Stage 2: Test Drive and Conclusion
It’s finally endingggg
Some test drive facility on the outskirts of Rye City, 6 AM.
The air is cold and still a little foggy as the sun slowly rises over the hilly horizon far away. James Kekwick steps out of his parked Mitsushita Karna, looking over the busy parking lot. There is a crowd of people walking and chattering about just outside of the facility building, and at the center of the crowd is a vehicle carrier truck unloading several cars that the producers have ordered. A test driver is seen adjusting his helmet, ready to test drive. Donald McSanderson is also there, supervising the activity. A group of paparazzi are busy asking questions at Donny and writing down all of his answers. There is also an ambulance and a fire truck standing by, in case an unwanted accident happens.
“Is this everything?” James asks as he approaches a film crew member.
“Yes Sir. Four vehicles, as ordered.”
“Excellent,” James smiles as he signs off the manifest document that’s given to him.
The four finalist cars are finally here. James smiles with delight.
Donny eventually approaches James, finally done answering the journalists’ questions.
D: “Bloody paparazzi. How the hell were they able to find out what we’re doing here?”
J: wears helmet “They don’t. After all, it’s barely a secret when a highly-conspicuous motorcade is heading towards a test track. They just follow the trail here.”
D: also wears helmet “Sigh. At least they’re leaving now. I’ll sock someone in the face if there’s a new batch of those buggers to come and impede today’s progress. Anyway, onto the cars!”
The Panthera STT-DSE gets its first turn for a test drive.
“This car looks even more menacing in person!” Donny says while walking around the car, looking for some bits of fine detailing. The car comes equipped with four antennae and one search light from the factory. The letterwork is minimal at best, and the quad exhaust that jut out from the bottom of the car look as if it’s telling everyone what it’s going to do on the road.
The test driver is already inside when the two enter the car. The moment James puts his butt onto the seat, he can feel himself drowning in its plush, plush seat.
“Ohhhhhh. That feels amazing.”
“Okay mate, your task today is to drive the car as fast as possible around the track, slalom through the cones, and finally try to pull a powerslide with it,” says James to the driver, with which he replies with a thumb up.
The Panthera starts up with a muffled-but-still-very-audible sounds of its turbocharged inline 6 engine. The turbo whistles gracefully and there is nearly no vibration at all.
After the first test drive session, the Panthera STT-DSE wagon feels like driving a Cumulonimbus cloud: It’s fast as a hurricane wind, it’s loud as a distant thunder, it’s smooth as a light drizzle, and its handling is as predictable as a weather forecast’s report. Bad analogy, I know, but you get the general idea. It’s great at cornering and easy to control, and its near-supercar-tier acceleration makes this car a very fast performer.
“We’re starting out strong here.”
The Greil Tyrfing 4.0 is next in line. Its Tyrfing badging on the rear is a nice touch to the car, and the other small bits such as the side vents and its badging are so tastefully done.
The interior is quite spartan; The front seats are bucket seats clad in quality leather. The doors are simply straight plastic with a door handle and manual window crank.
Starting the V8 engine, the Tyrfing’s idling burble is barely audible from inside the passenger bay. Starting off with a burnout, its AWD system doesn’t take any chances to slide itself out of control, and it swiftly goes through the test track as fast as it could. It accelerates, eats the corners, brake until stop like a champ, the car does it all rather effortlessly.
What the producers aren’t impressed about, however, is how saggy the springs are. There have been several instances of the car scraping against the wheel well when it goes over bumps. And it doesn’t take handbrake turning very well, either. The rear end just dives.
“So close, yet so far. If only the springs were a wee bit firmer.”
The black-and-gold Rosker Warrior GTX gets its turn next. James clamors over the tasteful amount of golden accent-colored detailing being put into it. The bonnet scoop is especially distinctive, as it creates a vague outline of a hammer from the bonnet all the way down to the grille.
Donny is really eager to see how this car performs. As this is the only two-door coupe of the four, Donny gets to sit in the front as his overweight physique is a little difficult to climb into the back seat. The rear leg space is a little tight for someone like James, but still relatively tolerable for a coupe. The interior is nice and comfortable, if a bit of a letdown when it’s directly compared against the Panthera’s.
Cranking the car on, its roaring V8 immediately makes the directors’ hearts skip a beat. Not even this amount of sound insulation is enough to filter out the vibration and barking sound this car makes. Starting with a nice and long burnout, the producers can’t help but gasp.
Handling wise? It’s likely comparable to a rodeo ride. The car’s suspensions are unquestionably rough and it constantly keeps the driver’s awareness high, by punishing when the driver is being reckless but not so much that it easily loses composure completely and spins the car out. The naturally-aspirated engine has just the right amount of power it delivers to the wheels, not too much but also not too little either. Driving it is a rewarding experience in its own right, since the driver can go faster once he’s used to its predictable track behavior.
As the test drive concludes, the two producers exit the car, body covered in sweat and face full of smile.
And finally after some rest, it’s the Ecamobile-Pfeil Ace Sport’s turn. Looking at the exterior, it is apparent that this car is meant to be on a more aggressive performance trim, but the bumper’s styling might be a little much. There is an intercooler concealed behind the lower grille, and the upper grille only has a small slit that directly leads to the engine’s air intake. The reverse light is quite unique as it is located on the rear bumper rather than close to the tail light cluster.
The Ace Sport’s interior is rather comfy. More comfortable than Rosker, but still can’t compete against the Panthera.
Starting the car, they are greeted with little to no vibration like the Panthera, but they can notice the engine sounding even a little quieter than it.
