Every year, from December until March, a location hidden in the Upper Engadin becomes the place to be for petrol heads and thrill-seekers alike.
St. Moritz has long attracted international winter visitors thanks to its pristine slopes, unparalleled après-ski and world-class hotels. Less sporty types come for shopping and to visit the most interesting art galleries in unexpected locations, like the recently opened Pace Gallery in Zuoz or for the outstanding restaurants around the lake and ski-lifts, where 'savoir-vivre' is not a lifestyle but an attitude.
Whatever your reasons for visiting, there is one experience not to be missed. Now in its 7th year, 'Aston Martin on Ice' hosts a spectacular winter driving experience. The event is popular not only with Aston Martin owners and sports car enthusiasts the world over, but with weary skiers, client entertainers and those in search of the latest luxury experience. In a breathtaking environment, led by professionals, you have the opportunity to drive on ice in one of the most beautiful and powerful cars in the world.
For more than 100 years Aston Martin has been much more than a car. The brand represents a lifestyle and a statement of 'Power, Beauty and Soul.' Since its creation in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, Aston Martin has become one of the world's most iconic automotive brands. With only 60,000 cars produced in its hundred-year history, Aston Martin has remained faithful to its core values of style and traditional craftsmanship, be it by producing the most sophisticated car or by offering you a 'James Bond experience on ice.'
For those who have the chance to participate, there is a two-day programme, which starts by checking in at the exclusive 5-star Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains that looks like a fairy-tale castle in this winter wonderland Engadin countryside. After a taste of this hospitality, and perhaps a quick session at their 2,800 square-metre alpine spa, the team will be waiting for you at the Aston Martin Igloo in front the hotel. After registration, they will offer you a welcome champagne with – of course – James Bond's favourite choice: Bollinger Special Cuvée, followed by the On Ice Driver's Briefing. Swiss-style dinner will be enjoyed in a typical mountain chalet.
The next morning, the day starts at 8.45 a.m. with a transfer from the hotel to the ice field. After explanations by the professional instructors, the drivers can't wait to start. They will all be able to try each of the different Aston Martin models available in order to feel the difference.
Whether you are driving the Aston Martin V8 Vantage SP10 or the Aston Martin Vanquish, be prepared and fully concentrated! With maximum speed of 295 kilometres per hour, and just 4.1 seconds 0 to 100 km/h, these vehicles deliver all you expect, together with their unique sound which is like music! Previously, I had never understood why men develop such a strong relationship with their cars, but now I can clearly understand.
It's about power, perfectly controlled. The winter tyres, which are combined with sophisticated electronic safety systems, offer an extraordinary snow and ice driving experience even for those who have not had much experience of this type of conditions. Talking to some of the participants after their drive, you can still see in their eyes this sparkle of joy and passion... and the only question is: can we do just one more circuit? I spoke to a very elegant lady from the U.S.A., and she told me that the experience is unforgettable, and so much fun. Especially when you learn how to drift. Sitting in the car and negotiating a 360-degree four-wheel drift is a unique experience, especially as the car has an exceptional grip on the snow. I have never heard so many people screaming with joy.
Even if most of the participants are men, I can only encourage women to try this experience. Not only because more and more women love the idea of power and independence, but especially because this event shows that you can combine power with elegance, beauty with luxury, and soul with a history that no other brand can provide. As women, are we not all looking for this?
The next available dates for 'Aston Martin Driving On Ice' are 20 February - 5 March in Lapland, Sweden 2015. Book your place at: www.astonmartin.com/en/events/on-ice