Singapore’s highways swing past major attractions such as Marina Bay Sands and the giant ferris wheel that is the Singapore Flyer. So why not do the grand tour in a supercar?
How do you decide between a Ferrari and a Lamborghini? I am not in the salary bracket that would normally consider such things but I’m about to loan one out so I’d better hurry up and choose.
Embarrassing to admit, but my choice comes down to colour – red (Ferrari), yellow or black (both Lamborghinis). I choose the black one, a V10 Gallardo Spyder, figuring it looks slightly less flashy than the other two midlife-crisis tamers. It’s also big, heavy and Italian.
The Spyder reminds me of a 1970’s muscle car, except that you can change gears on the steering wheel and it has a button that instantly transforms it from manual transmission to automatic. Most people would say that’s cheating, but I do it anyway.
A staff member from Ultimate Drive sits in the passenger seat beside me. His presence is reassuring – he talks me through the process of turning on the car and putting it into gear as if he were a driving instructor mentoring a teenager. He clearly wants to see the car make it safely out of the Marina Bay Sands parking lot.
Formula 1 drivers in Singapore have it easy, I think – the city-state’s streets are blocked off from the public come Grand Prix time
For my drive, however, the highway is teeming with cars, motorcycles and lane-wide trucks, all of which seem to be constantly changing lanes, weaving in and out amongst each other in some complicated slalom-style choreography I’ve not been invited to learn. It’s scary.
My co-driver tells me that my car has 520 horsepower at 8000 revs per minute, a maximum torque of 510 newton metres at 4250 rpm, and can go from zero to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds. What I figure out for myself is that it has clunky brakes and a wide turning circle, both of which I thankfully master before we hit these six lanes of crazy traffic.
The Lambo can reach 300km/h; the speed limit on Singapore freeways is 90. Regardless, I’m invited to “open it up” as we head along the coast towards the airport. I plant my foot. Happily, the car has high head rests – I don’t get whiplash as the car’s exhaust emits a satisfying pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop and surges forward, belting up the outside lane like Jake LaMotta at the punching bag. I can’t hear myself laughing, but I am. It’s wonderful.
Do it yourself
Ultimate Drive offers street-circuit tours around Singapore, putting you in the driver or passenger seat of a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Let me know which marque you choose because it’s not an easy decision.
You can also purchase a movie of your drive afterwards, with a split-screen so that you can watch your own reactions to the car’s performance, as well as relive the route.
Find it here: Marina Bay Sands Hotel Tower 3, 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore. Tel: +65 6688 7997; ultimatedrive.com
NOTE: This story originally appeared in Jetstar Australia’s inflight magazine