Autocar loves nothing more than a good rear-drive motor. But when the weather turns, there’s an unseemly dash for the keys of anything with front-wheel drive.

What looked like heavy snow earlier on Wednesday afternoon hadn’t materialized, but what had fallen was fast turning to ice.

In those conditions, rear-drive cars can become extremely tricky. The night before I drove home in Autocar’s long-term Mercedes E-Class.

A smattering of overnight snow was of no consequence, until I tried to leave a petrol station on the A3 at Roehampton hill.

Although the roads were clear, the pavement wasn’t. It was thick with slushy snow. Unfortunately, I had to sit square on the slush as I attempted to pull out into the fast-moving traffic.