Have you ever panicked on the highway when your petrol meter shows that you only have one bar left, but the nearest petrol station is about 80km away? Well, I’ve been in that situation and had to try my best to keep my nerves in check. Surprisingly, I managed to get to a petrol station in time. Phew! (Note: I was driving the Proton X70 when this happened)
So, when I was invited to join the Proton 1 Tank Adventure, I was eager to see what the challenge was all about. Only during the press conference, before the flag off, did I fully understand the whole task. We would drive from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bharu, and then back to Ayer Keroh in Melaka the next day, with just one full tank of petrol! Although I looked calm on the outside, my mind was struggling to figure out how we were going to achieve this.
This is the second year the Proton 1 Tank Adventure was held and there I was, not a car expert, taking part in the first leg for this year. Thankfully I was paired with the main man of Vernonchan.com, Vernon himself. All I knew of Vernon was his reputation as a tech expert, so I was eager to find out as much I could about the latest tech during our long drive to JB.
The Adventure Begins!
Before we got into our 2019 Proton Iriz, it was agreed that Vernon would drive the first half of the journey and I would take over later. This was so I could better gauge the driving technique in maintaining a good speed and meet the requirements set by Proton’s team. Vernon was quick to share with me that the best way to achieve this would be to drive at a steady pace within the ECO Drive Assist range, which is around 60 to 90 km/h. Oh my, that would make our journey a slow one, but definitely safe. We heard of a few participants who planned to drive with no air-conditioning to save further on fuel consumption. Thank God my partner didn’t think we had to take that path, as the haze was terrible along the way.
Our first stop was a durian farm in Melaka for a quick challenge and we were then off again, to our second location, Perigi Batu Pahat. Not only was traffic building up on the roads, but the haze was also thick as we arrived at Perigi Batu Pahat. It was here that I took over the steering wheel for the rest of the way to Johor Bharu, where we would stay the night.
Honestly speaking, I’ve always been a little concerned about driving a small ‘city’ car long distance. I’d imagine the car being blown away as fast trucks or buses passed by. But here I was, driving the Iriz from Batu Pahat to Johor Bharu, which took about two hours. The first think I noticed was how stable and steady the car was. The seats were comfy and with the intelligent infotainment system, the drive was definitely entertaining as Vernon played DJ by connecting his phone to the car system — 90s R&B all the way!
As I drove through oil palm plantations and small towns, I was truly tested with real-life traffic situations, as it rained and more cars were on the road (balik kampung for the long weekend). But we arrived safely at the hotel, with no drama.