There’s a very good reason windscreens don’t have a wind-down option, and that’s because they’re there to stop things colliding, often at some considerable velocity, with your face. 

All of which is truly irrelevant when you’re part-way through an awkward sideways slide, and the driver’s side window has become your portal to the world outside. And side windows can be accidentally left down, inviting a harsh shower of snow and glass-shard ice into the car, and into your face.

The windows are just another thing to think about in the endless and ever-growing list of things to think about when you’re learning to drift on snow and ice. And it’s the one most easily forgotten. But only once.

Drifting, like dancing, is one of those things that can look stunningly graceful and weirdly beautiful when you’re good at it, and like you’re caught in an angry, swirling whirlwind of unpredictability when you're not. 

As it turns out, I'm firmly entrenched in the latter category.

the A45 is a lot of money, but it's undeniably a lot of car, too. the A45 is a lot of money, but it's undeniably a lot of car, too.

And yet Mercedes has handed us the keys to its blistering A45 AMG, and set us loose on the Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds outside Queenstown, promising that we would get better. 

Or, at the very least, not die.