around the world – part 42.3 (the two ton sled)

The two ton sled


Cars are getting too damn smart for their own good; unfortunately Junior is going in the opposite direction.  Thinking I might save a few shekels – because the car rental agencies gouge on everything – I declined snow tires at the hire car station at Munich airport.   

Being an experienced Canuck, I surveyed the piddling amount of snow in the fields nearby, noted the otherwise dry roads and calculated the odds of encountering more snow during this trip – which given past trends should have been low to non-existent.  As it turns out, rather the opposite has occurred, snowing about two inches every night since arriving last week.  Ordinarily this wouldn’t be a cause for concern, except for the following: 

  • The rental variant of this vehicle is not all wheel drive;
  • It does have a very clever traction control computer that denies power to any wheel which might encounter ice, thus for instance making it a little challenging to get moving from a stop.  Yes, one can turn off the traction control, but then you are faced with the option of spinning the tires.  Oh, and did I mention it is an automatic?  Don’t ask, I drive stick, but it was all they had left;
  • While the autobahn benefits from the snow clearing attentions of the highway authorities, local roads not so much;

So lets review: a slightly tired traveller thinking to save money declines snow tires on a  powerful saloon car without all wheel drive = 2 ton sled.

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