With skiing season now hitting its full-throttle rhythms, it’s time for you to take stock of the best cold-weather jackets to invest in, the finest winter eyewear to slip on, and the choice slopes to hit – and whether you’re in Whistler Blackcomb or Cortina d’Ampezzo, it also helps to make sure your skin is well nourished in the sub-zero climes.
With that all covered, we’ve now decided to take a look at some leftfield snow-focused vessels, ones that circumvent the traditional skis and snowboards. And to ensure you’re not left in the cold regarding these new innovations and creations, we’ve rounded up the latest in such gadgets and vehicles – from a lightweight electric snow bike to a tank-like SUV, a standup snowmobile, and a capsule cabin in the depths of Finland.
Made in collaboration with France’s Bosch Marignier, the MoonBike, one of the finest all-electric snow bikes on the market, has a futuristic-industrial aesthetic that makes it seem like it can scour the rocky landscape of Mars. It’s powered by a highly efficient propulsion system that is both silent (unlike ICE-powered counterparts) and emissions-free, with a top speed of 26mph and an ability to plow through snow that’s up to 12-inches thick. It’s also an extremely manageable, economic ride – it comprises fewer than 200 parts, there’s neither a chain or a belt, it’s 28-inches wide, and the total weight clocks in at under 88kg (three times lighter than conventional snowmobiles), with a battery that lasts 1.5 hours. Also, as it has a tolerance for temperates as low as -25°C, it’s ideal to use whether you’re in Shiga Kogen or Aspen Snowmass.
Delta4x4 Mercedes-AMG G63 Snow Track SUV
For over four decades, German brand delta4x4 has been specialising in offroad, SUV and pick-up modifications, kitting out the likes of the Ford Ranger Beast, the Mercedes X-Class, and the Volkswagen Amarok. The dynamic, high-powered tuning here, done alongside Capricorn Trucks, has bulked out the Mercedes-AMG G63 to make it suitable for snowy ground, with a custom-made roof rack, fender flares, LED light bars, skid plates, and tank-style Mattracks 88 Series tracks that have been substituted in for the portal axles. It is also said to be street legal, giving your morning commute a bolder, more action-fuelled edge.
Known for its accomplished range of products that turn dirt bikes into snow bikes, one of MotoTrax’s latest inventions, the 2023 Alpha 129, builds on previous models, increasing the rail length by an additional two inches and the track contact by four. The attack angle on the rail tip radius has been increased by a further eight degrees – making it more powerful when going through thick snow and more vertiginous grounds – and a new Öhlins TTX AM air shock facilitates phenomenal rail-dampening control. We’re big fans of the red-orange-yellow trim, and the aggressive, spikey silhouette gives off a sci-fi quality.
Billed as the world’s debut stand-up snowmobile, the key attraction about the WS250 is its fuss-free, straightforward UX: it is claimed that the average rider takes about 15 minutes to get into the grooves and nuisances of the vehicle; a 4-inch electronic display shows all necessary info (engine temperate, low battery, RMP, and clock) in a legible style; the thumb-operated throttle, which can be adjusted up to 30mm, streamlines the control process; and a non-slip traction mat guarantees that feet are always locked in place. A piece of kit whose sleek appearance is worthy of a Bond feature, its custom-designed track also ensures a smooth, controlled drive.
Northern Lights Bubble Sled
Though the rest of the entries on this list are all about being in control of your adrenaline-boosting vehicle, this final one focuses on the rest-and-relaxation aspect. The Northern Lights Bubble Sled, which is bookable via Off The Map Travel and is located in the wilderness of Kilpisjarvi, Finland, is a heated polycarbonate cabin that can be attached to the back of your snowmobile, with expansive windows that allow you to stare at the unobstructed vistas of the surrounds, which may include the Northern Lights, if you happen to be travelling at the right time.
After something bigger? These are the best electric SUVs to take on an Alpine roadtrip…
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