Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Palio 1.6 Sport

Full clutch, shift to first, inch ahead slowly, turn the wheel all the way to the right, carefully ease out of the slot. Stay in first, move ahead slowly crossing the bumps, one, two, three, then up the slope, slow left out of the gates, shift to second, accelerate as you turn right and straighten back on to the main road. This is where you floor the gas pedal. 20 to 40 in two seconds, shift up, 60 in another two seconds, shift to fourth, up to 80, shift one up again, and saturate out at a peak speed, others are getting a little jittery as the red needle threatens to cross into three digits! Straight, straight, straight, down the underpass, up again beyond the railway tracks, the needle steady at 100, then slow down into second, cross a bump, repeat the whole exercise.

My house is on the Outer Ring Road. If you like to drive, and are in Bangalore, Outer Ring Road is exactly where you should be. Of course I have done the track, I mean road, hundreds of times on my Thunderbird. The Fiat Palio 1.6 Sport is a whole new experience altogether!

Sporting a 100bhp engine, the Palio 1.6 Sport is just the car I used to dream of. And of course, since it is a sports model, it has to be red. The Sales executive at the showroom boasted that this was the only car which came in Formula Red, supposedly the colour of Michael Schumacher's car. I looked over the car, then bent down and inspected the tyres. Bridgestone. Perfect.

Swapna cribs about the mileage. I agree that the FiaT Palio is not exactly known to give the largest number of miles per gallon of fuel, but then, I don't really care. Nor do I care about the fact that the rear windows cannot be lowered all the way. It's a FIAT, and FIATs worldwide sport this feature. Not that I would have cared much anyway, I am never going to sit in the back seat!