“Simply so much fun”


Dashing through the snow: The force of the drive system is distributed over all four tires, and the Country Tourer hurtles into the glorious white snow.


Imagine a brand-new Insignia OPC, a 40-year-old veteran Ascona, and a Kadett B Rallye dashing through the gently hilly terrain of Salzburg decked with heavy snow. It sounds like an Alpine winter sports dream – which is exactly how it looked at the driving training center run by the Austrian Automobile, Motorcycle, and Touring Club in Saalfelden, Austria, recently.

What actually took place during this encounter between state-of-the-art cars and pure nostalgia surrounded by glorious, white snow? We asked one of the people who was there, Opel brand ambassador Joachim Winkelhock.


Video: The event is definitely a pleasure for all generations of Opel cars, whether they have rear-wheel or front-wheel drive.



Going head on head against the Opel predecessor! The Kadett Rallye isn’t to be bested so easily by the new Astra.

“To be completely honest, I think it’s simply so much fun to roam around the snowy tracks in the Opel classics.”

– Joachim Winkelhock –

Mr. Winkelhock, you are no stranger to organizing Opel winter training events for German and foreign journalists. It seems, Opel put together a particularly unusual fleet of vehicles for this event.

We wanted to give the journalists an unforgettable experience – one where they could find out just how well the Insignia OPC handles snow and ice: accelerating, braking, cornering. All of this without the help of any ESC (Electronic Stability Control) technology, traction control, or a four-wheel drive! It is a unique experience, to actually feel this difference. I feel so inspired every time I drive the OPC. So many times I have driven it on such icy roads…


It’s all comes down your (steering) technique: Joachim Winkelhock demonstrates how to steer a rear-wheel drive through snow and ice.


Beautiful lineup: A Kadett B Rallye, an Insignia OC, and an Ascona B 400 lined up in front of a grand Alpine vista.


It shows: The winter training event with Opel brand ambassador Joachim Winkelhock (left) is fun!



What is there to learn from trying out the newest Insignia side-by-side with Opel classics from the past century?

It is very interesting to see how today’s Opel models behave in winter conditions compared to Opel models from back then. The Kadett B and Ascona are rear-wheel drives – you need a certain technique to get these vehicles back under control when the tail-end breaks traction on a curve, for example. To be completely honest, I think it’s simply so much fun to roam around the snowy tracks in the Opel classics. Our main objective was to provide an emotional, nostalgic Opel experience.


How would your own press release about the event sound?

When I am on the road with my old Kadett Rallye, I am overcome by so many emotions and memories. It would be impossible to recount them all in one sitting. These are the cars I learned how to drive in – they’re the reason I’m where I am today! If I were to go on, the news article would probably end up turning into a novel!

Opel’s history in white splendor: In 1982, the Ascona 400 was the last ever car with a rear-wheel drive to win a World Rally Championship.

Last update March 2016

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Text: Eric Scherer, Photos: Opel