Monday, September 9, 2013

A ‘Swift’ Travel on the Golden Quadrilateral – 8th to 11th June 2013

 “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love” Ernest Hemingway 

I mentioned in the earlier part of this essay that I had genuine apprehensions about how the Swift would measure up against the need to be extremely swift to beat the challenging existing record. Her performance during the tough drive made me feel guilty about having harbored any misgivings about her capability. Not only was she ever ready to go the extra mile whenever required but also remained absolutely trouble free throughout the trip. Had it not been for the fatigue that crept over me in the latter part of the drive the Swift would have helped me conclude the drive earlier than I finally did.

Prior to the drive I had not pushed the Swift to her limits of speed. However, during the GQ drive I had to, for time was in short supply. While saying this I clarify that driving to set records is not just all about driving fast, it is about driving responsibly fast. Therefore, a critical element of this ‘road’ philosophy is that you respect the road and the condition of it as it exists. Many times you find drivers haring down absolutely bad stretches of road in total disregard of the road condition. Often it leads to either grief for themselves or for other road users. Safe and sensible driving also ensures that the car remains trouble free. The Swift remained a beauty on the 100-120 kmph bandwidth; when pushed over I detected possible resistance and slight, ever so slight but discernible, wobbling. For the first time I coaxed her to 160 kmph, albeit over a short and straight stretch and found her holding her own against some other fancy co-users on that stretch, including a BMW.

One of the main positives of the Swift is its mileage. On long distance drives it normally gives me over 19 kilometers to a litre. I was not so sure if the fast jaunt on the GQ would afford me such enhanced mileage. The ‘over speed’ would burn up more fuel than normal and give me considerably lesser mileage, I envisaged. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised that the 80.5 hours on the road for the 5846 kilometer returned more than 18 kilometers to the litre. And, it was despite skipping a major service. The excellent mileage saved me some hard earned sponsorship.

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