Volkswagen Golf on ice

If you shut your eyes, all you will hear is a collective gasp accompanied by the staccato clacking of the shutters of about a hundred cameras. Then there is a loud thud followed by the sound of a turbo engine gradually fading into the distance. I am at Colin’s Crest, a small patch deep in the forests of Karlstad, Sweden, as part of the Swedish leg of the annual World Rally Championship.

And if you provide visuals to that chain of sound, you will see VW’s Polo Rally car momentarily in the air as it flies over Colin’s Crest. It’s in the air for not even a second, but it always gets some gasps out of the crowd. Then a lot of flashes light up as 1.2 tonnes of car lands on the white, snow-covered forest floor, and the Polo tears its way through the woods and disappears out of sight. This chain of events takes barely a minute.