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It wasn't snowing in Munich since the start of winter until we arrived that very morning for our driving experience.

09 Dec 2011 | International News : Germany

The notion of cold white snow being all fluffy and soft isn’t really the case. Or so I thought when we landed in Munich for the BMW driving experience. Needless to say, I also realised how much difficulty it must have been for Pierce Brosnan when he acted his part on the James Bond set where he drove his Aston Martin Vanquish on the snow with the diamond-studded faced villain chasing him on his Jaguar XKR. How on earth, besides camera trickery, did they manage to keep the cars so stable at such high speeds, especially when such powerful forces are at play?

This leads to me to the driving experience in Munich with three different cars. Allow me take a number of notches down from the Aston Martin and the Jaguar. With 211 horses and 260Nm of torque sent to the customary front wheels via the twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection under its bonnet, the MINI John Cooper Works Coupe is as quick as it looks. Then there is the BMW Z4 and the 528i Touring where 245 horses are easily powered out by the pressure of your right foot. On the tarmac, these cars can be as fun as you how you want it to be. Easy handling and effortless power are but merely the icing on the cake. But that’s what is expected of cars such as these. What makes the driving experience exciting with these three vehicles is the feel of driving them with the pouring flakes of snow hitting against your windscreen and trying to stay on the correct side of the lane with no indication of the divider along the winding roads of Munich.

"Woah! That was close man!" That was probably the phrase that I heard the most when I was handling the cars. I was a klutz on the extremely slippery grounds. Despite my lack of experience and anxiety to catch up with the BMW Z4 and 528i Touring, the JCW MINI Coupe kept its composure throughout the slippery “course”. Yes, I had my fair share of skiing and gliding on the snow but the car doesn’t discourage you from pushing on, thanks to the low centre of gravity and the sophisticated kinematics of the multi-link rear suspension which helps to maintain optimal grip at all times.

And it’s no doubt the same for the other two Bimmers. Safety systems such as the lane assist guided me along the twisty B roads, in return, giving me more confidence to push the cars harder. In terms of the handling and prowess in which they possess, the vehicles are more than competent to keep their feet to the ground. Not only is it capable of high power output, the new generation 4-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology that’s found in both the 528i and Z4 is also competent in its fuel efficiency - allowing an average fuel consumption of 6.8L/100km for both Bavarian cars.

The six hour drive along the stipulated route of Munich not only allowed us to better understand the cars but also to see certain parts of the world that perhaps most of us will never have the opportunity to see. From the heavy snowing and the snow-covered grass to the serene lakes and pork knuckles, I would say the cars went through thick and thin with us, even though it was only for a cold winters’ day.

That's the spirit cars should have.

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