Last week, the Lexus Safety Experience arrived in South Florida. I was lucky enough to be invited to Media Day, held in the parking lot of Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino. The day started early and I must admit that I was tired. But as soon as I arrived, I was energized and ready for the half day program.
There was a huge tent set up in one section of the lot. Me and the husband–cars are sooo his thing–checked in. We were given press kits and invited to partake of the continental breakfast buffet. One of the Lexus guys gave us a nice overview of the safety features that Lexus and Toyota have in place. He also gave us the order of the day. We were divided into groups and sent to the first of 3 stations where we would drive the vehicles.
My first experience was to test the Vehicle Stability Control and the Traction Control. You had to drive the car through this segment twice, once with the controls off and then with them on, to see the difference. For the TRAC part, we drove onto a wet tarp and your front tires were coated with dishwashing liquid. Then you accelerated and hit the brakes. With the TRAC off, it was pretty scary, sliding with the tires not gripping the road. With the feature engaged, it was a lot better–made me feel a lot safer. The VSC was a bit similar, but used sand and you also had to make a sharp turn. I was impressed, so far.
My next station as the Anti Lock Braking. In this one, you accelerated as fast as you could on a long straight stretch. My instructor’s directions to me were “when I say brake, you step on it! Like ya MAMA is in front of you!” Now, I can brake with the best of them, but when he said “BRAKE” in the car that didn’t have ABS, poor Mama would have been a goner. Now, in the car equipped with ABS, not only did I stop quicker, but the car took me off to the right, completely avoiding MAMA in the middle of the road. Again, very impressed.
The final station was the Smart Stop Technology, where even when the gas pedal is fully depressed, the vehicle has a brake override system. Overall, this event made a believer out of me. I was left with the impression that Lexus/Toyota is making great strides in the driving safety features in their vehicles.
The program ended with a SERIOUS hot lunch buffet, that included pasta, chicken and salad. I can’t wait to see the Lexus folks again!
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