I was super excited when I got the invitation from IWC Schaffhausen to join the AMG Winter Sporting experience in Arjeplog the Northern part of Sweden. This area of Lapland is very popular amongst car manufacturers as a snow and winter testing facility and home of the AMG Lodge. Temperatures during the days of -15 degrees make it a unique experience.
So here is what happened at the AMG Winter Sporting Experience.
AMG Lodge – home of the driving academy
Arrival at the AMG Lodge which is the home of the AMG Driving academy in Arjeplog. The lodge is located in an idyllic location in vast and gorgeous surroundings featuring a stunning panoramic view of Swedish Lapland. Before dinner we took time to enjoy the fantastic panorama and captured glorious sunset photos.
AMG Drivers Classroom
After a welcome and short introduction, we had our first classroom about the different AMG tracks, the various AMG cars and we received intense safety instructions. AMG winter academy cars use special Lappi tires with spikes with a length of 2,2mm. Each tire has about 500 spikes. The ice on the frozen lake is about 50-70cm thick – enough to hold even an airplane!
Arrival at the AMG garage
In the morning, we drove to the AMG garage and upon arrival we found more than 50 AMG cars parked in front of the garages – ready for an exciting drift day! After a 15min drive (EPS on) we reached the TIPI frozen lake area to get the first instructor lessons about how to start drifting properly on ice…….
AMG academy car fleet
During our week in Sweden we had the unique chance to drive various AMG cars. Each of them has different powertrain variants (rear and all—wheel) – so handing and drifting characteristics differ vastly. The range includes the entry model – the AMG A45 4-matic (381 HP) – up to the CLS 63 S Coupe, which offers 585 HP to handle with rear-wheel drive. My personal favorite ones were the AMG C 63s Coupe with 510 HP and the AMG GT S (510 HP too), both rear-wheel drive. From my perspective both models offer you on the track very predictable manageable drifting experience – just pushing the throttle a bit and do balanced counter steering – and off you go for a perfect drift on the ice track!
Push your limits – Driving on the tracks
Definitely – facing a challenging experience like that instills respect! Our team instructor, Markus Lungstrass, taught us countless tips and tricks around drifting on ice and getting better control over the car under these extreme conditions. ‘It is important to push your limits and get out of your comfort zone’ Markus said, ‘It will enable you to you learn more and can extend your limits accordingly. Even if you lose control and get out of track, the safety conditions are perfect and the worst case you get stuck in the snow banks’. Well – we all got stuck there occasionally – but most of the time we could push the car back into the track ourselves – in case we couldn’t – the AMG G-Wagon came to rescue and put the car back on track!
To be honest – I would never have expected that I would be able to learn to handle this in such a short period – and yes – I did lose control over the car and landed in the snow bank several times, but I pushed the limits and this helped me gaining more and more confidence and drive faster and faster through the bends!
Believe me – it is a lot of fun feeling the adrenaline flashing through your body while drifting with 50-70 km/h though the tracks ……!
The AMG Winter Sporting Experience was an amazing event and I could learn so much about car handing and drifting under extreme conditions. IWC and AMG have been partners for a long time – a perfect combination – there are so many parallels between motorsport and Haute Horlogerie, like precision engineering, maximum performance, spectacular design, and the passion for craftsmanship…….
Let me thank IWC Schaffhausen for this great opportunity and unforgettable experiences!
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