Driving in Winter can be pretty difficult, especially with snow, ice and overall bad conditions. The grip can be okay but then, suddenly there is some frozen road ahead. You break and steer but you and your car are just defenseless against the weather. What to do in such a situation and could you measure your braking distance now, under snowy and icy roads? Probably not, but to learn how and to be friends with snow MINI offers a “Winter Training” up on the Mountains near Sölden in Austria – on the second highest street (“paved road”) in Europe, the Ötztal Glacier Road. The MINI Driving Experience is all about fun with a huge learning effect. I joined them to experience the Day with them, and to enhance my driving capabilities – which is not just super important to be but also to you as you can feel safer now when I’m driving near you 😉
A Driving safety training are important for every driver, during normal conditions and even more during Winter. They teach you how to cope with difficult situations, like changing lanes with higher speed, and to control a car in even such happenings. These are, fortunately, not every-day situations but just in case, you should be prepared and not shocked of the moment AND shocked about what do to. Thanks to small groups, there are a maximum of 10 people, each two per car, you get to learn everything better as the coach can focus better and more individual on each participant.
The “Winter Training” with MINI starts with a “Brain your Train” session the evening before at the Hotel Aqua Dome in Längenfeld, Tirol. In this theoretical hour you get to learn some basics and things like the Circle of forces or some technical features about the Cars – MINI Countryman SD ALL4 and MINI Paceman SD ALL4 (ALL4 stands for all-wheel drive). The evening is closed with a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant – trust me, try the uber awesome dessert buffet, you will regret it if you won’t try most of it!
The next day starts early with breakfast and the pick up with shuttles that bring you to the lower mountain station where you change vehicles to a PistenBully. This fancy ride takes you up to the top of the Ötztaler Gletscherstraße from where the MINI Driving Experience Day starts. The sessions are called Set-Up, Brake & Swerve, Agent Turm, Understeering and Oversteering, Catch me, ALL4 Parcours, MINI Contest, S Curve and Take your Ticket. With handling, braking and fun activities you learn how to drive with an all-wheel driven Car in snow and on ice. You even pass paths with the sport-fanatic skier and snowboarder and drive small roads up on super snowy mountains – everything during heavy snowfall. This would be pure hell on a normal road, but with a great guide you feel totally safe all the time and are also super proud of yourself for the achieved goals. For sure you receive a certificate at the end of the day.
Below you find a short Video of that day and some Pictures, click here for the whole Gallery of the MINI Driving Experience “Winter Training”.