To own a sports car is luxury. Moving a sports car in a way that is appropriate for the species is high art and real luxury. But where can you still do that today? On the German highways? Straight? Boring. On a racetrack? A good approach, but modern sports cars are such sophisticated marvels of technology that - blessed with average driving talent - it is difficult to get to the limit, but the faster it is beyond. This usually hurts not only monetarily, but also physically. We are looking for a reserve where you can let off steam and when you take off, only batter your own ego and not the expensive sheet metal. Porsche knows this problem and offers the solution: come to us in the Driving Experience. 911 turbo and turbo S on spikes are ready for you.
700 Nm drifting through the Finnish vastness
Spikes? At first glance, it sounds completely absurd to drive four-millimeter-long iron pins in 305 millimeter-wide winter tires and drive them onto a dynamic driving masterpiece like that turbo 911 to screw. But one sentence sticky UHP tire would be even more absurd in this place, where the acclaimed enclosure of the uninhibited but frozen gassing is: in the freezer of Europe. At the very top in Finland, above the Arctic Circle. Who wants to google it: Levi is the name of the place. Whoever travels here only wants one thing: to do winter sports. Many of them with skis, some with Porsche. But why of all things on snow and ice? Because 520 or 560 PS are much more predictable on smooth surfaces than on dry asphalt. A paradox? Not at all, even if you know from personal experience: ice, that means no traction and extremely long braking distances. Plus Porsche's thickest 911 with far too much power. No spikes will help either. Instead of an endorphin outbreak, this mixture is more of a fearful adrenaline rush.
But a day at Porsche Driving Experience begins rather cautiously and in the dark. The instructors briefly flood your brain with technical terms at the first meeting: Comb circle, Liability limit, cornering forces, yaw moment, wheel load distribution, understeering, oversteering. But before the head bursts, it gets light and that's the signal. Out of the training room, into the strength athletes warming up while idling. Because the days are up here briefly and daylight has to be used. To drift, to swing, to waltz in the snow with Scandinavian Flic as a freestyle.
On the first handling course, however, humans and machines still meet each other with caution. Because there is this awe-inspiring bubbling that rises from the rear of the Zuffenhausen sports car as soon as you look a little closer at the accelerator pedal. 700 Newton meters and the man approach the shift paddles only slowly, so that the senses are calibrated bit by bit. The feast for your popometer is picking up speed, but then the inevitable occurs: the departure into the snow wall. You need a cayenne that pulls you out of the snow wall. But that doesn't have to be embarrassing. Only those who cross the boundaries of physics know where exactly this line runs. You might just have listened to the instructor's announcements beforehand. Unfortunately you are still too busy with yourself and the runaway load to be able to really process the "gas, gas, gas" and "counter-steering, counter-steering" from the radio.
Yes, the power of the bi-turbo monster is great and requires constant concentration. Otherwise it snaps shut and then it has you, because the all-wheel system docked to the Flat Six is clever and calculates the optimal power distribution faster than you can accelerate or steer. You have to outsmart the power on the four wheels, even though it's actually your friend and pulls you out of the most absurd drift angles onto the groomed slope. But when you have finally understood how to trick the system and you manage to get the 11er out of the rest of the big circle area with a short gas surge in order to then stabilize it again by not countersteering, but the steering open again until all four wheels point in one direction and you pluck just before the limiter on the rocker switch until the dual clutch transmission has arrived in shaft four, then it happens: the speedometer needle trembles just before 200km / h and you move across all four 20 Zöller sliding your tracks like in slow motion with a huge white snow train. You may be half as fast as effective, but no matter, you scream with joy like a little child. And as such, you start to play by controlling your radius with your right foot, because you have learned something today: more gas creates more slip on ice and you can use it to drift emotionally into a circular path further out. A colossal experience and suddenly everything makes sense. You finally understand Walter Röhrl's statement that the most stable vehicle condition on ice is the unstable one. But then it croaks again from the walkie talkie: "How long are you going to do this for? Until the tank is empty? Better come in section 10, that's the best handling course we have here. ”
Oh yes and tears are running down your cheeks with happiness. The sweat is steaming on your forehead. The fan struggles against the fogged windows. It's bitterly cold outside, but the inside of the 991er is like a Finnish sauna. You fought, you rowed on the steering wheel, you tried to always look where you want to go and that look mostly went through the icy side window. But when the last sunbeam sinks into the Finnish forests, you feel a pleasant feeling of great satisfaction. And your instructor also nods in agreement.
Equipped with the grip-giving spikes Porsche 991 turbo and turbo S simply incredible animals and simply brilliant for this sports car reservation. But do you need one of these at least 165.149 euros 911 in your own garage? No, but the around 4.000 euros to venture onto the ice with Porsche simply have to be invested once in a lifetime, because this driving experience is simply priceless.
Text: Axel Griesinger, photos: Porsche