|2004/12/20 M5 Shakeout|
π 2004-12-20 08:00 by Merlin in Cars
Current Music: AVB - ASOT - 164
Current Mood: Good
Yesterday, I really felt like I wanted to get out after all the paper sorting I had been doing (and all my overdue expense reports for the past year, more than $2000 worth, ouch :) ). My regular Mountain Biking / Rollerblading options didn't sound too appealing because my right knee is still bothering me, so I went for a drive instead, something I hadn't done for a while.
I took the M5 up pagemill to Skyline, and then ended up taking the dreaded Alpine road (damn, that road is still a piece of shit) before catching 84/La Honda back to skyline upper north, and back down south on Skyline to take pagemill back down. The cool thing is that satellite navigation came in quite handy to know where the hell I was going :) but also (even better), so see the curves that were going to be in front of me to see if I was going to get a chance to pass someone in front of me in a slightly straighter section.
On one side, I was a little bit apprehensive since it was my first time out curve driving with this car, and those roads can be treacherous (pagemill can be interesting, but Alpine was definitely the one to worry about), but I have to say that the car performed beautifully.
Despite its size and weight, it felt fairly nimble, ABS was useful considering that all 4 wheels are not always in full contact with good road due to bumps, dirt, holes, etc, and it some places. However the winner was traction control, which was going crazy and blinking a lot. This reminds me of a Top Gear quote about a 500hp mercedes "you can feel the traction control constantly working on keeping you on the road. See, right here, machinery just saved me from driving off the road" (said Jeremy Clarkson joking while driving in a straight line)
Anyway, it's hard to judge speed from the inside, so I have no idea how the car did compared to my miata, but at least it felt really good driving, and safe. The only issue was that the car being bigger, it was much harder to pass someone on a narrow road: I just wasn't sure that I was going to fit on their right while passing. As for traction control, this is really where it correct one or two wheels where needed faster than you even could even if you had control on individual wheels. I don't actually think I need the "thrill" of driving without it, I just stick to the miata where I don't have a choice since it doesn't have any.
Anyway, long story short: it was a fun drive and the car did great.