It’s around this time of year that we start hearing warnings from road safety organisations about the need to adapt and cope with winter driving conditions – the implication being that icy conditions are dangerous, scary and not much fun. But we beg to differ, and so it seems do BMW. You see, with the right equipment and on the right roads, winter can be the most fun season of them all.

Let me tell you how.

This season BMW are offering three winter driving courses, the first of which is located in the beautiful Ötztal Alps near Sölden in Austria, where drivers can learn to master safe with skilful braking and steering manoeuvres in current BMW models such as the new BMW X3, BMW 5 Series and the BMW M3. The BMW Snow Intensive training course uses specially groomed snow surfaces on the glacier of Sölden enabling participants to practice emergency braking without fear of hitting anything hard.

The second course, we like a lot. BMW calls it ‘BMW Snow Drift’ training – it’s a half-day course with the 414 bhp BMW M3 where participants learn to drift. What more do we need to say? It sounds like a great way to spend a few hours.

If that half-day taster sounds a little tame for you, then how about a full-day drifting on the ice lake at Arjeplog in Sweden, at the wheel of a BMW M3 with spikes? Located 60 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, this where BMW engineers take prototypes and test them in extreme winter conditions. This is the ‘BMW Ice Fascination’ training course where participants learn the key to drifting at high speed and pulling extreme lateral angles, all under the guidance of experienced ice driving instructors. The day includes a fast passenger lap with an experienced ice driver in the M3 and in a Polaris Quad..

After a hard day’s fun, participants will then get an exclusive look behind the scenes at the BMW test centre. Engineers will explain some of the cars and systems they’ve driven and tested, plus what to expect in BMW cars of the future.

We’re off to Sölden next month for the launch of BMW’s new X3, so we’ll let you know what the facility is like and how well the new X3 drifts. We’re not expecting it to be dangerous, scary or boring..