EPIC DRIVE: Felda

SUNDAY AUGUST 16, 2016

Much discussions have been done 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 a Carrera 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, a Carrera 4S which chalks up 100 kilometers in 4.1 seconds and top 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 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.

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The road on Felda was truly narrow, most suited to the Cayman and unequivocally one of my favourite hatches, the Mini Cooper S. The 987 finds itself home here with ample of space for another one of its kind to pass on the opposite lane. It had precise turn ins with little under and oversteer in the corners driven at nine tenths while on the longest straight made it up all the way past the 160 indicator. 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 Carrera engines aren’t quite the singer but they just don’t sing at an ear deafening decibel as to being put right behind one’s ears.

As for the Cooper, the 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 often dubbed as the go kart feel which sends the Mini into manic mode. At full throttle, one either has to have a brave heart otherwise it does scare.. or shall I say thrill the driver quite a bit. On uneven surfaces, the ride was 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. Just keep in mind that the Cooper does surprise with lift off oversteers.

Life in the A6 Hybrid has been quite a comfortable one; well-insulated from the outside world, light steering equipped with creature comfort you’d expect of a luxury saloon. Drive it hard though, you may experience unpredictable understeer especially so on greasy surfaces. 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 and likely to transport larger goods from IKEA. What’s more it has got navigation unlike any other cars here. Then again, 480 Nm of torque is too much for any front driven to take.

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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 all 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 Porsches with number 4 stuck to its name. However, the 911 have become inevitably larger over the past decades to make more room for the Boxster and Cayman variants.

 

As a result, the 991 makes it that more difficult to manoeuvring away from rough patches while avoiding pot holes when there is oncoming traffic. Those apart, this Carrera has a trick up its sleeves because it’s been fitted with Akrapovic exhaust that promises at least 17 horsepower, more torque along with less weight over a factory car. I can’t be sure of those figures but the sound it makes when the valves have been opened is no less than waking-neighbours-up loud at the same time presents comical pops upon lift offs that pierces through the well-insulated A6.

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"NOTHING BUT

BLUE SKIES"

Traffic was dense throughout the drive where we were only able to take flight on less travelled roads. Granted, things could be much different if we arrived at Felda in the wee hours of the morning. Felda left me an empty feeling questioning, "That's It?" (insert bittersweet tune). All things considered, Klawang still has 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

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