The Volkswagen Virtus is one of the best mid-size sedans in the Indian market. This car is renowned for its powerful engine, ample torque, and appealing exterior design. While it outperforms many sedans in its segment, off-roading is not its forte. Despite this, some vloggers from the country attempted to drive the Virtus sedan in the treacherous mountains of Leh, Ladakh. In a recent video uploaded by Daksh Ahlawat, two Volkswagen Virtus cars can be seen struggling to navigate through the snowy and muddy conditions of the snow-covered mountains of Leh.
The video showcases the two-wheel drive sedans struggling to make their way through heavy snowfall on a risky and treacherous mountain pass. It begins with the owner of one of the Virtus cars showing the vehicles being fueled up at a fuel station. He then mentions that they proceed towards the mountain pass.
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The video then presents clips of their convoy traversing various mountains and off-road terrains during the night, eventually reaching different villages. The vlogger proceeds to narrate the most perilous part of their journey. He explains that their two four-wheel drive SUVs provided them with substantial support throughout the trip and assisted in recovering the two-wheel drive cars.
The presenter states that at one point during their journey, they reached a checkpost where they registered their car details before continuing. However, the road conditions deteriorated along the same route, with the snowfall intensifying with each passing moment. He mentions that it became increasingly challenging to drive their cars as they frequently slipped on the muddy and icy roads, encountering multiple instances of getting stuck.
The vlogger recounts a heart-wrenching moment when he and his friend feared for their lives, realizing that driving their sedans on these roads was a grave mistake. He explains that the conditions became so severe that they had to abandon their cars on the road and descend the mountain pass in one of the Fortuners from their convoy. The YouTuber concludes the video by stating that whether their cars made it down or not would be revealed in the next video.
Why should you not drive two-wheel drive cars in snowy mountains?
There are several reasons why it is generally not recommended to take two-wheel drive cars into mountain passes and snowy areas. Here are some of the main reasons:
Traction and Stability
Two-wheel drive cars, whether front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, only deliver power to two wheels. This configuration can result in reduced traction and stability, especially in slippery and uneven road conditions such as snow and ice. Mountain passes often have steep inclines, sharp turns, and unpredictable weather, which further challenges the traction and stability of two-wheel drive vehicles.
In snowy and mountainous terrain, having optimal control over the vehicle is crucial. All-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicles distribute power to all four wheels, providing better control and handling in challenging conditions. Two-wheel drive cars may struggle to maintain control on slippery surfaces, making it more difficult to navigate mountain passes safely.
Climbing and Descending
Mountain passes often involve steep ascents and descents, requiring sufficient power and control. Two-wheel drive cars may face difficulties climbing steep slopes, especially in icy or snowy conditions, as power delivery to only two wheels can result in wheel slippage. Descending can also be challenging, as the limited traction and braking capabilities of two-wheel drive cars may reduce control and increase the risk of accidents.
Taking a two-wheel drive car into mountain passes and snowy areas can pose significant safety risks for both the driver and other road users. Reduced traction and control increase the chances of accidents, especially in challenging road conditions. Getting stuck or stranded due to lack of traction can also lead to dangerous situations, particularly in remote and isolated areas.
Dedicated Winter Equipment
Mountain passes and snowy regions often require specific equipment for vehicles, such as snow chains or dedicated winter tires. These requirements are typically in place to enhance safety and maintain adequate traction. Two-wheel drive cars may not meet these requirements, further compromising their safety and suitability for such environments.
While experienced drivers with appropriate knowledge and skills may navigate mountain passes and snowy areas in two-wheel drive cars, it is generally advised to use vehicles equipped with all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive systems. These vehicles offer improved traction, control, and safety, making them better suited for challenging terrains and adverse weather conditions.
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