2014 Mazda CX-5: Airstrip Attack Support Vehicle
April 11, 2013
On a recent weekend a friend invited me to join him at an "airstrip attack." I had never heard of such a thing, but it's sort of like a high performance track day event but drag racing rather than road racing. It sounded interesting given the list of high-end cars entered, so I packed up Edmunds long-term Mazda CX-5 and headed out to the tiny town of Coalinga, Calif., where the event was half-mile races at the local airport.
While it would have been amusing to see a 184-horsepower Mazda CX-5 lineup against a 700-hp Ford GT, I wasn't actually driving or participating at this event. But the CX-5 proved to be an enjoyable companion on the drive and a useful support vehicle.
As we noted in a previous update, the CX-5 isn't the best choice for a small crossover SUV if you're looking for maximum comfort on the highway. It is a little noisy compared to something like a Chevy Equinox. But I happen to like the CX-5's extra bit of sporting flair and don't mind the minor trade-off. As for the taut suspension tuning, it absorbs most bumps without being harsh and provides a nice sense of control when going around turns. I found the driver seat to be comfortable as well.
At the event, I parked the CX-5 and used it as our support vehicle. My friend and I sat in the back seat (there's plenty of leg room for adults) to get out of the sun while eating lunch and reviewing videos he shot with some on-board GoPro video cameras he mounted on his car.
As for the event itself, it was an impressive collection of modified cars including BMWs, Ford GTs, Mercedes, Nissan GT-Rs and Porsche 911s. A couple of Ferraris were there, as well as a McLaren MP4-12C. Even the slowest cars had a listed 400 horsepower or so, while a lot were cranking out a claimed 600 to 700 hp. The top-end cars were said to have about 1,000 hp!
I took a short video of one of the car groupings heading out to the airstrip. You can watch it here.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 4,820 miles