Proton 1 Tank Adventure takes a scenic journey to Mount Kinabalu

The route allows participants to enjoy truly stunning landscapes and delivers a strong message about Proton cars’ performance

By TMR

THE Proton 1 Tank Adventure arrived in Sabah for its second leg last weekend, taking participants on a scenic 525km journey from Kota Kinabalu to the northernmost tip of Borneo in Kudat and the town of Kundasang, at the foot of Mount Kinabalu, before returning to Sabah’s state capital.

While the route allowed all participants to enjoy some truly stunning landscapes, it also delivered a strong message about the performance of the Proton Iriz, Persona and Saga during the 1 Tank Adventure.

Despite the longer distance covered this year (the 2018 event had a route of only 420km), tougher driving conditions and the need to maintain a high average speed, all three models delivered impressive results while winning universal acclaim for their handling, comfort and safety features from the participants.

Kota Kinabalu is a port city, but roads leading in and out of it are dominated by the mountain with which it shares its name.

Therefore, a route that leads inland and away from the coast will invariably encounter steep terrain as the Crocker Range stands as a natural barrier for roads to go over. The planned route for Sabah’s leg of the 1 Tank Adventure reflected this limitation, while also throwing in another geographical feature — the northernmost point of Borneo.

Combined, it set the stage for the toughest real-world test yet faced by the participants.

Flagging off from Proton Harapan Maju Sdn Bhd in Kota Kinabalu, which officially opened a day earlier on Sept 20, the event ended at Proton Shirba Auto World Sdn Bhd, also in Kota Kinabalu.

All participants successfully completed the 525km course, an impressive achievement as the layout of the roads and heavy traffic encountered along the way challenged the driving skill of everybody involved.

As expected, the results achieved were not as impressive as those posted in the first leg, but there were still some noteworthy record-setting performances.

The best results achieved, as verified by scrutineers from the Malaysia Speed Festival, were 6.06L/100km for the Proton Iriz, an event best 5.75L/100km for the Proton Saga and a record breaking 5.81L/100km for the Proton Persona — breaking last year’s record of 5.85L/100km.

The best theoretical maximum range achieved, based on the 40-litre fuel tank size of the cars used, was 601km.

This was an impressive result because a strict time limit was set at each checkpoint to ensure participants had to keep to a minimum average speed for safety reasons and ensure the figures were obtained under real-world driving conditions.

As with the first leg, the 1 Tank Adventure is also an opportunity to demonstrate other selling points of Proton cars.

The dynamic driving exercise achieved that, as for most participants, it was the first time they had pushed a car to its dynamic limits.

Following the activity, both media and public participants raved about the secure handling of the Proton models they drove, with many gaining a newfound appreciation for the electronic stability control and anti-lock braking system found on the Iriz, Persona and Saga.

Queennera Francine Francis Kitingan (picture), a celebrity radio DJ from Kupi-Kupi FM, who owns a Proton Saga FLX, was amazed by the fuel efficiency, style, stability and features of the Proton Iriz she drove during the event.

“I love my Proton Saga as it is easy to drive and park and has been very reliable, but having tested the new Proton Iriz over the last two days, I think I may have a new favourite Proton model. I really like the way it looks and drives because it feels secure yet fun.

“I also love the intelligent infotainment system as there are so many songs for me to choose from, while the fuel economy is truly surprising. I would not hesitate to recommend this car to anyone as I think it’s very impressive,” she said.

Commenting on the successful completion of the second leg of Proton 1 Tank Adventure, Proton CEO Dr Li Chunrong said: “The Sabah leg of this year’s 1 Tank Adventure was very challenging, but we were confident of everyone completing the course safely.

“The participants also had an opportunity to test their cars in driving conditions that would allow them to experience the safety equipment and dynamic abilities of their cars, which proved that our cars offer the best value and driving experience among all vehicles in their class.”