Finally my wait for the kit is over.
Got the kit setup after 1.5days of installation, but the wait was worthy.
First impression when driving the car home, along BKE and then PIE was just unbelievable. When entering the first slip road after fitting with the new roadholding kit, the bodyroll then was practically non-existence. The feeling of car toppling over while I corner finally disappeared, and for a moment, I thought I was driving a kart!
Driving along undulated road, I can feel the road even more, but vis a vis with my stock setup using the same 18″ wheel, the 'feel' is only marginal and I attributed that to my 18″ setup. Still, the roadholding kit makes the feel more firm, not floaty. You actually feel more confident when driving along undulated road. Obviously do not expect the ride to be posh and comfortable like a luxury sedan on a 16″ wheel. But make no mistake, it does not mean it is harsh either. As a driver, you just feel that you are closer to the road, and because it reacts very well with the undulation, you begin to appreciate the bumps and humps.
Now for some practical test after a yummy supper session.
We drove to east coast parkway road, where there are full of humps and speed stripes, to see how the kit reacts. Holy, the stripes were as if they were non existence. Okay, I was exaggerating, but then again, you would be forgiven if you think that you are rolling over the road and wonder why the road is painted with lines! At one juncture, we missed the hump (damn, the xenon needs to come) and while we were late in slowing down considerably to clear the hump, the car just rolled over without feeling bottom-out! Second Holy ….
Well, perhaps it is time for the ultimate challenge. Where would we be able to find the ultimate stripes and humps? We decided to drive the car down further to Changi Coast road. For those uninitiated, there is this long stretch of road where the stripes are probably as high as your girlfriend's 2″ heel. Okay, I am exaggerating again, but I swear that whenever I drove my KW'ed Volkswagen bora along Changi Coast road, I would have dread that stretch of stripes because it would definitely send my teeth juddering. This would be a good test.
So while cruising along the Changi Coast road, we began to anticipate for that dreadful stripes. And when we were over it … WOW! While the stripes are more obvious now, but you will ask yourself, how would these stripes ever discourage a driver (be it a truck or a sedan car) to speed beyond 100km/h (Ops, on a 70km/h road)
Not believing ourselves, we made a U-turn, and tried it once more. There's no 'Ta-da-de-deTa-da-daTa-dade' … but just 'Tr-um-tr-um-tr-um…'. The conclusion is affirmative. Saab has done a great job in balancing the comfort and driveability needs. Top class.
the review continues after a memorable drive up to Renggit yesterday.
While there's no opportunity for me to see how RHK can push the car to its new speed limit, the B-road drive does bring out the potential of RHK.
On the stretch of road leading to Kota Tinggi Waterfall, the bends demand the best of car's roadholding capability and driver's handling skill. When entering the bend in excess of 90km/h, the car cornered effortlessly, without any trace of body roll or undesteer. I was told that 'someone' actually swept his car around the bend at 100-120km/h without a sweat. notworthy.gif I believe the ARB contributes most to this achievement, as I do not believe a marginally stiffer spring and uprated dampers would help much in reducing bodyroll.
However, the stiffer spring and uprated dampers were much appreciated when overtaking on B-roads. I just experienced that, overtaking on B-road requires not just sheer huge amount of torque, but also road holding capability. At the moment of burst during overtaking, it is important that the car remains composed and controlled on the undulated road. Failing which, you may find your car swing out of control. Of course, the torque remains as an important variable of the equation, otherwise, you may find yourself staring at icecream advertisment on the side of the icecream truck, for good few seconds. On the otherhand, the use of 18″ tire does give additional benefit to the driver, with better feel of the road undulation.
In a nutshell, the RHK pass the acid test with flying colours, again. However, I do believe, and must acknowledge that, the RHK alone, does not contribute to the overall driving experience. The chassis, the tyre (I chose a comfort performance tire over pure performance tire), are part of the many variables that ensure a well handling without any sacrifice in comfort, drastically. A KW setup, if it exists in the first place, may give the RHK a run for its money, but I am pretty sure that the comfort level achieved in a Saab93, not withstanding of the presence of RHK or equivalent, would be impossible in my ex-ride. So thumbs up once again for the Saab engineering.
Thanks to Dr, Td_04 and Pilot, for making this dream a reality