If there’s a regret we have with this year’s Slush Fest, it’s that we didn’t have an offbeat machine to go with the rest of these 4x4s. Okay, you could say that the Audi Q5 with its quattro AWD could be it, but that’s not the point. We actually wanted two twisted off-roaders here and both disappointed us by not turning up – a Polaris RZRS and an ex-military Nissan One-tonner. If we had these two over here, it would have been completely OTT. Still, we had oodles of fun at this year’s event. Heck, we had a purpose-built off-road track exclusively to ourselves for the whole day!
It was a reasonably challenging course, more of a technical track rather than our usual venue where we used to conduct speed runs on gravel sections, and timed drivers on each outing. It was a 1.5-km course with several water wading opportunities, a highly slippery incline located on a tight turn, two wooden plank sections, sharp ascents and descents, gravel strewn sections and dicey blind corners. So while that negated the idea of timing individual drivers, it tested the vehicles more severely than ever in the past.
And it was a motley bunch of vehicles. At the most extreme in terms of capability and off-road prowess was the Mahindra Thar CRDe and at the other end was the Audi Q5 3.0 TDI with all-wheel drive and vulnerable running boards. Closer to the Thar in terms of reputation was the Land Rover Freelander SE, while the Renault Koleos was the unknown card in the pack. Yet there were plenty of surprises in store for us. Off we go...
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