Today, race driver Sebastian Stahl is demonstrating what a modern SUV is capable of in the snow - with Electronic stability control off, that is. For this, Sebastian is taking the Seat Ateca for a spin on a cordoned-off track.
Andre Zimmermann wants to know from an experienced race driver what it's like to drive on snow.
Sebastian says it really depends on what kind of car you're driving. That, along with the vehicle's powertrain, is crucial. This Seat Ateca has a "4 Drive System" which uses a "Haldex" clutch system. It activates rear-wheel drive in case of front wheel slippage, giving you four-wheel drive when you need it.
Added rear-wheel drive allows the SUV to nimbly navigate around these cones. With front-wheel drive alone, this wouldn't be possible. The car would keep slipping whichever way it turns.
Toggling snow driving mode optimizes traction on snow by giving the car's suspension more travel. Overall, the car's stability controls work really well. If for example the car's rear oversteers, swerving the car to the left, then its right front wheel automatically brakes to straighten the car out. So the snow drive mode makes travelling on snow much safer for average drivers.
So take it from a pro: What matters most for driving safely on snow and ice is a well-maintained car, winter tyres, and careful driving. It's also a good investment to take driver safety training. Which can be great fun, as well.