What does 'demons in the snow' mean in the following context?

The E30 generation 3-Series is a classic design that has yet to truly grow old. Many consider this generation of 3-Series to be the quintessential BMW. It is also a great car to learn how to drive in. Most are rear-wheel-drive and are equipped with a manual transmission, making them a true driving experience.

There are all-wheel-drive variants available as well that are just demons in the snow. The engines are very reliable and once again, like the Mercedes, fairly inexpensive to repair.


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    In this context it means ‘the car is very nimble, controllable, maneuverable, can be driven aggressively’ In the snow
    – Jim
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 23:38
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    While I agree with Jim's understanding of the passage, I wanted to make clear that "demon" does not imply nimbleness, or controllability, or maneuverability. Those desirable qualities are invoked by the phrase that follows "demon", i.e. "demon in the snow". For example, a politician could be said to be "a demon at the podium", and there the expression would mean that he was a very formidable opponent in a debate or a very formidable public speaker, a veritable "terror" with regard to those things in the political sphere at which he excelled.
    – TimR
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 0:07

1 Answer 1


To say that someone is a demon in some context means that he has an ability bordering on the supernatural. Horowitz was a demon on the piano. Lionel Messi is a demon with the football. Bobby Fischer was a demon at the chessboard. Paul Bocuse is a demon in the kitchen.

By extension, a BMW is a demon in the snow, which has the meaning that Jim describes. It seems like hyperbole to me in this case.

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