Stone-cold supercar: McLaren's ice driving program promises thrills and chills

Stephen Edelstein
Stone-cold supercar: McLaren's ice driving program promises thrills and chills
McLaren is the latest automaker to offer an ice driving experience. This January, participants will able to fling a 570S around a frozen Finnish test track north of the Arctic Circle.

It’s now fashionable among makers of exotic luxury cars and supercars to give customers opportunities to smash them into snow banks. Several automakers offer ice driving experiences, and now McLaren is jumping on the bandwagon.

The Pure McLaren Arctic Experience the British automaker’s first ice-driving foray will take place in January 2017. It will be held in Ivalo, Finland, about 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The location also happens to be the site of a large winter testing facility, giving participants a feel for McLaren’s testing regimen.

The program takes place at the Test World complex, and includes everything from driving on snow-covered roads to a full ice track. McLaren says drivers will be able to learn both performance driving techniques like the “Scandinavian flick” used by rally drivers to fling their cars around corners to more basic aspects of car control in winter weather. Participants will get to do all of that behind the wheel of one of McLaren’s mid-engined supercars.

Read more: 2016 Aston Martin On Ice review

McLaren will use its 570S coupe for the ice driving program. While technically the “baby” of the McLaren lineup, its 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 produces 562 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. That should make for a pretty lively driving experience on pavement, let alone on snow and ice.

Participants won’t be staying at a Days Inn, either. Accommodations all be provided by Jávri Lodge, the former home of Urho Kekkonen, Finland’s longest-serving president. As if the driving wasn’t stimulating enough, McLaren will provide opportunities for more traditional vacation activities, like dogsledding, snowmobiling, and viewing the Northern Lights.

This winter adventure doesn’t come cheap, though. Prices start at 12,500 pounds (about $15,000) per person. The program runs January 15 to February 3, and McLaren will take groups of up to 14 people at a time for three-night stays. The event is open to both drivers and non-drivers, and is not exclusive to McLaren owners, the company says.