Back when GM launched their May the Best Car Win marketing campaign, Bob Lutz “told reporters he would challenge anyone in any production sedan to a race around Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway and try to beat him,” reported the automotive blog Jalopnik who immediately were interested in taking on “Maximum” Bob.
It has been a challenge Jalopnik has been pushing GM to follow through on. Eventually, GM accepted applications from reporters and recently announced they accepted 6 entries including one from Jalopnik’s Wes Siler.
GM eventually created a micro-site to promote the challenge. The Cadillac V-Series Challenge site promotes the event and informs about the challenge rules and process. It also communicates the attributes of the Cadillac CTS-V.
GM selected the challengers and submissions were accepted from October 13-16. The Cadillac V-Series Challenge website does not communicate who was selected or what they will be racing. It simply states that Bob Lutz will be racing the challengers at Monticello Motor Club in New York on October 29, 2009 at 10am EST.
The preliminary lists of challengers are communicated at the Cadillac blog. Wes Siler of Jalopnik, Jack Baruth of The Truth About Cars and Lawrence Ulrich who freelances and writes for the NY Times are the three journalists in the challenge. Four private car owners are also participating in the challenge; though, one is a CTS-V owner who “wants to learn more about his car’s capabilities.”
The best part is that the challenge works to GM’s benefit in a couple ways:
A Competitor Races: If they race against the CTS-V and lose well that proves the CTS-V is a winner. If they beat the Cadillac, Cadillac can say sure X car won but it costs thousands more than the Cadillac and the performance numbers are not that different. So the value ratio is still in Cadillac’s favor.
Competitor Chooses Not to Race: Jaguar did this today and now they are getting called chicken for not wanting to pit their XF-R against the CTS-V. Lutz commented today saying, “think it means that the European high-performance sedans are excellent, even superb cars, but quite possibly not ready for racing laps right out of the show-room.”
Either way GM wins.
Meanwhile, Wes needs a car. Unfortunately for Team Jalopnik they don’t have a car to race Bob with. The site that pushed to get GM to own up to Bob’s original challenge to reporters may not be in the race, since they are now quickly waiting for some brand to show up and help them beat Lutz and his Caddy.