HEELS ON WHEELS
MC TRIES OUT TWO CARS FRESH FROM THE SHOWROOM – THE STUFF OF SWEET MOTORING DREAMS
when I hear ‘Mini’, I think small, light and playful. But I also think of power, picturing it scooting from 0 to 100 in seconds.I know this because I took an out-of-the-box Mini Cooper S for a test drive. It was a smooth and effortless ride and I felt safe in the loitering mist and on wet roads. When back in my own ride, I had a moment. My car didn’t glide. The pedals were sluggish. Then logic returned: there was nothing wrong with my car; it simply wasn’t the Mini Cooper S.
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 9/10 Driving in the Green (versus standard Mid or the Sport mode) makes for improved fuel efficiency.This varies between 5,2 to 5,8 litres per 100km, depending on whether you’re driving a manual or automatic. BOOT SPACE: 8/10 Seats fold down, offering significant space for a romantic road trip for two.
MOTOR PLAN: Five years/100 000km with two-year unlimited mileage.
BASE PRICE: R369 400. The last Aston Martin I drove was the DB9. It was hardcore. I struggled to cope with the horrifying evil juju that people who saw me in the DB9 lobbed my way. But the Aston Martin Vanquish resulted in a very different set of experiences. Maybe because it costs three times as much as the DB9, all I got was palpable respect. That is RESPECT in caps lock, okay? Even the fellow touting for change at the traffic lights felt compelled to engage me on the relative merits of the Vanquish.
It’s like getting a flight upgrade but to a private jet. People won’t hold it against you, because it is the sort of crazy stuff that only happens to Minnie Dlamini and the world’s 650 billionaires. That’s why there is only a limited supply of Vanquish – after all, there are only so many people you would need to actually defeat!
HERE’S THE TERRIBLE THING: I could get used to this car. (Terrible, because it is so out of my league.) The sound alone is compelling. Like a lioness in heat, the growl that emerges from the engine could alert the entire savannah to the alpha female hormones on the road. Then there’s the fact that it is an immensely pleasant drive. The suspension is easy on a high heel and there are no crazy, extreme-sports, wild-car things happening. But if you need to push it or, as a real car person would say,‘open the engine up’– well! I have no words.
Then there’s the interior. I imagine this is what the latest megayachts look like. I could even overlook the fact that the Vanquish I drove was canary yellow. Whatever – that’s now my favourite colour of the season. So you can understand that I struggled to give the Vanquish back. (There was an embarrassing tussle with the crystal key.The poor fellow at the showroom had to pry it out of my claw.) I’ll have to have serious words with Minnie so I can work out how to get that upgrade.