The Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) named the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Four Door ($171,200) the overall winner at the group’s annual Run to the Sun (RTTS) event where 24 performance vehicles and sports cars were road tested over three days in September.
The 13th annual RTTS provided journalists 2019 and 2020 models that were tested on some exceptional roadways in Southwest Washington and Central Oregon. From a base at the Skamania Lodge, journalists scored vehicles in four categories that included the Northwest Most Fun in the Sun (convertibles), Most Fun Coupe, Most Fun Sports Sedan, and Most Fun SUV. From those categories, the Northwest Most Fun to Drive overall winner was determined.
The 24 vehicles tested in the 2019 RTTS ranged from a 2019 Hyundai Veloster priced at $29,000 to the 2019 Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge with a MSRP of $425,125 (including a $1,400 gas guzzler tax). In total, there were four models that had pricing over $100,000, including the 2020 Lexus RCF Track Edition ($105,160), the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 ($140,000), plus the Mercedes and Rolls-Royce.
One new addition at RTTS this year was the Polaris Slingshot, a three- wheeled open air unit that competed in the convertible category. While fun to drive for a short distance, the two-seat Slingshot may well be best suited for country roads and slower speeds that we had for testing.
Category winners at RTTS 2019 included:
- Northwest Most Fun in the Sun – 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club RF ($38,035)
- Northwest Most Fun Coupe – 2020 Toyota GR Supra Launch Edition ($56,545)
- Northwest Most Fun Sports Sedan – 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S (also overall winner)
- Northwest Most Fun SUV – 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD ($92,745)
“Whether on the wide-open stretches of tarmac in Oregon’s high desert or carving through the twisty roads of Columbia River Gorge, the 2019 Mercedes-AMG 63 S proved its status as the pinnacle of Mercedes performance,” said John Vincent, NWAPA president and senior reporter for U.S. News & World Report. “Its supercar performance is blended with superb driving dynamics and a gorgeous , functional interior.”