Taking a $200,000, 2023 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS through a snow storm? Hell yeah. Granted it was the most intense snow storm we had seen in the Toronto area in at least a decade. But seeing how well the car handled, those Porsche owners who park their cars in their heated garages for the winter months should think again.
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If you drop $200k on a car you want to drive it year round. Our adventure started around 6 p.m. on Friday evening in March, when we saw the storm clouds coming in, on our way to a west end downtown Toronto restaurant. The forecast was for snow that night. Flights were being cancelled – hours before the storm even hit. You could feel it in the air – like the sense you get during a late afternoon on a humid June day, when you know a major rain storm is coming. It’s going to be short and intense. That’s how this one felt.
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS: 473 horsepower
A few hours later, it hits. Our friends are looking at us in conversation one minute, across the table, then their focus turns to something outside the restaurant windows, looking out onto the patio area. A flash of light they say, like a transponder just exploded. But it wasn’t that. It couldn’t be a lightning flash, we all agreed, not in March during a snow event. But that’s exactly what it was – a rare winter phenomenon called a thundersnow.
Wet, clumpy snow was now coming down liberally, accumulating fast. Fortunately the Porsche 911 was parked underground, beneath a grocery store. The debate was whether to take a quick, ten-minute trip home to the underground parking spot at our Toronto condo or really see what the Porsche had up its sleeve. It was just too fun an opportunity to pass up. So that’s where we went, meandering through Toronto’s downtown core.
Porsche 911 Carrera in the snow: All-wheel drive for that extra grip
So back to our original question – is the Porsche a snow car? Of course not. But does that also mean you should shelve it for the winter? We’re here to say no to that as well. Of course, in dry conditions, on a spring-like day, it performs like the the splendid piece of auto engineering that is. It’s a Porsche, after all.
The GTS comes in at 473 horsepower, off a 3.0 L twin-turbo flat six engine in the rear part of the car, and a rapid fire eight speed automatic transmission, which we fully tested on a private straightaway during one of the other days we had it. Extraordinary corner grip, sharp steering. It’s a luxury sports coupe, but it’s also a real race car.
What about the interior?
And the Porsche 911 is very comfortable to drive. Easy navigation on the 10.9-inch touch screen, seats spacious and supportive, even for drivers north of six feet. Our black leather interior came with in Carmine Red detailing, Adaptive Sports Seats Plus (18-way) with Memory package. Plenty of knobs and buttons on the steering to work a bevy of features with convenience.
The BOSE Surround Sound System nicely snuffed out any outside noise. The central tach still uses a needle to mark engine revs, further augmenting the true sports car-driving experience. The only complaint I had was my thermos holding my hot coffee wouldn’t fit in the holder just off my right elbow. But that’s nitpicking in the grand scheme of things.
Our test model was a Carmine Red two-seater, perfect for my wife and I as we planned hypothetical long drives to places like Miami and New York, how the packing would work. You have the storage pouch under the front hood, and space where the back seats would normally be, plenty of room for two people if you don’t have hard case luggage and pack strategically. But what an adventure that would be.
So why should you be unafraid to drive it in the snow? Because of its low driving position, and all-wheel drive the car came equipped with. The engine being situated in the rear helps with the grip since it’s a RWD-biased car. The 50-50 weight distribution of the Porsche 911 is another reason. There’s the advanced engine management system which places all possible grip down to the ground. And oh yes, we had the snow tires on it as well.
In the end, the car was a missile on dry ground, and a blast to drive during that March snow storm, food for thought if you live in northern regions. Enjoy.
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