This side of paradise

Every once in a while comes my mother’s injunction for her son to mind the less fortunate , “Don’t forget the starving and poor in the world!” she would say. This would be followed by her pleas to say the rosary for the fettered, harassed and downtrodden.

But on days like these when you visit the austere Mercedes Benz showhouse, empathy flies out the window. Today, I was blessed with the chance to test drive the new Mercedes SLK 200 Kompressor, and of course there were the assessing looks by the bemused salespeople. (Was I wearing the right clothes, the right shoes? Did I reveal that haughty nonchalance?)

I didn’t have to survive the mean gaze of those bureaucrats long, because my friend Dion quickly ushered me to that gunmetal beauty on the second storey. It’s a two-seater of course, and we joked that you’d only need to send the girl back. Hang the other friends and prospective parent-in-laws! They could suffocate in the boot with the golf bag for all we cared.

The interior of the SLK is breathtaking. No, it’s not the F-22 cockpit but all the impressions of being in a good sports car hits you instantly. The finish on the panels, the amazing HUD, those immaculate buttons, the gear-stick. I take an eternity to savour the details, grinning like an idiot.

We set off from Alexandria to Tuas, a necessarily long distance to put the car through its paces. The first thing you feel is that the SLK’s not torque laden. Its in-line 4 cylinder power plant churns out only about 181 horsepower; its supercharged compressor engine kicks in on the highway when you floor the pedal, and everything’s going hazy because it doesn’t seem to let up after that! I mean, look at the length of the bonnet, it’s as long as South America; There’s certainly oodles of power to utilize, even at 130km/h! Slopes, undulating surfaces and even pasty little Subaru WRXs don’t deter it…

So we tried all sorts of fun along the way, cruise control; taking off the folding roof, ramming the accelerator with abandon etc. The handling also seems just about right, (I did not test the heavier 6-cylinder SLK350) and the SLK experience just seems to be richer the further you drive. And all this while, my heart is just a butterball of desire and speed…

So imagine the dismay when I had to turn in the keys to this piece of heaven, which at the cost of $196,000 for the entry level, is way beyond my meager reach, unless I plan a diet of Colgate and Darlie for the rest of my life.

Oh yeah, for those with infinite pockets with an eye to this blazing car, please contact my good friend Dion Yong, official Cycle and Carriage dealer, and destroyer of peace in mens’ hearts: Dion.yong@cyclecarriage.com.sg

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7 Responses to “This side of paradise”

  1. i hope my lit will improve by reading your posts =)

  2. MR ONG my nice lit teacher! i miss you 😀

  3. I LOVE SS still, though i got B3 for combined humans.. XD

    JUST BUY THAT CAR!!!!!!!!!
    PANDER TO THAT DESIRE.. GOGOGO..
    whats feeding on colgate when you own that SLK????

  4. SLK 200?? Nah, no good, for test drive, get a SLK 55 AMG instead.

  5. and, whats SS? Chevy combalt SS? Camaro SS??

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