The Proton Asian Games Nation Drive showcases Malaysia’s cultural diversity and heritage, and celebrates our collective passion for sports.
So guess what! Our national carmaker, Proton, has been chosen as the official vehicle of the 2022 Asian Games.
For those of you who don’t know, the Asian Games is one of the biggest sporting events in the world where athletes from all over the region compete in various disciplines, including e-sports.
This year, the 19th edition of the games will be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 til October 8, and Malaysia will be sending our finest athletes.
The nation’s delegation will be comprised of the best of the best, including Olympic track cyclist Datuk Azizulhasni Awang, national diving queens Datuk Pandelela Rinong and Nur Dhabitah Sabri, as well as, our prided badminton heroes Lee Zii Jia, Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik.
To celebrate the occasion and to rev up support for our prestigious athletes, Proton organised the ‘Asian Games Nation Drive’—a cross-country road trip that showcases Malaysia’s cultural diversity and heritage, and celebrates our collective passion for sports.
Each leg of the trip promises an unforgettable encounter with the nation’s rich heritage, natural beauty, and cultural tapestry, where participants have the amazing opportunity to embark on a journey of exploration that spans diverse landscapes across peninsular and East Malaysia.
During each stop of the trip, the convoy will also be picking up a number of Malaysian arts and crafts pieces that will be donated to the Asian Games Museum in China to showcase Malaysia’s diverse identity to the world.
Last weekend, the TRP troops were invited to join the third round of the drive, which covered the southern and eastern states of Melaka and Pahang, where participants were given the chance to experience the rich culture, enchanting beauty and delicious delicacies of these historic states.
But what made our trip even more memorable was the fact that we got to drive Proton’s X50, X70 and X90 SUVs. These vehicles are the latest models offering some fancy features and were made to suit Malaysian drivers’ varying needs and preferences.
X Gon’ Give It To Ya!
Our journey began in Klang Valley, where the convoy of 10 cars flagged off from Proton’s HQ in Subang Jaya and made our way through the winding, hilly roads towards our first stop in Kuantan, Pahang.
During this part of the trip, we got to drive the X70, which is Proton’s mid-sized, five-seater SUV. And oh boy, was this baby an absolute joy to drive!
The car’s interior was super comfy and spacious and included features that made it feel extra luxurious with its leather seats, digital instrument panel, as well as, its touchscreen and voice-controlled infotainment system that gives you full command of the vehicle.
You could even tell the car to open the windows just by talking to it, which was pretty cool.
The X70 definitely impressed us with its smooth and quiet ride, and it had plenty of power and stability to take on the most challenging parts of the course with speed and ease.
Upon reaching our destination and having savoured some delicious tempoyak ikan patin, we were treated to a tour of the Kompleks Pengembangan Tenun Pahang DiRaja Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah.
There, we were educated on the history and intricate process of making ‘Tenun Pahang’ which is a type of weaving traditionally worn by the state’s royalty. This piece of culture, tradition and history will be one of many Malaysian treasures that will be donated to the Asian Games Museum.
The convoy later turned in for the evening, but not before some of us took a quick detour to catch some waves at one of Kuantan’s beautiful beaches under the stars.
After a good night’s rest, we were set for our journey down south to Melaka and got to run the X90 through its paces. The 7-seater car is the largest of the X models and feels more like an MPV than a regular SUV.
But don’t let its size fool you. The X90 is nimble, responsive and pleasant to drive, even through narrow kampung roads.
It has all the bells and whistles, including an elegant interior, with a booming sound system to boot, as well as, some high-tech safety features, like parking assist, traffic alerts and walk-away auto lock functions.
Being Proton’s first hybrid electric car, the X90 really surprised us with how fuel efficient it was as we only stopped for petrol once throughout the 300km long trip to Melaka (and that was after driving all the way from KL to Pahang).
Our stop in the state of Darul Azim was short and sweet. There, we got the opportunity to meet with former national hockey player Mirnawan Nawawi a.k.a The Boss, who’s famous for scoring a total of 250 goals throughout his career.
We were also serenaded by an action-packed traditional silat fight routine performed by a group of local martial arts experts, which definitely hyped us up for the journey home.
The travel back to KL took us longer than expected. However, it did give us plenty of time to test out the X50 and see how it faired against the ultimate problem on Malaysian roads, traffic!
The five-seater X50 is the smallest and sportiest of the three SUVs and is an agile and responsive vehicle. Its steering and brakes were light and precise, making it great for navigating through heavy traffic.
The car’s firm suspension made driving on bumpy roads a breeze, and the car’s cabin was also quiet and comfortable as it managed to block out much of the external noises to make it a peaceful ride.
When we finally arrived back where our journey began, it was already late in the evening. Despite being tapped out after the trip, we had a great time on the road and exploring Malaysia’s natural beauty and cultural diversity.
If you are planning on a cross-Malaysian road trip of your own, we highly recommend checking out the Proton X50, X70, and X90 for a brilliant and boujee ride.
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