This sort of publicity stunt is a near guaranteed crowd pleaser. Since Audi sent a 100 up a ski jump in 1986, it’s been repeated several times, including by Audi themselves. While classic Audis worked wonderfully on snow, the original Quattro systems were decidedly old school. The driver-controlled locking diffs at the center and rear made for a very capable car in really nasty conditions. Modern computer controlled systems, such as those used in 991 Carrera 4s and Turbos, are substantially more advanced. The latest Porsche Traction Management system gives all-wheel drive 911s serious all-weather capability, to the point of sending the car up a ski slope in the Scottish highlands.
No Stranger to the Slopes
This particular journey began at Holme in Lincolnshire. At 10 feet below sea level, Holme is the lowest point in the UK. The trip took the Turbo S 400 miles across the UK to the Glenshee Ski Center, one of the highest points in the UK at 2,640 feet above sea level. Though somewhat smaller than Vermont’s Sugarbush, where Porsche previously hosted Flatsixes at their Winter Driving Experience, this is still a pretty serious mountain to conquer in a car.
The 991.2 Turbo S used was standard, save for a set of Porsche-approved winter tires fitted when the car arrived at Glenshee. As important as winter tires are to winter driving, the Porsche Traction Management system was key to the success of this endeavor. These systems have been evolving since the Porsche 959 debuted more than 30 years ago, and have featured in every new 911 since the 964 Carrera 4 of 1989. Variants of the PTM system appear in the Cayenne, Macan and Cayenne as well.
The PTM system in the 991.2 uses a multi-plate all-wheel drive clutch system to transfer torque to the front or rear wheels as required by the available traction. This system can divert the optimum share of engine power from the rear to front axle within 100 milliseconds. The dynamic system could effectively look ahead to maintain optimum behavior for traction and grip. When coupled with Porsche Stability Management(PSM), which reads accelerator and steering wheel inputs, this makes a Porsche which is capable and nimble in all conditions.
Performance in all conditions
Sam Smith called the 991.2 Turbo S a “Porky fat robot mother genius” for substantially outperforming the expecation set by its 3,600lb girth. It’s good to see that this robot mother genius is in fact a polymath, capable of annihilating tracks, continents and ski slopes in equal measure. It is staggering to think that a supercar capable of a 2.9 second 0-60 sprint and 205 mile per hour top speed is this capable outside of its normal performance envelope.