Finland has turned out more than its fair share of racing drivers over the years and when you look around its frozen landscapes, you can see why.
Even just a pop down the shops would require expert car control or at least it used to.
Modern cars are getting more and more sophisticated, and they're making driving in difficult conditions easier and easier.
So does that mean we're going to see less and less Finnish race drivers in the future?
Perhaps, either way, though, it was enough of a question to get me on plane to the edge of the Arctic circle in Lapland.
Now, we haven't come all the way to Finland just to enjoy the epic scenery, pay Santa Claus a visit, and test the efficacy of heated seats.
No, we've come here with Skoda to do a handling circuit, some drifting, and some off-road driving in the snow with the Karoq, the Kodiaq, and the Octavia.
It's gonna be some fun.
Perhaps if there's still enough possibility to turn off modern driving aids, we can still use this epic landscape to hone our performance driving skills after all, proving that the future of Finnish racing drivers is, in fact, safe.
Now I'm gonna try and turn off My traction control system.
So, traction control deactivated and there is ESE sports, directional stability restricted, not turned off.
So, I can't turn stability control 100% off.
So, even out here [UNKNOWN] in the ice, I can get rotation I can still feel the system's kicking in.
They keep still kicking me, which in this case is good because I'm no finished rally driver.
I would probably put it in the snow bank here without some driver aids.
So it means that even someone like me can go in, lift off, get in the Rotating, have fun.
But those safety systems even at their most switched off are still going to be present.
[LAUGHTER] It doesn't make it any less fun though.
[LAUGHTER] What does this mean for the future of Finnish rally drivers?
If in twenty years time, you can't picky up a car that doesn't have, whoa!
Into the bank a little bit there.
If in 20 years a Finnish driver can't pick up a car that doesn't have the ability to turn everything off, are we still gonna see the volume of talented drivers out of this country?
Undoubtedly they're still gonna be producing better drivers then anywhere else, but are they going to be as good as they used to be when cars are doing so much of the work for us?
it's still refreshing that in this day that you can still turn off most of your dry breaks, which of course, in some circumstances is absolutely necessary.
When you get into a slide on the ice sometimes more power is the answer, so having it taken away from you isn't always going to be the help it should be.
And even in this automatic gear box, I am able to have some real fun out here There's something about the long wheel base of a wagon that's just so much fun to throw around.
Here we go, turn in, lift.
Let the rotation come, power out.
There, I was doing it wrong.
And because the car knew I was doing it wrong, it restricted all of the power.
So I'm able to keep going.
Did I learn as much from it as I could have done?
If I ditched it there and had to be towed out, that would have been an embarrassment.
That would have taught me all kinds of things.
Whereas now I just keep going in blissful ignorance of what my actual mistake was.
This is the kind of thing that makes you want to up stakes and move to Scandinavia.
Man, if you live in a place where you can do this regularly I am so jealous.
We should ship everyone who needs to learn to drive out to a place like this to learn some real driving skills.
Even in a modern car like this with everything on its restricted mode but still nannying a little bit, you still learn a bit about momentum, about bringing the car around.
Had to drive by the seat of your pants actually feeling what you're meant to do, and it removes fear.
If you've never felt a car oversteer before, it's terrifying.
Once you've done it a few times and you start to control it, you start to yearn for it.
Just looking out at the terrain here, it makes you realize that in an era where cars were far less sophisticated, with far less driver aids, that Finnish drivers must have just all been innate rally drivers.
It's almost a miracle that every single person in Finland wasn't a rally driver.
Yeah, you still feel that crunchiness, that biting of the traction control systems.
The electronic stability control trying to just make sense of what I'm trying to get the car to do.
You know, holding the world's longest drift isn't necessarily programmed into these stability control systems as an option for something the driver might want to be doing.
But that's not to say that I might not be trying to do just that.
After way too much fun than is healthy for me on the handling circuit, it was time to push the car to excel in one of the most difficult motor sports on ice, the humble drag race.
No real day of driving is completely complete without some drag racing, and today we're drag racing four by four versus four by two.
And I'm in the four by four.
And I'm feeling confident.
You can immediately see how all wheel drive absolutely dominates on the snow, which is why I chose that car.
You put yur foot down and you can actuall feel the pause the computer's thinking about what they need to do, how much torque they need to gives the wheels, and that torque actually arriving.
There's no wheel-spin, there's no big drama, just that quick pause while it figures out what to do.
Enough fun and games, though.
Time to see how the Skoda Kodiaq and all of its bells and whistles could help me traverse some challenging, snowy, off-road terrain.
Now there used to be a time where Simply having a 4x4 without any fancy driver, it's sold the answer to traversing really difficult terrain.
That's how we were sold things like the series Land Rover, just four wheel drive will get you where you need to go.
Nowadays it seems four wheel drive is just or normal driving.
You need all these Other kinds of knickknacks and doodads and fancy settings to help you get where you want to go.
And the truth of the matter is, you can get anywhere with traction control switched off and nothing but all four wheels spinning and maybe a lockable differential, you can get anywhere you need to go.
But, with all these fancy driver aids, Anyone can get to where they need to go.
So even someone like me, admittedly not the world's best driver in any circumstance, but someone who actually does really enjoy getting a car muddy or, in this case, caked in snow, can find a bit of track and just go for it.
My word, if having these driver aids Allows me to go to places like this.
They are worth their weight in gold.
This is not the kind of place you'd want to end up stranded without a capable car, put it that way.
I don't think I would last five seconds.
When you fly over this terrain it seems hard to imagine how anyone could live here.
How it's hospitable in the slightest way.
Then you realize that with cars like this, anywhere can be hospitable.
Anywhere can be accessible, anywhere can be home.
Okay, so, no.
The prevelance of these amazing all-wheel drive systems and drive [UNKNOWN] probably isn't going to halt the flow of amazing drivers from this stunning country.
Hopefully, for the foreseeable future, that will never stop.
But, what I can confirm from today That driving out on the snow and ice is incredibly fun.
And although it might not necessarily be my nationality's forte, anyone can come up here and have a good time.