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Posted: 12/4/2007 5:32:22 AM EDT
How did it handle? Does the tranction control help any? Or is absolutely a no go?
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:34:02 AM EDT
I have an BMW 330 coupe and with the right snow tires on it, it goes just fine. Deep snow is an issue with it (lack of) ride height. I also turn off the traction control in snow.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:44:42 AM EDT
I had a 2001 325 I with the performance package (read wider tires) With the right tires for winter it did OK, but as above, ride height and deep snow are not a good option, unless you really want to replace the front chin.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:45:10 AM EDT
I've got an M3 and it *sucks* on snow. Sucks sucks sucks. Traction control kicks in, which keeps the tires from spinning. . .which means you go nowhere. Turn off the traction control and you can spin (the car) for days.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:46:47 AM EDT
I've driven my RWD Porsche in the snow. (not deep, obviously)

rear engine + RWD = win
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:48:40 AM EDT
Try driving a Ford Crown Vic in all kinds of snowy weather!
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:55:54 AM EDT
Not those in particular, but the key is having great snow tires. With a set of Blizzacks, you can get a RWD car to go just about anywhere in the snow, clearance permitting. They don't wear worth a shit, but who cares? You're glued to the road.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:57:39 AM EDT
Its mostly a mater of TIRES. Most of the rs noted in this thread do NOT come will all season tires - so trying to navigate snow in UHP tires is a pointless effort.

Get snow tires at TireRack.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:58:12 AM EDT
BMW 330i here, bought it in March of '06 so only one winter with it. I kept the same tires it had on it when I bought it (Continentals) and drove it all winter that way... 31 miles one-way to work through city and country.
No problems, and I left traction control on.
But... I grew up in the '60s and learned to drive with rear wheel drive cars, also so that probably makes a difference. I never had a front-wheel drive vehicle until the early 80s.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 5:59:45 AM EDT
My mom and her husband own about twenty cars; Audi's, BMW's, Mercedes, and some American muscle cars for collectors purposes. Her husband swears by the German cars and never has gotten stuck in the snow- lived in Illinois before moving down South.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:04:12 AM EDT
When I get my 135, it's going into storage for the winter.

My truck is paid off, so I'm keeping it.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:11:45 AM EDT
With the right snow tires, even my old S2000 made a good daily driver in the winter time.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:14:47 AM EDT
People did it for years and are still doing it. It can be fun or it can be easy. It all depends on how much of an idiot you want to be.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:18:46 AM EDT
I have driven a couple of E30s (auto trans 325e '87, manual 318is '91) in the snow in Chicago, NW Pennsylvania, and SE PA. had no trouble... good tires, be smart and put a couple of hundred lbs of sand in the back of the car. That pretty much covers it. Slick conditions (sliding on ice/packed snow) never seemed to cause problems with GOING, only with SLOWING---you will slide in them (however 4wd, fwd, etc. do the same things under the same conditions).

Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:23:49 AM EDT
Co-worker of mine punted her G35 for its inability to handle anything that remotely resembled frozen, or semi-frozen, water.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:23:56 AM EDT
Snow tires are definitely the key to surviving the winter.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:27:28 AM EDT
I used to drive my RWD Pontiac firebird in the snow. Got stuck once going up a small incline in the apartment complex I lived in during a time when there was a sheet of ice down. Other than that, no problems. If you drive in the city, you'll be fine.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:29:00 AM EDT
My M3 was terrible in the snow but that probably has something to do with the performance summer tires on it. Now that I have the Charger, it does great when I put on the winter wheels and tires I bought for it. I have Pirelli Scorpion Snow and Ice tires on there and as long as I don't mash the throttle down I have no problems. If it is really slippery I shift it into 2nd gear and then I can usually take off even on ice.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:32:53 AM EDT
Lexus SC300 + Summer Z tires + Snow == Terrible experience.

Took my Honda CR-V out on the same roads, no problem at all.

As long as you get the right tires on it though, it shouldn't much of an issue.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:35:58 AM EDT
We have a 2001 BMW 750IL it does very well in the snow. It is the old style 750 with the 12 cylinder and it is a joy to drive basically anywhere except off road :)
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:36:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2007 6:37:10 AM EDT by metroplex]
As with any RWD car, get the right tires for the condition. You may get away with good all-season tires in light snow (3"-5" max) but in anything deeper that consists of hard packaged snow, you really want dedicated snow tires.

Traction Control generally consists of the ABS modulating the rear brakes to prevent excessive wheelspin. Without a limited slip differential, this only achieves bogging your car down in the slush. With a LS differential, the rear wheels are getting the torque they need to move the car and they are restricted from spinning out of control.

Dynamic stability control, or electronic stability program, or advanced stability control utilize the ABS system to lock up or slow down individual wheels when the computer senses excessive vehicle yaw and steering angle input indicating the car is fishtailing out of control. Excessive oversteer is corrected by locking/slowing down one of the front wheels, while excessive understeer is corrected by locking/slowing down one of the rear wheels.

Any of the BMW, Infiniti, Mercs, Lexuses, and foreign luxury cars would have most of these features.

Do not attempt to drive in snow with summer tires! Good all-seasons that run fine in snow will have lots of siping and be constructed of a softer compound to remain pliable in cold temperatures. A summer tire generally has large flat tread blocks and are made of a harder rubber designed for superior handling and traction on hot track surfaces. A good all-season will be a compromise but has the capability of bringing you home in light snow.


You can even take a Porsche 911 out in the snow/ice on Nordschleife assuming you have good snow tires.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:50:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Subnet:
Not those in particular, but the key is having great snow tires. With a set of Blizzacks, you can get a RWD car to go just about anywhere in the snow, clearance permitting. They don't wear worth a shit, but who cares? You're glued to the road.

+1 on snow tires, it turned my rwd buick to a tank. I don't even worry about driving in snow anymore. I just put them on last night for todays snow fall. I'm on my 4th year of winter driving with these tires and they are the best money I've spent.

Link Posted: 12/4/2007 7:18:07 AM EDT
Funny you should ask this today. I'm late this year switching my tires due to other projects I've been working on, but I have to drive from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh tomorrow and there will be 2-4" or so.

I have a 2003 BMW 330i with the Performance Pkg so I have the really large, low profile 18" wheels with 40 and 45 series tires (Michelin PS2's). Death trap. But I have 4 snow tires (Dunlop M2's) and it does great in the snow. It does have traction control and I've found it does very well with it on and just ok with it off.

I used to have a 95 M3 with no traction control. again, put 4 snow tires and drive it correctly and it was actually pretty good in the snow. but on regular summer tires you have to park it.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 7:33:12 AM EDT
Given enough clearance, my G35x and Volvo 960 with studded or studless snow tires do fine in the snow/ice. Especially, when you add 60-70 pounds of bagged sand in the trunk.
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