Chrysler Pacifica, Shelby GT350R winners at Texas Auto Roundup

(May 5, 2016) FORT WORTH, Texas — The all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan, which takes the place of the long-running Town and Country, was named the Family Car of Texas at the annual Texas Auto Roundup held at the Texas Motor Speedway earlier this week. The hot-performing Mustang Shelby GT350R was named the Car of Texas at the two-day event.

Fifty-eight journalists from 11 states participated in the annual event, which this year featured 53 vehicles. Despite early threats for a repeat of the deluge of 2015, the weather finally cleared up enough to allow journalists to take full advantage of the Texas Motor Speedway facilities including the infield racetrack.

“FCA US brought an all-star lineup with several cars impressing our journalists. However, the design, functionality and practicality of the new Chrysler Pacifica really stood out from all the Family Car contenders,” said Nic Phillips, president of TAWA. “It’s truly entertaining to drive with friends and family, offers numerous safety options, and leads the segment in styling, all the while playing to traditional strengths of minivans.”

The Mustang Shelby GT350R is race-track oriented with its 5.2-liter V-8 generating 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque capable of a 3.9-second 0-to-60 run and was "wrung out" on the track by many of the journalists evaluating the products.

There were several category winners. Winning the Compact Car category was the 2016 Honda Civic Touring, with the 2016 Mazda3 5-door Grand Touring runner-up.

 In the Mid-Size Car category, the 2016 Kia Optima SXL was named the winner with the 2016 Nissan Altima SL runner-up in a large field of strong competitors.  In the Mid-Size Luxury Car category, the 2016 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 was the winner with the 2016 Lexus ES 350 runner-up.

In the full-size category, the 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack was the winner with the 2016 Nissan Maxima Platinum runner-up. For the full-size luxury car, the 2016 Cadillac CT6 was voted the winner, with the 2016 Chrysler 300 Platinum runner-up.

The Performance Compact winner was the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club, with the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R runner-up. The Performance Coupe was the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R with the 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat runner-up. Performance Sedan was the 2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, with the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan runner-up.

The Minivan category was won by the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited, with the 2016 Toyota Sienna Limited runner-up. Activity Vehicle was the 2016 Nissan Murano Platinum, with the 2016 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Drive-E runner-up.

Performance Utility was won by the 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD R-Design with the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT runner-up.  The Green Vehicle was the 2016 Lexus RX 450h, with the 2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier Hatchback runner-up.

The Super Car of Texas was the 2016 Dodge Viper GTC.

The autowriters also got a chance to drive the new Tesla Model X and discovered its autonomous driving features. The Model X, a crossover version of the Model S, features unique gullwing-style rear doors using dual hinges and sensors to reduce opening and closing arcs in tight spaces while allowing freer access to the third-row seats. The Model X has a 250-mile range and can climb from o-to-60 in 3.2 seconds in the "Ludicrous" mode.