Without fail, the first snow of the season takes drivers completely by surprise.
Over the hills and through the woods, it's the time of year when many of us visit family and friends for the holidays. But getting there can be a chore. It's cold and snowy across much of the United States, and even if the climate is favorable, the drive to grandmother's house often is not.
Though they are equipped almost exclusively with all-wheel drive, a Lamborghini might not be our first choice to drive in the snow. Not for practical reasons, anyway. But the idea sure does sound like fun – and probably more than a little bit educational, too. That's why Lamborghini established the Winter Accademia.
With between four and six hundred horsepower channeled to the rear wheels from a V8 or V12 engine mounted up front, an Aston Martin – any Aston Martin, really – might not seem like the smartest choice for driving on ice and snow. But that can also make it the most fun, and the most enlightening to experience.
Winter. That frigid, miserable time of the year where ice, snow and slush coat our roads and salt coats our cars. Why would you ever willingly go for a drive during the winter? Well, perhaps because no one else is going for drives. As CNN points out, winter means that some of the country's best roads have much lower levels of traffic, making a scenic drive an even more relaxing event than it might normally be.
It was the first big snowfall of the season and I was out driving on the freeway when it happened. I had been traveling carefully, unsure that my little sedan would be able to keep traction as the snow kept piling up, when a large SUV came flying out of nowhere, attempting to pass me as if the roads were dry. Just as the SUV had gotten ahead of me, the driver lost control. The vehicle spun wildly for a few seconds and then crashed horrifically into the median with a sickening crunch.
Right after being displayed and winning an award at the cozy confines of the Detroit Auto Show, the Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid went into the snow for some real-world extreme driving conditions. Cadillac engineers recently completed chassis testing on pre-production ELR models, evaluating the car's handling in winter weather conditions.
For consumers considering buying a Renault Twizy, a four-wheeled covered electric vehicle (EV), some worries about winter driving conditions might be alleviated by this news. For 295 British pounds (about $472 US dollars), owners can now buy a kit that will make the little EV winter proof. Or, at least, a little bit more protected. The Twizy doesn't have a heater, after all.
Nothing to see here, kids, unless you like watching powerful V8s with orotund exhaust notes kicking up walls of snow via a right-pedal workout and heaps of opposite lock. If that's the case, there is something to see here, and it's a promo vid for the AMG Driving Academy Winter Sporting held in Sweden.
While there were concerns that the Nissan Leaf might not be a very good vehicle for colder climates, the automaker is ready to demonstrate otherwise. It recently invited a few dozen journalists to have a go in the snow with its signature all-electric on a test course in Shibetsu, Hokkaido in the north of Japan. Informative video ensued.
If you're one of those good souls who doesn't mind getting their Ferrari out in foul weather, we have good news for you. The Italian automaker has just announced the creation of a special winter driving school in Aspen, Colorado. The 2012 Winter Driving Experience is the first snow and ice driving school in America, and should offer participants the chance to sample everything that the new Ferrari FF has to offer in low-traction situations on a custom-built snow and ice course. A fleet of eight
A trial fleet of approximately 400 Volvo C30 Electrics is a comin' and the Swedish automaker wants potential lessees to know that the C30 is equipped to cope with extreme winter weather. Apparently, the C30 Electric is not likely to be one of those sweater and gloves commuter cars. According to Volvo, the C30 features three distinct climate systems: one supplies occupants with hot or cold air; one keeps the temperature of the vehicle's battery pack in check; and one provides water cooling for th
We know from GM's Susan Stevenson that, in cold weather, the Chevy Volt "requires as much energy to heat the interior of a car on a cold day as it does to drive at a constant speed." Because of this, GM spent a lot of time designing the Volt's HVAC system to handle grueling winter weather while minimizing battery drain.
Harsh winter weather can diminish the range of battery-powered vehicles. Likewise, the performance of a plug-in hybrid like the Chevrolet Volt can suffer as the mercury dips. However, when General Motors' designed the Volt, the automaker wanted to develop a plug-in that could effectively tackle grueling winter weather without a noticeable degradation in performance. Volvo dealt with this issue by adding a small ethanol heater.
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