*Originally Published 6/2008
Here I sit aboard an American Airlines flight to Chicago in a middle seat between my Fiancé and a total stranger wearing a White Sox hat. I have a Cubs hat on; I knew this would be ugly from the moment we sat down. At the moment, though, all I can think about is how different the automotive demographic is in Denver versus Chicago.
I grew up in the windy city. Seeing a rear-wheel-drive 3-series or M3 cruising down the road was commonplace. You see, we knew how to drive in the snow the ‘right’ way. Mind you, this was purely admitting that sliding into the curb in your parking lot was your fault, not Mother Nature’s. Yet in Colorado, it seems as though X-drive constitutes an appearance in no less than eighty percent of our vehicles. I see so many X5s and X3s; so few rear-drive performance vehicles.
Is it that we fail to even bring these exotics to light when shopping for a car? I think not. We have the mountains, after all. I could not even imagine traversing Vail Pass in mid-December in an M3. Or could I? Studded snow tires and DSC are powerful tools in the fight against the cold and slick. Just ask some of our customers who live above 8,000 feet. They do it nearly every day.
Nonetheless, I have driven both and can attest to both the strengths and weaknesses of each system. Regardless of whether I’m skidding around a corner on Lake Shore Drive or struggling up Eastbound Vail Pass, I’d be caught driving nothing but a BMW. The ingenuity behind their drive train engineering, regardless of which wheels are under power, is astounding. Besides, if the Cubs win the World Series, our entire landscape will be frozen over anyway.