If someone told you that you could test drive brand-new luxury cars, taste fine food and receive gifts, all for free, you would jump on it, right? Last Sunday, Sept. 24, I did exactly that when I attended the 2006 Taste of Lexus Design and Innovation Edition.
This special event is taking place in 10 different cities all over the nation, from Orange County to New York, between September and November. The event is intended to drum up interest for the new Lexus models.
I signed up for the show in Irvine a couple of weeks before the event and a few clicks later, I confirmed a spot. When I logged in a few days after I first signed up, I found out that every spot had been filled.
At the event, I entered the building and was issued a badge. There were three rooms for the event, each with a different car to see. The first had the ES 350. The second room was the GS 450H and offered massages and a facial mapping in which experts advise guests to the best treatment for their skin. They also gave away a small gift bag of shower gel and lotion.
The third room was the LS 460L. This was the car that people were most interested in. More people were crowded around this car than any other and it had the longest line to test-drive. This car created the most intrigue because of its advanced parking guidance system. Drivers merely need to lightly press the brake and the car parks itself.
I was amazed at the technology of this car. This room also had a video game which simulated a test drive.
The food was delicious and included bagels with strawberries, crab meat, pasta with bread, chicken, pork, beef, apple pie, carrot cake, chocolate, brownies and assorted fruit. For refreshments, guests had their choice of coffee, milk, tea, soda, cranberry juice, lemonade and Fiji water. Outside was where the actual test-driving took place.
There were nine different Lexus models to test drive and also a BMW and a Mercedes with which to compare performances, which I thought was a great idea.
There were also other Lexus models outside to look at. On the way out, I filled out a survey with comments about the event and I received my free gift: a Micucci cardholder tray and a jazz CD. I thought the cardholder was a really high-class gift.
The event was well-organized and professional with lots of employees. There were also a pianist playing in the background and a cameraman filming the event. The only things that were not enjoyable at the event were the long lines for the massage and the test drives.
Overall, the event was a fun place for people who are interested in cars.