Ice Drifting Is Brilliant But Also Insane

Particularly if you happen to drive a 941 hp turbocharged E30.
By Daniel Smith
Cover photo: via Jan Haderka.

There are a lot of different kinds of people in this world. People who do perfectly sane and reasonable things, for example. But the sane and reasonable aren't alone, so there still need to be a few places set aside for less straitlaced folks to throw 30-year-old wagons around on a load of ice.

As it happens, there's already a place like that: Scandinavia. Iskörning (or ice driving) is a winter tradition for many of our Swedish cousins, and is similar to the rest of the world's drifting except for the fact it's generally happening on a frozen lake.

Getting dozens of cars onto a sheet of ice doesn't just happen

Meets take place across the country throughout winter, whenever the ice is good.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, getting dozens of cars onto a sheet of ice doesn't just happen; it takes careful preparation and a friendly glance from the weather gods. A recent meet in Strängnäs, a town outside Stockholm, was announced by organizer Nygren Motorsport only a few days before it happened, after the ice had been plowed and left to thicken. You appreciate safety precautions like that when you're driving on a lake, but it does make scheduling a little tough.

What makes a Nygren Motorsport event a must-attend is the fact that the eponymous Henrik Nygren's E30 is the very definition of car mods gone wild. After blowing up the engine it came with, Nygren eventually settled on an S50 from the E36 M3. Oh, but it's been tuned up to a staggering 941 hp at the wheels. You can see it — and its M livery — in all its glory in this video from Snooken Recordings.

That behemoth of a vehicle was joined by a host of BMWs, as you'd expect to see in drift scenes across the world. Perhaps a little less typical are the swathes of Volvos. It's not exactly surprising, of course; old Volvos are renowned for their durability, and this is Sweden we're talking about, so you're never going to have any problem picking one up on the cheap. The 740 in particular — in both sedan and wagon form — has a stellar reputation as an ice car, and you probably wouldn't mind losing bits of it in a snowdrift so it's perfect.

The whole thing is crazy but amazing. Still not quite as crazy and amazing as Japanese kei car drifting, though...

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