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BMW vs Winter: how to beat the freeze

Tue, 17 Dec 2013

By Phil McNamara

First Official Pictures

17 December 2013 09:00

Winter: the long nights, slippery roads and punishing weather can turn driving from a pleasure into a chore. But to ensure you get home safely this winter – or merely to entertain you with our antics – we’ve created some stories and videos of us tackling wintry conditions in cars.

• WINTER TYRES: we took an M3 on summer tyres and a 435i coupe on ADD LINK winter tyres to Pirelli’s Milanese test track, to pit the two cars in a wintry drag race, brake test and timed laps of the circuit
• xDRIVE: Ben Barry drove an all-wheel drive 330d Touring to Sölden in the Austrian Alps, home of the inaugural round of this winter’s Alpine Skiing giant slalom. We decided to join in, with a little slalom of our own…
•X5 M50d: Steve Moody piloted the new, third-generation X5 to Biarritz then into the Pyrenees, in search of some extreme sports
• i3: how did BMW winter-proof its new electric car? Damion Smy finds out

These stories and videos will be available in several ways:
• a free iPad app, which will go live on Apple’s iTunes store in January 2014
• a free, 36-page print supplement, available with CAR’s February 2014 issue (on UK news-stands Wednesday 22 January 2014) 
• online at, over the course of the next few months

The inspiration for these stories came when a 10-mile drive home turned into a three-hour odyssey last winter, because a heap of unprepared drivers and their cars weren’t capable of getting around in the snow. With more than 20% of CAR readers owning rear-drive BMWs – and plenty more Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar besides – you may find some useful information among all our wintry antics. We hope you enjoy it.

By Phil McNamara