As many BMW fans know, all-wheel drive isn ‘t necessary for driving in the snow. In fact there are many (including your author) who actually prefer the combination of rear wheel drive and dedicated snow tires over all-wheel drive and all-season tires. And at their heart (if you take away the need for greater and greater sales) BMW believes this as well. BMW ‘s Snow and Ice Trainings get drivers into shape to handle the demands of winter. From the Alpine scenery above Sölden to the icy roads of Sweden, BMW Driving Experience offers special driver training courses tailored to road conditions in the coldest season of the year. After all, if you can deal assuredly with the challenges of winter, you’ll be able to enjoy its plus points that much more. (full gallery after the break)
Hitting the heights: BMW snow training in Sölden.
The BMW Snow Intensive Training courses in Sölden demonstrate how skilful braking and steering can be used to deal with slippery roads, including uphill and downhill routes. Sölden provides the perfect conditions for the courses; the BMW Driver Training Center in the Austrian resort is the highest venue of its kind. Here participants practise all the skills required for winter driving – from emergency braking to drifting and off-road driving – under the watchful eye of BMW driver trainers. And they can admire the magnificent scenery of the Ötztal Alps at the same time. Participants will have use of a variety of current BMW models over the two days of the course, including the new BMW X3, BMW 5 Series and BMW M3.
Controlled slides: BMW Snow Drift Training.
You need special levels of skill to drift through corners with the copybook excellence of a rally driver. When you get it right, though, it’s not only a lot of fun but also a boost to driver safety in wintry road conditions. Drifting is the effect when a driver allows the rear wheels to break away in a controlled manoeuvre, and confident cornering forms part of the BMW Snow Drift Training course in Sölden. The 420 hp BMW M3 makes this half-day training course in Sölden even more attractive.
Where prototypes dare: BMW Ice Fascination Training near the Arctic Circle.
Arjeplog, 60 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, offers BMW test engineers outstanding conditions in which to put prototype vehicles through their paces under extreme winter conditions. And the Swedish testing site also gives participants in BMW ice training courses the opportunity to learn how to drive with control and assurance in extreme cold-weather situations.
The participants drive a BMW M3 equipped with spikes across large, specially prepared areas of ice, honing their driving skills over the challenging surface with the help of personal tuition from BMW driver trainers. Turning into corners, counter-steering and stabilising are the keys to high-speed drifting with extreme lateral dynamics. A “taxi ride” in the BMW M3 Ice Racer and ice racing action under floodlights with the Polaris quad bike provide the perfect climax to an intensive driving experience. Once the day’s driving pleasure is over, the participants are given an exclusive look behind the scenes of the BMW test centre. In this location far away from BMW Group headquarters in Munich, engineers explain what models are driven, how the cars are tested and what kind of improvements are made in daily testing with the BMW vehicles of the future. The training courses last four, five or six days, depending on the content of the course and the previous experience of participants.
The Snow and Ice Courses at the various locations run from January through to the end of March. For more information on bookings and prices, go to www.bmw-drivertraining.com.