After the test drive, Donny seems to be suffering from mild back pain. He’s not a middle-aged man yet, but the Ace Sport’s suspension setup is even firmer and more race-oriented than the Rosker Warrior. Donny that sits in the rear seat gets the worst treatment, as he’s thrown around, up and down, left and right. But in return, it gives the driver best control over the car. He can chuck this car at any angle, and he will always manage to recover from it.
The other disappointing thing about it is how slow it feels when compared to its competitor. Maybe it’s due to the perception dissonance between how loud a car is vs. how fast it actually goes, but that is not the case in here. With a 2.6L engine producing 240 horsepower, this car is definitely the weakest of the four.
“That was not very passenger-friendly,” says Donny while rubbing his lower back.
“So, what do you think about the cars?” Donny asks as he removes his helmet.
“Hmmm, I’m conflicted. On one hand, the Panthera excels at basically everything. But on the other hand, the Rosker Warrior is also wonderful and it makes all sorts of glorious V8 sounds out of it. Both cars are really great at their own terms.”
“But we still need to pick one.”
“Let’s put ourselves into Sammy Gecko’s mindset once again, then. Of the two, which one would Gecko pick?”
As if reading each others’ minds, they nod together.
“The one with the most dramatic potential, that is.”
The intro for “Take on Me” by a-ha blares over the blank television screen of millions of people in Fruinia.
During the last few months, the world has seen the shift in its situation. Suddenly, the decades of conflict turned more optimistic. The Berlin Wall broke apart over night, and the general pessimism is suddenly gone from the people.
But Gecko always rules.
Suddenly, the image of strips of light appeared. Today is the day of a season opening of new season of “Gecko’s Diary”.
The sound of the V8 engine thundering, rivalling Take on Me chorus in perfect harmony. A cloud of smoke appeared from the rear tyres in a massive burnouts. Before launching into the new era. Highly anticipated crowds cheering on this image. The Rosker Warrior GTX drove away in anger.
Sadly, the 1980’s was over. Soon enough, James Kekwick and Donny McSanderson decided to end the show after 5 long seasons despite still getting rave feedbacks and high ratings. The tone of the show wasn’t fitting with the new, softer image of the 1990’s.
The Rosker Warrior GTX, as a result, only appeared in one season of Gecko’s Diary. But it already cemented its reputation as the ultimate cool of the 1980’s. And decades after “Gecko’s Diary” had ended, people are still remembering the image of the car flying through the air, in a dramatic cloud of smoke, catching bad guys with a huge sliding action which millions of children are watching at home were to idolise.
The demand of the car shot up massively. There were ideas of a special Gecko edition, but nothing ever came to fruition especially when the show ended quicker than anticipated. Donny and James later stated that they felt that the legacy of the character, which includes the car, would be more poignant if it’s ended during its peak and not after it has already gone through seasonal rot.
Donny and James later went on to create more television series and a few theatrical movies. Quite a few were more iconic and timeless than Gecko’s Diary with its specific 1980’s macho taste. But ask the people around Fruinia and other parts of the world, and they’ll always think of Gecko’s Diary and his Rosker Warrior when talking about James Kekwick and Donny McSanderson.
Nowadays, the value of Rosker Warrior itself is increasing a lot. Because a lot of people see it as the iconic vehicle. Not many cars get this regard in its lifetime. Ensuring it will always be in the people’s attention. Even kids these day know what Gecko’s Diary was and what the Rosker Warrior is.
Congratulations @MGR_99, you have won this CSR!
1st place: @MGR_99 - Rosker Warrior GTX
2nd place: @EddyBT - Panthera STT-DSE
3rd place: @Xepy - Greil Tyrfing 4.0 Biturbo
4th place: @Mikonp7 - Ecamobile Ace Sport Mk II
Huge thanks again to @conan for co-hosting, without which I wouldn’tve been able to pull this kind of story!
And thank you everyone for the patience and participation in this round of CSR!
2019, Rye City, Fruinia.
“They want us to remake Gecko’s Diary as a movie?”
One day, the successful television producer, James Kekwick, now 70, got a phone call from his old friend Donald McSanderson. Saying that a movie company in which Donny has been working with a lot during the decades after it ended in 1990, wanted to remake their old popular television series Gecko’s Diary.
“But why?” James, who has been working exclusively on television, asked with slight contempt for the movie industry.
“Oh you know, the 1980’s and 1990’s are in again right now. People who look back at the past decades with nostalgia are now incredibly wealthy and are ready to pay for anything that remind them of the past,” Donny answered with the same indifferent tone.
After a few seconds of silence, James answered.
“I don’t want to do it. That show was only good for the 80’s. If we start doing it again today, as a movie or TV, doesn’t matter. And we use the same viewpoint of the world as we did back then, it just wouldn’t go well with the current world. It is 2019, whatever happened in the past that we look to with great admiration is just us wanting to go back to the time when we don’t need to have responsibility.
James shifts his vision towards a framed poster of Gecko’s Diary, featuring the Rosker Warrior. “Look at Gecko. He’s manly, tough, doesn’t play by the rule, charming. That speaks well to the mindset of people who don’t want responsibility!”
A few seconds of silence happened again.
“It’s the perfect movie for 2019, isn’t it. How much of a paycheck are they offering?” James asked.
“Good enough.” Donny replied.
“Should we do it?”
“We don’t have to decide right now.”
“The Rosker was pretty cool though, I want to bring that back.”
“Have you seen how much they are worth these days!? Hahahahahaha,” Donny laughed before he continues. “Sure, we can do that, the budget overhead is pretty huge.”
“Absolutely bodacious, mate!”