So, 2019 is the year. You’ve saved. Studied the specs, maybe even put the Houston Auto Show to work, taking the new models you’ve zeroed in on for test spins.
Before you pull the trigger or limit your search to cars already in stock, did you know that purchasing that dream car can be interactive? (And, no, we’re not talking about filling out all that paperwork you must trudge through before they hand you your new car keys.)
ome automakers know they have a cadre of loyal customers who are passionate about the vehicles, the brand, and want to be engaged.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz, for instance, have programs that let you take delivery of your car in Europe, receive a familiarization briefing on the car, and then take a guided tour of an assembly plant. You can also explore the manufacturer’s museum. Then away you go in your spiffy new ride, free to tour cities or countryside. The European delivery programs include insurance, and other niceties. At the end of your adventure, you drop your U.S.-spec car off at one of the automaker’s facilities and it’s shipped stateside while you jet home or take in some more sightseeing.
Here’s the kicker: the European delivery programs come with a discount of up to 7 percent, depending on make and model, off the vehicle’s base MSRP.
Those who buy or lease a new 2019 Cadillac ATS-V or CTS-V can attend the two-day Cadillac V-Performance Academy. The instruction and driving sessions are at Spring Motor Resort and Country Club, in Pahrump, Nevada, about 55 miles from Las Vegas. Tuition, accommodations, some meals and ground transportation to and from McCarran International airport are covered. One adult guest is welcome to observe.
Chevrolet introduced the Corvette in 1953, making it America’s longest-reigning sports car. When ordering a Corvette, buyers can select the $990 option to pick up their Vette at the National Corvette Museum (NCM), which, like the Corvette assembly plant, is in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
If you go for museum delivery, your car will have a personalized plaque on the console bearing the NCM logo. The museum will contact you to schedule your delivery and let you know which documents you’ll need to bring.
The buyer and up to three guests also receive a VIP tour of the Corvette museum, which includes seeing their new Corvette on display.
Dodge’s SRT and the Bondurant Racing School have put together a one-day learn-and-drive program called the Dodge SRT Experience. The training is free to anyone who buys or leases a Durango SRT, Charger SRT Hellcat, Challenger SRT 392, Challenger SRT Hellcat or the 797-horsepower Hellcat Redeye. If you’re a Hellcat fan, but don’t own an SRT, you can still take the SRT Experience at the Chandler, Arizona track, but it will run you $999.
Students use the program’s SRT cars and learn how to react in emergencies and avoid accidents, take part in skid control exercises, autocrossing, and run lead/follow laps on the track. They can also ride along in the passenger seat while a Bondurant Racing School instructor puts down some hot laps.
Customers who order a new Porsche don’t have to cross the Atlantic to score a memorable delivery experience. There’s a no-cost option to pick up your shiny new car at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta or suburban Los Angeles. Going that route gets the buyer a vehicle orientation, track session, dining, and participation in learning modules designed to ensure Porsche owners get the most out of their performance machines. Timing can be critical; patience is advised. More than 250,000 drivers have taken part in programs at the Porsche Experience Centers.