Our senior writer’s love for driving will never die, but when it comes to the office commute, he would rather be driven than do the driving himself.
TWO years ago, I test-drove a Porsche Cayman GTS and spent the next few weeks gushing about my experience.
Anyone who asked me about the car had to spend the next five (okay, 10) minutes hearing about how loud and raunchy the exhaust note sounded.
They also had to listen to me go on about how the naturally aspirated flat-6 engine made my chest vibrate each time my foot touched the throttle.
One day, after I had told yet another motoring journalist about this, he asked: “Can you actually drive that car to work every day and still get a kick out of the whole chest- shaking thing?”
My first instinct was to reply: “Hell yeah!”
But my mind paused to consider the question. My friend, waiting for my reply, heard me say “Hmm…” instead.
We changed the subject and I don’t remember what else we discussed. I do recall, however, that I spent at least a week pondering this query.
In the end, I concluded that in all likelihood, I wouldn’t be able to drive a Cayman GTS to work every day and not tire of it.
Other enthusiasts might want nothing else, but I guess my enthusiasm does have its limits.
For instance, although I find karting fun, I want no more than 10 minutes around a track. The last time I tried a 20-minute stint, I was so knackered that I needed to be pulled out of the kart. I nearly vomited as I stumbled around the pit lane.
This led me to ponder another question: Given the choice between driving a supercar to work every day or being chauffeured in a luxurious limousine, which one would I go for?
The more I thought about it, the more I realised that I would actually opt for the latter.
It is not because I have lost the desire to pilot ridiculously powerful and thirsty machines with emotive exhaust notes.
But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to prioritise comfort, practicality and convenience over outright performance.
Twenty years ago, I would’ve insisted on a car with a manual gearbox and waxed lyrical about how much more involving it is compared to a slushy, power- sapping automatic transmission.
I also would’ve preferred a car with a lower ride height and stiffer dampers for better handling – pliancy be damned.
Today, I couldn’t imagine driving a lowered and stiffly sprung manual car to work. Considering how congested our roads are and how unforgiving some carparks can be, it just wouldn’t be rewarding.
The daily commute is stressful, to say the least. Even when I’m not running late, I’m constantly irked by distracted drivers and slow-reacting motorists.
When I’m driving alone, I usually succumb to my temper and end up yelling all sorts of colourful phrases. Imagine Gordon Ramsay’s reaction to undercooked chicken. You get the picture.
So, given our road and traffic conditions, what I want more than ever is to be chauffeured to work daily in an uber- luxurious limo.
A Rolls-Royce Phantom II or Bentley Mulsanne would be great. I definitely wouldn’t mind lounging in the back of a black Mercedes-Maybach S600, either.
Insulated from traffic, road noise and perhaps even the sound of raindrops, I could catch up on the news, get a jump start on my e-mails and organise the notes for my next story. If I’m still tired from the night before, I could take a nap.
With my wife beside me, we might even spend the ride planning our next holiday.
At the end of a long day, the thought of being able to unwind by listening to my favourite oldies while sipping a gin and tonic in a limo is a very welcome one indeed.
I love my car, but I don’t like being greeted by an interior that’s spent the entire day baking under the sun. I would much rather tell my chauffeur what time I’ll be done with work, and watch my stupendous land barge pull up to the driveway just as I reach the lobby.
Now, if I only had more than a beer budget to fulfil that champagne dream.
JEREMY WISHES HE COULD BE CHAUFFEURED TO WORK, BUT HE WOULDN’T WANT IT TO BE IN AN AUTONOMOUS, SOFTWARE- DRIVEN VEHICLE.