Sunday, November 20, 2011

Going Out Station In My Lancer VRX Sportback

In case you are wondering what "Going Out Station" mean, it is the Malaysian way of saying "going out of town"; or taking a longish drive to another town.  ;)

If you read my "Family Week End @ Napier", you knew that we drove more than 680 km to Napier and back in my Lancer VRX Sportback.

Mind you, I only drove half way there and May-N drove the rest and all the way back.

So how did the VRX performed on a long trip?

My VRX Sportback on top of Te Mata Peak, Napier.

The first leg of our journey was to cross the ridges from the Hutt Valley to Featherston and beyond by driving up the Rimutaka Range.

I find the VRX have plenty of uphill power provided you drop to 3rd gear with the paddle shift!

You do not want to get carry away with some of the sharp corners though, if you lose control; you will end up in the ravine because there are no Armco barrier to stop your car!
Some part of the Rimutaka do have Armco to prevent car bungee.
The road going up the Range is not particularly smooth, then there are a few road work and I was disappointed how harsh the suspension are, the ultra low profile tyres not helping!

It was bone jarring on some rough stretch!

After the Rimutaka I was glad May-N took over.

She quickly found and used the steering mounted cruise control and believe you me, on long trip and to maintain a constant 100 kph; the control is priceless!

Cruise control on the VRX steering.
This is how you use the cruise control:

Turn on the cruise control by pressing the ON/OFF button and the cruise lamp will light up on the dashboard.

Drive to your desired speed, for NZ; 100 kph and press the COAST SET button. From then on, the VRX will maintain that speed even when you are going up a steep slope or cornering!

You can hear and feel the engine and gear box work seamlessly to maintain your cruising speed, it is like magic ;)

You can cancel the control by pressing CANCEL of just by touching the brake or accelerator pedal.

When press and hold, the ACC RES button let you increase your set speed slowly; if you press and release it will make the car go 1.6 km/h faster.

Another thing we find annoying is the rather loud road noise generated by the "standard issued" 18" ultra low profile (215/45R18 89W ) Yokohama Advan tyres.
Ten spoke alloy wearing 18" ultra low Yokohama rubber.
I am sure this high performance tyres are engineered for smooth autobahn high speed road. New Zealand roads are really rough and this contributed to the road noise from these otherwise excellent high performance rubber! 

The cornering prowess of these fat & low Yokos are well documented though, check out this video below of May-N charging down the narrow road on Te Mata Peak!

She had the paddle shift set to 3rd gear and traction was impeccable!

The video was shot with me on the back seat with the Olympus E-P2 outside the window, the ultra wide Panasonic Lumix-G-Vario 7-14/4 provide the incredible view!
My VRX Sportback parked on the summit of Te Mata Peak.
Overall my Lancer VRX Sportback did very well, May-N was impressed with the power, the marvelous Cruise Control; she did not complain about the road noise though :)  She reckoned may be I should have bought a Toyota Corolla which she think is "more economical", but "not as much fun", I retort!  ;)

Our younger daughter Ming-N was impressed that she is able to plug her iPod into the cd/radio which then play her selections.

It was dizzying on our way back to Wellington, descending the Rimutaka is much safer than going up. Take a look at this video, notice the wired wooden stakes for out of control car... ha ha ha... these Kiwis sure have a strange sense of humour ;)

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Carry Bacot said...

It must have been an amazing drive you had with your Lancer. I noticed how easy and swiftly your car went down to that long road. I was very impressed with its speed. Your car looks gorgeous too!

Kyle Schmidt said...

Marvelous view. Awesome car. Well, what else can you ask for? Your VRX Sportback will not fail you when you’re in for a mountain road trip! It’s nice! I’m looking forward to have the same adventure this summer. :D

cy.leow said...

All the way from INGERSOLL!! Thanks for comment Kyle, have a great adventure this summer! Our daughter who work in London (she was the driver in the post) told us it is rather cold now ;)