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Old 15th August 2005, 21:20   #1
GTO
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Default 48 hours of a car weekend...

So here I am sitting at the holiday home in a small village...extremely rural setup (Tech rocks though, am connected via reliance and on Team-BHP since the last 60 minutes)

With the long weekend coming up, it was inevitable for us to have a driving weekend. So a couple of us (including my immediate family) headed out in the C220 and the Vtec.

Started with the customary stop at the gas station at 5 a.m. I always start my outstation trips really early since my holiday starts with the first engine crank - not the destination - and I love the roads empty. Last 3 times that I left for goa was at 4 a.m. in the morning. The Merc drank up a huge 55 liter diet of regular diesel - No "power" or "Hi-speed" diesel for this car. Mercedes insists that their engine has been tuned to sip on the worst of Indian fuels including the occasional kerosene adulterated variety. Additive laden BP/HP diesel is strictly prohibited. The Vtec took in about 20 liters of Speed93 to complete the tank.

This trip is of particular significance since I intend to complete my running-in. The last 1,500 kms have been a real world test of my will power with the rpm needle restricted to 2,500 rpm. Now I have gradually started increasing the limit to 3,500 - 4,000 rpm with the occassional 4,500 rpm redline indulgence.

The Bombay Nasik highway starts off with a brilliant 4 lane section known as the Bhiwandi bypass. With the cars sufficiently warmed up and the first rays of morning sunlight coming on to us, the driving scenario was perfect. For the first half of the journey, I took the C220 while a close friend was in the Vtec. On the straight 4 lane Bhiwandi stretch which extends to about 40 kms, there was nothing between the two cars. They were running side by side. It was absolutely mind-boggling to be side by side with the Vtec and hear perfect upshifts at 7000 rpm (windows rolled down). The C220 of course had better in-gear times, but the problem with high spirited driving in a diesel versus a petrol is that, you cant downshift as often in a diesel engine. But those not that familiar with recent developments in the automotive world were shocked out of their pants to see a diesel keeping up (and bettering) the Vtec on certain sections. The first stop was at a "propah" road side dhaba for some chai, and the expressions of disbelief were to die for. For the record, my parents love it when I am high-revving on the highway.

I decided to take the Vtec on the ghat section since the tyres are yet stock (brickbats Rudra?), and I dont really trust anyone else with this rubber. Needless to say, the C220s 340 nm of torque and the 225mm Eagle F1s left our Japanese scorcher for dead. I could see the C Class not even needing a downshift on some extremely gradient sections, while the Vtec is high-revving in lower gears just to keep up.

The entire 200 km stretch was fabulous - empty with neat roads except for a 30 km stretch in between. We didnt go over the speed of 10 km/h on this broken stretch to maintain our machinery. All the Sumos and Qualis' taxis that we had previously overtaken had a field day passing us (Dont worry boys, nice straights coming up soon after. Till then). The Mercedes excelled in these conditions by totally cucooning its occupants from the harsh exterior conditions. With 4 passengers and full luggage, the ground clearance is commendable as not once did the car bottom out.

For those interested, the FE recorded at the end of our 200 km journey was 14.3 in the C220 (CRDi rocks baby) and the Vtec was about 12.5.

The car trip didnt end just there. This morning, 4 of us headed out to the showrooms in the nearest city - Nasik. Someone in the group is looking for a Rs. 5 lakh beater so we headed straight to the Fiat showroom to drive the Palio 1.9 diesel. As always, I was mighty impressed with the ride quality of this baby. The Palio took in the worst of roads with aplomb and that really is its most outstanding characteristic. The diesel is very refined, and felt a lot better than a diesel Petra I had driven previously. However, the growing odds of Fiat exiting India and a steep 5.5 lakh price dropped the Palio out of contention. What I found most surprising was that the Fiat showroom had more newspaper articles of Fiats supposed bounceback rather than marketing brochures of its products.

Out and into the Tata showroom to test the Indica and Indigo GLX. Everytime that I drive a new Indica, it appears ages ahead of the previous example and today was no different. The Indigo we drove was the fully loaded variant which Steeroid recently posted about, and its a pretty neat piece for the price. Me thinks that the supreme ride quality, efficiency and low cost of motoring is going to make my friend head for the Tata showroom once we reach bombay.

Sadly, we count not test drive any other cars since the showrooms were shut. The afternoon was spent washing and cleaning the cars back to pristine condition, and the evening driving around some isolated army roads around this place.

Its 9:15 and time to start packing the bags. After all, who can wait for tommorow mornings early drive to Bombay!

Happy Independence Day!

GTO
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Old 15th August 2005, 21:37   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
I decided to take the Vtec on the ghat section since the tyres are yet stock (brickbats Rudra?)
I thought you've already changed your tyres. That's what rtech was telling me.

Merc C with CDI is a sweet number. Do you remember I told you that after driving one near their factory!! It was 9500km done silver one.
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Old 15th August 2005, 21:41   #3
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Yeah i had travelled on the bhiwandi bypass some days back....its one clean stretch. Drove in heavy rains...but was fun nevertheless. Good to see that the C is finally getting closer to the top end of the revrange. Good going. Drive Safe.

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Old 15th August 2005, 22:13   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
For the record, my parents love it when I am high-revving on the highway.
Lucky you!

On the whole, a great holiday you've had there! Happy Independence day!
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Old 16th August 2005, 00:03   #5
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Looks like you got some good stretches to drive on, my trip started well but got shorted due to lack of planning...

BTW, Great report!
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Old 16th August 2005, 00:11   #6
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Nice to hear that the Merc is doing well and boy she does return a great mileage!...the Bhiwandi bypass is really awesome and an absolute treat for anyone who loves driving. For those who havent read it, I too had posted a review of the E 270 CDI on the same route. You can read it here

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/showth...7&page=2&pp=15 (E270 CDI Full Report)
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Old 16th August 2005, 00:18   #7
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hey GTO
Great report enjoyed reading every word of it !!
you must have had one great weekend.drive safe N keep Revvin


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