It was just another normla day routine at work, suddenly received a call from Raja.
Raja : Are you free today? I have received call from Fortune Motors, Powai. They are providing me TD evhicle at my home.
Me : Wait I will confirm you in a minute.
Raja : OK I will give your number to SA, he will call you and you confirm with him.
Me : OK.
Checked the calender for meetings, had chat with team members. Not much workload. In the meatime recieved call from SA.
SA : Sir Shekhar from Fortune Motors, Powai. Raviraj Sir gave your number.
Me : Yes, we can go for TD now. I will acccopany you till Chembur and will come back with you.
SA : When can you come here?
Me : Will be there in 10 minutes. (Fortune Motors, is just 5-10 min away from the place where I work)
As promised, I was there in 10 minutes. SA was finishing off with some final formalities and taking some brochure with him. It took him 20-30 min to complete formatities. I was just trying to kill my time there looking at the Urban Bronze Storme in display in showroom. Then he comes saying sir, vehicle is ready, lets go. I informed him, I have not driven any UV yet, so you drive and give me the vehicle when we touch highway.
Vehicle for TD was VX 4X2 White color. He sat on driver's seat and I was on co-driver. I have already given my initial impressions in thread before only, so not going to repeat it again.
He cranked the engine, and without any hassle or without making more noise engine started. Cabin inside was extremely silent. He slotted first gear and here we go, man he was driving Storme as if he was driving any small hatchback. I almost had my heart in my mouth on many occasions. In the flow of his spirited driving he some how happen to jump the red signal and cops caught him. wasted 15 odd minutes there.
Now back to business, Storme was eating up potholes like there is almost no pothole. at speed of 80kmph he took a big "C" turn , and I admit there is body roll. But very less than what I expected. Minimal I can say. Then we reach Extern Express Highway. Now it was my turn to try out my hands pon beast. I sat on driver seat, adjusted the seat.
Slotted first gear, and cautiously lifted my left foot from clutch and beast started moving. Slotted second gear, then third , fourth and then fifth. And then I saw at instrument cluster and I was easily cruising at 90 KMPH without much hassle.Most I could achieve was 100 kmph on that road. I changed lane very sharply as I do in my Punto and to my surprise Storme exceedded my expectation, With minimal body roll it was sharply changing lane like beast crouching its prey. As mentioned earlier, I again felt bit of virbations on the gear knob. That may be because, I am used to Punto and I also I have habit of driving with one hand on steering wheel and other on gear knob. Many would just slot the gear and off goes hand on steering wheel.
Then was the time to test the the beast on lower RPMs. 3rd gear 900RPM and on speed of I dont remember. Beast was moving without any knocking. Then Highway ended and we entered internal city roads with full of traffic. As stated earlier Storme was easier to drive then Punto in bumper to bumper traffic. Partly because no one was comming near the beast also. Respect beast earned on road was awesome. You can easily use clutch to move the beat in bumper to bumper traffic.
Then after crusing our way into the traffic we reached the destination where Mr. Raja was waiting for us. We met Raja. Took many pics of beast and myself , SA and Raja. Then we had nicee coffee and pastry. Thanks to Raja. Had good chat with SA. asking him few questions about Storme. One of the famous question was why 1DIN, on that he said. TATA higher management people said that Storme is posed as off roader. SO during off roading, the electronic bits inside 2DIN system with get loose. 1DIN will be perfectly alright, it have been very tightly screwed and wired. Nothing will get loosen up. Actually this was very hard for me to digest. But 1DIN was never my concern.
Then we again set out for long drive. I took the wheels again. Took a U turn, was very happy to see that it is easier to take U turn in Storme thne in my Punto. Then set straight on Chembur Vashi highway. Curisng my way on bad roads as well. It was just awesome.
On 5th gear, I let the beast slow down till 1000-1100 RPM and then applied accelerator, to my surprise it responded really well. Beast geathered speed very quickly. This does not happen son my Punto, it take ages to gather the momentum. I think this is magic of VGT, but this is just my assumption, Gurus can throw some light on this.
Then after one point, we took U turn again and then we spotted AUDI Q5. Took some pics for comparison and it was Raja's turn to try the beast again. He cruised it again and in no time, we were cruising happily on 100 kmph. Now it was Raja's turn to check the ow end torque of the beast.
First gear, riding only on clutch, no accelrator used.
Second gear, riding again only clutch.
Third gear, riding again only clutch.
Fourth gear, riding again only clutch.
Fifth gear, riding again only clutch. RPM was 850-900, speed 35KMPH and Raja's both legs were on Beasts floor, and beast easily took us uphill on the top of the small flyover. There was no knocking and car din't even stall or stopped. Beast was just riding on it's own. Then again raja started cruising.
Now, it was time to check how Storme performs in small gully's of Mumbai. Raja took us through very small lanes, and Storme was very easy to drive through those lanes. The way Raja was drving Never ever did it feel that Raja was driving A big beast SUV.
In the entire TD, I never ever felt that power delivery is not enough, torque was just awesome. SA also picked up car from stand still on 2nd gear. So after wonderful TD we had coffee again. and then me and SA left for Powai. As we both were getting late to our work, I asked SA to drive the beast. And again my heart was in my mouth. He was just driving Storme like any sedan or hatchback. He was driving at the speed of 120 KMPH and there was no noise inside the cabin. Actually I never felt like it was driven at that speed until SA informed me about the same. At one place he misjudged the bumper and Storme was almost in air for fraction of second. Then he dropped me at my work place and he went to his work place. He was really very nice polite guys and he knows much about UVs. Bits from my side (personal opinion)
- NVH levels are very well maintained. Cabin is silent.
- I tried my best to find anything that could give me the proof of cost cutting, but could not find any. I don't consider 1DIN as cost cutting. I dont have any issues with it.
- Low end torque is brilliant. You can easily ride beast on half clutch in Bumper to Bumper traffic.
- Glove box was deep, but it was not closing properly. Have to hold the opening handle to close it. And also there was bit un even gap near the right side top corner of glove box lid.
- Music controls on stalk are very easy to use.
- Horn are feminine, who ever buys Storme please change the horn to something louder and manly, atleast the one which Ventos and Polos have.
- Steering is the only thing I dont like. Dont even feel classy.
- ORVMs are huge, I could see the vehicle behind from the right ORVM.
- Body roll is present, but very minimal.
- Turbo Lag? I dont believe in this.
- Seat belt warning beeps when you start the ignition, where as it should beep when you start moving vehicle without seat belt.
- ORVM adjustment knob are are good to hold. Press once down, ORVM will close automatically and press once up to open those again.
- Third row seats are only for people with height less than 5.3.
This is all from my side, Raja please add the bits I have missed.