Growing fonder...

BY Joel Tam

I've been driving SJN6173C a lot these days. Despite its height being so very low, it has not posed a problem around town, though higher humps need more careful negotiation...

... and I must say, the more I drive it, the fonder I'm growing of this car. Its looks play a large part. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, this car is a real head-turner.

Turning out of Playground @ Big Splash last month, I slowed down at the exit to check for oncoming cars on the main road, right at the corner of the walkway were three fine young females - probably waiting for a cab - eyes totally glued on the car (no, not me, just the car). As I drove off, windows down and sunroof open, I heard one of them yell "Nice car!". If I was single and knew how to execute a smokin' 180 degree power drift, I would have picked up all three of them and (Ahem!) ... sent them home.

"...right at the corner of the walkway were three fine young females...
...eyes totally glued on the car."

Well, I'm not single and I don't know how to do a smokin 180 degree turn, so I was left knowing I had a 'nice car'. Which was, and still is enough. But there's more to love about this car. It handles very neutrally for a RWD, and once you get used to the high revving unit, it really sings. Sure, there's no spine-in-your-seat acceleration, but what it lacks in pure power, it makes up for smooth, progressive drivability.

Sad thing is, I might have to let it go soon, needs a load-lugger now that we're going into motion graphics and video - our equipment load is pretty massive.

Maybe it's time SJN6173C found a single, drift-crazy owner who can execute 180 degree turns.

AutoExe SE-03 front bumper has a smiley kink on the corner of the air dams, sets it apart from the rest.

Interior still a class above its Japanese counterparts. 'Suicide' doors always a conversation starter.

Handbrake lever looks like a handle of a sword or blade sheathed in the center console tunnel.

Triangular rotary accents less apparent on the face-lifted model, they're still on the seats (not on the Recaros though), but the one on the rear bumper for instance, is gone.