by Chris Adamson
For those seeking the ultimate automotive experience in a winter wonderland landscape this Christmas, why not sign someone up for the Porsche Sport Driving School at one of its dedicated ice driving centres inside the Arctic Circle in Finland.
Courses (visit the Porsche shop) are run in small groups, allowing one-to-one tuition from Porsche Driving Consultants. The four day long Camp4 (£4,190) is the perfect introduction to learning expert driving techniques and guests have time for adventure and relaxation in the form of guided snowmobile tours and authentic Arctic chalet accommodation.
If driving a Porsche closer to home is more someone’s idea of having a good time then check-out the series of bespoke driving experiences at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone. The Porsche Driving Experience (£275) offers 90 minutes of driving in the participant’s choice of Porsche with a Porsche Driving Consultant.
It is the perfect introduction to learning expert driving techniques
For existing Porsche drivers YouDrive@Porsche (£165) is a fun, action-packed half-day programme which offers the opportunity for owners to bring their own car and sample the very best that the facility has to offer.
One of the key features is an hour’s tuition on the centre’s low friction surface that simulates driving on sheet ice. The programme also includes 30 minutes driving a 911 Carrera around the specially designed handling circuit.
If you want to mix modern precision engineering with a dash of nostalgia how about one of the driving experiences available at Mercedes-Benz World located at Brooklands in Surrey, the spiritual home of British motor racing.
Here there are specially designed tracks, a state-of-the-art 360 degree skid pan and extensive challenging off-road terrain to put cars and drivers to the test.
And for the Formula One racing enthusiast there is the ultimate ride – in the official Grand Prix safety car the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with its iconic ‘gullwing' doors and impressive V8 powered performance. One hour costs £295 or half a day £1,090.
Alternatively try the AMG Driving Experience using a range of V8 powered cars producing upwards of 457hp. One hour costs £150 or half a day £399, or challenge the adventurer in your family to drive on the wild side and experience what 4x4 off-roading is like in a Mercedes-Benz's 4MATIC vehicle – one hour costs £100. Find out more at www.mercedes-benzworld.co.uk
The Motoring Classics line up has something for all tastes and pockets
Those wondering what to buy their classic car loving family and friends for Christmas need to check out the online range of British items offered by Motoring Classics, the retail arm of British Motor Heritage (BMH).
From gloves to replacement bodyshells, flying jackets to car covers, model cars to steering wheels and battery chargers to luxury leather luggage, the Motoring Classics line up has something for all tastes and pockets.
And, for those preferring the recipients to have the final choice, there are gift vouchers from £10 to £200. Visit www.motoringclassics.co.uk to see the full selection of gift items.
Everyone can enjoy classic motoring icons all year round with the Classic Adventure calendar for 2012. Costing £9.99, the calendar features twelve glorious classic cars along with twelve equally seductive classic ladies.
Each month features a different classic adventure from the enduring MGA to a romantic picnic in a 1935 Singer Le Mans, a day’s motor racing in a 1972 Renault Alpine R8, cruising the promenade in a 1960 Triumph TR3a and even enjoying a secret rendezvous in the shadows of a 1968 Tatra 603.
The Classic Adventure 2012 calendar along with limited edition posters and bespoke canvases can be purchased from www.classic-adventure.com.
Every car manufacturer makes sure there are plenty of festive offerings in their showrooms
Every car manufacturer makes sure there are plenty of festive offerings in their showrooms at this time of year, all branded to their individual marque so the recipient won’t be able to forget which car they drive.
For example, for any BMW owner a few clicks on www.bmw-shop.com should suffice to find something suitable for him or her in the BMW Lifestyle Collection.
For her there is a new BMW writing set, which consists of a ball-point pen and a classic fountain pen. Both writing utensils have a black glossy finish and components made of high-quality rhodium. Both the end piece and the cap feature a BMW engraving.
And for him try the sporty stainless-steel Swiss Ronda movement M watch where the tips of the hands and hour markers are luminous white, and below them a stopwatch function, date indicator, and a small seconds dial.
Why not combine a Christmas present with a good cause in the shape of the Red Mudder Foulard
Across the showroom in the MINI Online Shop at www.mini.co.uk/shop there is something to get men’s hearts ticking – a chunky analogue timepiece with grey/black Union Jack face and multi-link strap.
Alternatively, why not combine a Christmas present with a good cause in the shape of the Red Mudder Foulard by MINI head scarf for the ladies which is based on the Canadian duo’s design for the Life Ball MINI 2011.
An extensive range of clothing, accessories, jewellery and model cars is available at Porsche. New to the collection this Christmas are iPad and iPhone cases, priced at £100 and £50 respectively. Made from original vehicle interior leather and decorated simply with a Porsche crest, the cases are fully lined with a padded protective external cover.
If you are looking for simple stocking filler then motoring stores everywhere have a wide range of products on offer from key rings and fluffy dice to wheel clamps and car covers.
The most comprehensive kit produced by Autoglym is the £74.99 Concours Collection
The new additions to the range start with the Bodycare Collection (£12.99) and Luxury Bodycare Protection (£19.99) kits - perfect for regularly washing, polishing and protecting paintwork - while the new Bodywork and Wheel Care Collection (£24.99) also includes products to clean and protect wheels and tyres.
The new Winter Collection (£15.99) contains Autoglym's De-Icer, All Season Quick Clear Screenwash, a Hi-Tech Interior Microfibre Cloth and a premium windscreen ice scraper - ideal for combating the effects of extreme winter weather.
The most comprehensive kit produced by Autoglym is the £74.99 Concours Collection which features 14 items for motorists to achieve the ultimate finish on all areas of their car.
For those who like to try their hand at DIY there is a new book called 'Caring for your Car: How to maintain and service your car' (£9.99) written by Trevor Fry and published by Veloce Publishing in association with the RAC.
It contains everything an owner needs to know about servicing a car yourself in a simple easy to understand illustrated guide that will help avoid large servicing bills and maintenance-related breakdowns. www.veloce.co.uk
For fans of Top Gear there is a guaranteed way not to get lost in 2012
Finally, for fans of Top Gear there is a guaranteed way not to get lost in 2012 - the limited-edition TomTom Top Gear satellite navigation that brings fans of the show a combination of a Stig mode (silent!), Jeremy Clarkson's directions and unique Top Gear points of interest, including race track and raceway locations. Priced at £179.99 it ca be found in Halfords stores or via www.tomtom.com