing room for your golf clubs, the kitchen sink and anything else you might have riding around back there. We’re talking old school room and comfort at its finest here.

But isn’t all this talk of “old school” exactly what’s wrong with the DTS? In a word, NO. It is exactly why the DTS is the hidden gem of the 2011 Cadillac lineup. The CTS is a great car in any flavor. The CTS-V is the ultimate American uber sport luxo dream car come true. It’s like a Corvette Z06 with a backseat in a stealth wrapper! The SRX is a car any soccer mom or family on the go can enjoy. But only the DTS reminds you every second you are inside of it that you are in a Cadillac. Old school, new school, any school. The DTS is a true Cadillac no matter how you drive it, use it, or enjoy it. It’s got what the others, awesome as they are, seem to lack just a bit of – that classic Cadillac style.


We weren’t the only people who thought this, either. Just ask any of our Team Hall & Nass neighbors. These are the people who are always checking out the various automobiles that grace our driveway each week. There is quite often a brand new something out in front of our house, and believe me, the neighbors all notice. It’s not that uncommon to go outside and find someone looking over whatever we’re driving and asking questions about it. Until now, the Corvettes are always the crowd favorite. Well, guess what may have taken the crown?

We had more people stop by and ask us about the Cadillac DTS than anything shy of a Corvette. No, we’re not kidding. For starters, no one had to ask “what is that?” Just like they all know what a Corvette is, they all know the DTS is a Cadillac. But it didn’t stop there. Requests to sit inside and to take a spin around the block rivaled the last Corvette we had. You can’t make stuff up like this, folks. Young and old, guys and girls, they all wanted to check out the big Caddy. Once inside, they were amazed by the space. The air-conditioned seats. The massage chairs. The smell of the leather – that distinctive Cadillac leather smell. They loved the whole nine yards. We’d let them fire it up, and when the Northstar V8 rumbled to life, more than a few revved the throttle and grinned. They reacted exactly like they do when we have a Corvette on display. Only they could actually see themselves owning and driving the DTS. It was like having a magic carpet sitting out in front of our house for two weeks. Everyone wanted to take a ride! That’s the magic of an old school brand new Cadillac. Even we were surprised. VERY!


Driving the 2011 Cadillac DTS

For starters, if you haven’t heard the sound of a Northstar V8 lately, then let me reassure you, you need to. Most luxury car makers try to make their cabins quiet inside. While the Cadillac DTS is fairly quiet, there is no mistaking the sweet sound of American muscle when you turn the key in the ignition and the Northstar rumbles to life. Pull the Caddy into gear and the growl invites you to stand on the throttle just so you can hear it. Go to wide open throttle and the combination of the roar through the firewall and the rush that propels the big DTS forward is, quite honestly, both surprising and addicting! So much so that we shouldn’t even tell you what our around-town MPG average was. It’s really not fair considering every single time we left a stop sign, a traffic light, or just felt the need to drive it like we stole it, we immediately went to wide open throttle and held it there as long as conditions would allow. We did this at EVERY opportunity.

While we had the DTS for two whole weeks, we sadly didn’t have a chance to do a lot of highway driving. What little bit we did resulted in fuel consumption just shy of 20 MPG with highway cruising average at 70 MPH. Of course, that was with my gal behind the wheel. I never saw better than 16.7 MPG, and far worse in town. It was just too hard to resist the urge to dig into the throttle and roll out every time. It sounds and feels that good!


As our local group that goes to Cars and Coffee found out one Saturday morning on the Dallas North Tollway, the DTS will accelerate a lot faster than anyone anticipates. It was fun blowing past a line of BMW Dinan Stage 3 cars and Burnout Radio’s Challenger SRT-8 in the DTS. Needless to say, when we pulled into Cars & Coffee with the Caddy in the lead, everyone in our group had a newfound respect for the Cadillac DTS. Seeing it get up and move also stopped the “old man car” comments.

Granted, most people who buy the 2011 Cadillac DTS will not drive it like they stole it. But they will be amazed when their big floating cloud of a Caddy takes off like it was shot out of a cannon and corners without the body roll they would have experienced in the Cadillacs of old. This big Caddy is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.


A couple of things shocked us about the DTS. After a few days, we popped the hood to clean it up for a photo shoot. Not only was the Northstar V8 sitting wrong direction in the engine bay (that’s right, the DTS is a front wheel drive), but upon inspection of the Cadillac.com website, we discovered that big Northstar V8 in the DTS is only putting out 292 horsepower. WHAT?!? That’s right. It has less than 300 horsepower, and it is putting it to the pavement through the wrong wheels. Obviously, we hadn’t really pushed the Caddy hard through a corner in the first few days, but there seriously wasn’t a hint of torque steer to give away that the DTS was front wheel drive. It took off like it was shot and rolled out quickly no matter how long you stayed in the throttle. It feels like you’re driving a 350+ horsepower rear wheel drive car, not a 292 HP FWD sedan. You might call this an engineering feat, but we have another word for it – amazing.

