Winter driving on an ice track.
Taking a driving risk is always a bit iffy. How about when you are in Canada? In the heart of winter? The International Center of Advanced Racing offers driving courses for beginners, as well as more advanced drivers, and while taking a risk and testing your limits is one thing, it’s always safety first on the track. With both long and short snow-covered courses, ICAR allowed testers to try out the latest all wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles from Chrysler, Dodge Ram, and Jeep on an ice track.
Before letting us loose on the ice track at ICAR winter driving facilities, Jim Morrison, Director of Jeep brand invited us to, “drive the cars as if we owned them”.
In other words, don’t try to spin out into snow banks, smash up cones or whiplash around corners. Of course, he was saying that to a room full of testosterone- fueled auto writers. And then there’s me.
I’m always cautious but willing to take a risk. Now, I’m not bragging, but numerous off-road instructors have told me that I’m a good driver. On a regular racetrack? Well, let’s just say that once I won the booby prize. I was the only woman in a track event with Porsche. UGH.
But, after years of both on and off-road driving, I no longer feel daunted. I just keep listening and learning.
The Winter Media Drive for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep, was held at a track 20 miles north of Montréal in Quebec. It featured 12 FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) 2015 US vehicles with all wheel drive or four-wheel drive technology.
What FCA has done is keep the zest in vehicles like the 2015 Dodge Charger, and Chrysler 300 while adding in AWD. For example, the 2015 Charger Pursuit Police car with AWD delivers 0-to-60 mph in less than six seconds. The Jeeps have everything from select terrain modes: Auto, Sport, Snow, Sand/Mud, Rock to advanced 4 x 4 systems that seamlessly switch from two to four-wheel drive.
Translation: Vehicles including Dodge Charger AWD and Chrysler 300 AWD were flat-footed and spunky on the track; off-road vehicles like the Jeep Cherokee and Renegade “kicked snow and dirt” and didn’t skip a beat. And the Ram truck— my heartthrob — just danced its way through the cones.
At the end of the day we got a lesson from Nick Cappa, Ram Communications, on how to pilot a snowplow. Say what you will, it’s not as easy as it looks. But ladies, once you’ve scooped up some ice with a Ram truck, you’ll feel like a million bucks. Yeehaw!
Holly Reich was given complimentary admission to ICAR to tell you about the fun of driving on an ice track. The opinions expressed in this article are her own.