Hot weather testing in Death Valley

Motor manufacturers were out in force in Death Valley when visited this week.

But, whereas we have had a good idea what we were looking at on previous visits, this time all we have are questions.

The most intriguing of the prototypes out testing was this saloon car mule. I didn’t manage to catch the front end view on camera, but I thought it had four white Audi rings on the grille.

Death Valley prototype

I’m tempted the think that could be part of the disguise, it didn’t look like the genuine article. Trying to look through the disguise, it doesn’t look like an Audi to me. By its size it must be at least Audi A6 size, possibly A8.

Audi’s don’t usually have trapezoidal exhausts built into the rear valance. It’s a long shot, but I wonder if the car under the disguise is a Lexus? Or maybe a Bentley? The most plausible suggestion, though, is the forthcoming Hyundai Equus luxury saloon.

The one car that was quite obvious was the Cadillac CTS-V that was out testing, with an Escalade support vehicle. It had matt black paint on the bonnet bulge and roughly applied to the rear, including the outside of the Cadillac badge. I think this one might not be Cadillac out testing but the D3 company that specialises in tuning options for Cadillac. There were badges on the flanks and the boot – although far from clear, it looked like they read VF7.

Cadillac testing in Death Valley

These two pick-up trucks passed us near Furnace Creek. They look like competitors for the Ford F-150 in size and I have an inkling they might be Chevrolets. Maybe you have a better guess?

Pick up truck prototypes in Death Valley

Finally, in the car par at Furnace Creek Ranch there was this neat little sports car under a cover. Was it someone who took their sports car to Death Valley on holiday and covered it up at night?

I think it is more likely that it is a prototype, but I have no idea what. It was about the size of a Mazda MX5 and clearly had a roll bar, possibly with wind sensors under the cover. Could it be a prototype for new Fiat 124 or perhaps the rumoured minimalist Honda sports car?

Sports car in Death Valley

A long shot would be Honda. A badge that could just be read through the cover said “Coggin”, which is a Honda dealer in the USA. But maybe that’s a bit tentative. Death Valley prototype

This is a video of the sports car prototype we found under cover in Death Valley. Is it the new Fiat 124?

Posted by on Monday, 5 October 2015

Then there was the one that got away. The car in full camouflage heading towards Furnace Creek from Stovepipe Wells. I had been checking the map and only got a fleeting glimpse. How tantalising.

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