Auto123.com - Helping you drive happy

Volkswagen Driving Experience, Sweden

|
Get the best financial rate for your car loan at Automobile En Direct
Mathieu St-Pierre
How many of you have seen an ice or snow driving video on YouTube? You know, you see a car driving absurdly fast and slideways on a seemingly impossible and menacing frozen lake, snow being flung all over, the car waltzing from side to side and from corner to corner.

I just did that.

2012 Volkswagen Golf R front 3/4 view
Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre/Auto123.com

Hell's yeah, I did! When the invite dropped onto Mike's lap at the office, I was all over it like a donkey on a waffle. Not sure what I'm on about, check out this video featuring the Volkswagen Polo GTI driving on snow and ice. Put me behind the wheel and swap the Polo for a dangerously hot 2012 Volkswagen Golf R. Now you're getting it.

Like most self-respecting car manufacturers, Volkswagen offers a slew of various driver training programs. Being who they are and considering the product they have on tap, everyone interested in driver training will find something to their liking.

Do you do the off-road thing? VW's got you covered with amazing treks in their Touaregs. Want to learn how to drive green? VW will teach you how to do it by introducing you to their BlueMotion technology, available in the Jetta and Passat. Want to get your crazy on, intelligently? How does track time in a Scirocco R or Golf R sound? This can be done on a dry or wet track or better, on a snow-covered frozen lake in the middle of Sweden, inches below the Arctic circle.

More precisely, this segment of VW's Driving Experience takes place in the Province Norrbottens Län, in the centre of the Swedish Lappland, 56 km south of the polar circle, near Arjeplog Community (it's a Village). The area on which the community is established is of 12,804 square km. In Arjeplog, there are only 3,143 inhabitants. AKA: Nowhere. A perfect spot, n'est-ce pas?

Actually, this is a preferred area of many car makers for winter driver training. Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche also have schools here. This is also a favourite hangout for manufacturers for cold-weather product testing. In the 36 hours I was up there, I saw a Kia, a BMW and a Volvo fully decked out in body camouflage. Cool.

This was quite an adventure and, in truth, it was all fun and games, once we'd sat through comprehensive theoretical training that involved eyes, the ideal driving line, and braking and steering points. As you might imagine, on ice, clipping apexes is not performed the exact same way. The guys from VW Driving Experience are themselves very experienced, all have racing or rallying backgrounds, and one actually holds the world record for the tightest parallel parking job.

Safe to say that I was in good hands. You will be as well.

The 2012 Volkswagen Golf R impressed just as much. In the meantime, if this type of driving tickles your fancy or any other, check out the Volkswagen Driving Experience website for more details on the events. The website is not yet updated for 2012 but all the pertinent bits of info are there.

2012 Volkswagen Golf R front 3/4 view
Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre/Auto123.com

Mathieu St-Pierre
Mathieu St-Pierre
Automotive expert
None