In Summary

Just because the 2011 Cadillac DTS is near the end of its long production run doesn’t mean it’s any less than a great car. In fact, it means they’re had quite a long time to refine it into one sweet ride. This Caddy is absolutely loaded! The DTS has a great sounding Bose stereo system with in-dash navigation and XM satellite radio, OnStar, plush comfortable front seats with two-position push button memory combination driver seat, tilt/telescopic heated leather steering wheel with wood grain, power mirror settings, three-position driver and passenger seat air conditioning, three-position driver and passenger seat upper and lower zone heating, and last but not least, massage seats that allow you to alternate the heating and cooling for relief of back or leg discomfort on long road trips. The options carry into the roomy back seats with three-position heated rear seats, flip down leather center arm rest with two large cup holders, and separate rear passenger HVAC heating and cooling controls.


The DTS is the last car that Cadillac makes that actually looks, rides and feels like an old school Cadillac. It has a long hood, a massive trunk, floating ride, and big V8 growl. It is plush, it is comfortable, and even though it weighs nearly three tons, it will flat out get up and haul. After spending two weeks behind the wheel, the better-looking half of the Team Hall & Nass duo coined the DTS “the Cadillac of Cadillacs.” I couldn’t agree more.

Team Hall & Nass Buy, Wait or Skip Rating

Based on our impressions of our time behind the wheel of the Cadillac DTS, coupled with other enthusiasts, friends and neighbors we showed the car to, we’re going to give the 2011 Cadillac DTS a ‘Buy’ rating. Cadillac has gone in a different direction with all of their new cars, and while they are all pretty awesome, there is something special about this last of the old school Caddys. We wish it wasn’t front wheel drive, but then again, it doesn’t drive like one. We’re not entirely sure what Cadillac is going to replace the DTS with (ATS, XTS, ???), but no matter what they come out with next, this is likely your last chance to buy something remotely close to a true Cadillac DeVille. That alone is reason enough to buy this car in our book. After all, the DTS is “the Cadillac of Cadillacs.”

When you visit your Cadillac dealer to test drive the DTS, do us a favor and tell them Team Hall & Nass sent you. If you do buy a DTS, please let us know! We always love hearing about our fans’ rides, and so does GM when we tell them about you. In turn, it makes them feel better about giving us access to their cars to review and share with you. We appreciate your support!

Team Hall & Nass and Motorama LIVE Cadillac DTS Coverage

We hope y’all have enjoyed our Team Hall & Nass 2011 Cadillac DTS coverage. Be sure to check out our videos on the 2011 Cadillac DTS, coming soon to our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/TeamHallnNass. Stay tuned as we continue to share our experience of what life is like behind the wheel of other exciting new vehicles on TeamHallnNass.com and on MotoramaLIVE.com.

Our 2011 Cadillac DTS Was NOT a GM Media Car

This is usually where we publicly thank our friends at GM and on the GM South Central US Communications Team for allowing us to review another one of their cars. However, this particular car didn’t come from the GM media fleet. In fact, to our knowledge, GM no longer has Cadillac DTS sedans available for media reviews since this model is near end of life. Because we wanted to review this car before it drives off into the sunset, we rented it from the Hertz Rental Car Company. It was only a month into service and had just over 5,000 miles on it when we picked it up. Granted, coming out of Las Vegas, it was filthy beyond belief inside and out, but after the healthy dose of detailing elbow grease and car care products we applied, it was (almost) back to looking as good as new.

As many of you are aware, Team Hall & Nass rent a LOT of cars from Hertz every year for business and personal travel. Thanks to our Hertz Presidential Status, we obtained a Caddy that usually rents for well over $100 per day for less than $600 for two weeks. That’s right. We spent our own hard-earned money to rent a fully loaded brand new Cadillac DTS from Hertz just to review. Ever hear of any automotive review team doing that? Well, we’re anything but conventional, and we hope y’all enjoy that about us, too!

Disclaimer

Due to FTC guidelines, please note that GM did not pay us to write or film any of this, nor did they ask us to. After reading this and/or watching our videos, they may even prefer that we hadn’t. The same could probably be said for the fine folks at the Hertz Rental Car Company! We sincerely thank all of you, our amazing fans for taking the time to read all about it. We appreciate you all!

This site entry has been approved by Pirate Pig, official mascot of Team Hall & Nass. Learn more about Pirate Pig at TeamHallnNass.com. Pirate Pig offers hamthrax protection for all, and would like to remind you, “IF YOU’VE JUST BEEN PASSED, THEN YOU’RE NOT HALL & NASS!” :@)~

Motorama LIVE!

If you are an automotive enthusiast, or would enjoy learning more about cool cars, automotive trends, auto shows, events and anything else that goes on in the automotive world, join us for our wildly popular weekly interactive automotive enthusiast discussion Motorama LIVE, every Wednesday from 9-11 PM Eastern, only on Twitter! Check us out at MotoramaLIVE.com, ‘Like’ Motorama LIVE on Facebook, and of course, follow us on Twitter @MotoramaLIVE Twitter.com/MotoramaLIVE. To join the conversation, just use the #Motorama hashtag and jump in! We’ll see you on Motorama LIVE!