EPIC DRIVE: Felda
SUNDAY AUGUST 16, 2016
Arrangements have been made out of guilt for having bullied the Audi in the last couple of drives. This time, we decided for the Cayman to have the go and let others play catch-up while the 911 herds from the back end. To top things off, we added a Mini Cooper S and swapped a Carrera S for an even more of an overkill, Carrera 4S which chalks up 100 kilometers in 4.1 seconds and tops out at about 300 kilometres per hour.
Back to the drive, we headed towards Bentong via Karak Highway, had our share of fun with other drivers along the way before they took the Genting Highland exit. We then hustled through Raub and Benta finally arriving at Felda which led us through a scenic route throughout Sungai Koyan.
The road on Felda was seriously skinny, most suited to the Cayman and unequivocally one of my favourite hatches, the R56 Mini Cooper S. The 987 finds itself home here with ample space for another one of its kind to pass on the opposite lane. Precise turn ins with little under and oversteer in the corners driven at nine tenths while on the longest straight may have takens things past the speed limit.
For getting used to the progression towards turbocharging, you would find the mid-rev-range of the Cayman’s natural aspirated engine slightly uneager making its way onto the 7600 rpm limiter. One thing the Cayman will always have over any Carrera is the orchestra for having its engine placed right in the middle. It is by no means a Carrera engine is not quite the singer but they just don't sing right behind you.
As for the Cooper, its chassis did more than a decent job on compensating for single A traction tyres fitted to it. Like the Audi, pedal to the metal was pressed on often to punch above its weight to play with the bigger boys. The R56 grants an experience like no other cars do which is familiarly dubbed as the go kart feel. At full throttle aka manic mode, one either has to have a brave heart otherwise it does scare.. or shall I say thrills the driver quite a bit.
On uneven surfaces, the ride is choppy even in comparison to a Cayman that’s fitted with passive dampers. Despite it all, every Mini is full of character making endless chuckles with their enthusiastic engines and chatty exhausts. Do bear in mind that the Cooper S does surprise with lift off oversteers.
Life in the A6 Hybrid has been quite a comfortable one; well-insulated from the outside world, light to steer and comes with creature comforts you’d expect in a luxury saloon. Drive it hard though, you will experience unpredictable understeer especially so on greasy surfaces.
Let's not forget, 480 Nm of torque is too much for any front-drive to take. Even more so at higher speeds thus doing fast in the A6 is a thing for the fearless. Just keep in mind where stomping onto grass patches may be required in sharper turns. Take it this way, the Hybrid does practicality well by carrying five adults to go with goods from IKEA. Furthermore it has got navigation unlike any other car here.
The 4S is even more grippy than the already unreal level of traction that the S model provides. My inner accelerometer tells me this particular Carrera does in gear acceleration slower than the 50 kilograms lighter S model but it could be the security from four wheel drive which delivers power to the ground with more linearity. It was quite a relief to find the electric steering of 991s better suited to all wheel drive models. However, the 911 has inevitably become larger over the years to make more room for the Boxster and Cayman making one more of a GT than ever.
As a result, the 991 is a tad bit cumbersome to manoeuvre from rough patches and avoid potholes with oncoming traffic. That aside, this Carrera has a trick up its sleeves because it has been fitted with an Akrapovic exhaust that promises at least 17 horsepower, more torques along with less weight over a factory one. I can’t be sure of those figures but the sound it makes when fully opened is no less than waking-up-the dead. Comical pops upon lift offs too are present which pierces through the well-insulated A6.
Traffic was dense throughout the drive where we were only able to take flight on less travelled roads. Granted, things could have been different if we arrived a lot earlier in the morning. Ultimately, Felda left me an empty feeling questioning, "That's It?" (insert bittersweet tune). All things considered, Klawang still holds that special place in our hearts.
Felda / Sungai Koyan
Length: 147 kilometres
Address: C159, 27310 Benta, Pahang - Taman Ringlet, Ringlet, Pahang
GPS: 3.970265, 101.967368 - 4.412494, 101.410566