Tuesday, February 02, 2010

TEST DRIVE: Kelowna to Whitehorse in a smart car

WHITEHORSE, Yukon: This is the story about the little car that could.
Press launches of new vehicles are the lifeblood of auto journalism. Normally, the car companies pick scenic locations and roads that put their new offerings in the best light.
Because it takes time to get to these locations, it means actual driving time can be as brief as two hours, hardly a lot of time on which to base lasting impressions.
So when Mercedes-Benz called up to propose a drive in the dead of winter over 15 days from Kelowna to the Artic Circle and finishing in Vancouver, I was intrigued.
The event would be split into three legs: Kelowna to Whitehorse, Whitehorse to Inuvik (68∞ 22' North) and back to Whitehorse and finally Whitehorse to Vancouver. I was assigned to Leg One with a total distance of 2,480 km.
It would mean four days of driving about 500-700 km a day with no cellphone, sketchy internet and no radio.
And to get there Mercedes wasn't using its selection of robust SUVs or even its sedans with 4Matic all-wheel-drive.
No, they wanted to do this in smart cars.

Read more here.

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