Mercedes-Benz Builds Ice Garage For Its Manitoba Frozen Lake Track
The GP Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria, may be over, but if you hurry you can still fulfill your needs for driving sideways in the cold with Mercedes-Benz’s AMG Driving Academy in Gimli, Manitoba. And this year they are bringing an ‘ice dealership’ for good measure.
In the deep cold of January and February in Manitoba, Canada, Mercedes has been using the 5ft-thick ice surface of Lake Winnipeg, just off the banks of the little town of Gimli, as an ice track for its AMG Driving Academy. The training program is meant to showcase its winter driving capabilities of some of its more lunatic models, such as the all-wheel-drive E 63 S 4MATIC+ sedans and wagons with 603hp, and the rear-drive C 63 S with 503hp. As you can imagine, rear-end frivolity ensues.
There are a few tracks carved out of the snow, replicating some of the more famous corners of race tracks around North America, the most notable of which are Laguna Seca (please be the Corkscrew, please be the Corkscrew!), the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park aka Mosport, and Mont-Tremblant.
The program has been operating for several years for clients and media alike, but this year, Mercedes has now commissioned a garage built on the frozen lake made entirely of ice blocks. The ‘ice dealership’, which is big enough for 100 people, was developed for television commercials and social media, and even hosted an evening concert with The Arkells. Luckily, it was a balmy 10° F for the event.
The garage will stay until it melts and falls into Lake Winnipeg in the spring, and there’s no word on whether Mercedes will build another, but it does have plans to continue the AMG Driving Academy. Only a few more sessions are available for this year’s course, and could be yours for a cool $6,000.
See, cool, ‘cause…’cause it’s ice…
*Images courtesy of Mercedes-AMG