Car enthusiasts all over the world love to gather together and share their hobby. Some do it at luxury car exhibits, like the Dubai Motor Show. Others enjoy more thrilling occasions, such as dirt rallies (or crazy stuff like lawnmower racing). But what if you want a mix between the two? Perhaps you can get one!

If you are not afraid of the cold and enjoy German auto engineering, we have something for you. It blends together great cars with some awesome action at the Mecaglisse Circuit near Montreal, Canada. To be more specific, luxury Porsche cars meet the slippery surfaces that North America has to offer. The weather might be “frightful”, but that is just how we need it for some snow drifting action!

What is the Porsche Ice Experience?

The world has seen plenty of events that auto manufacturers organize for their own vehicles. Exclusive car shows gather big crowds all over the world, but most of them have little to do with sports. Even if they do, they are much more of a “see what our cars do” than anything else. So, is Porsche Ice Experience (Porsche IE) one of those? I would not say so!

At first glance, you may think that Porsche just looks for yet another way to display their vehicles. Yes, putting them in winter drifting conditions may render the whole thing more interesting, but so what? Many other companies have figured that crazy events draw attention. What makes Porsche IE different?

For starters, this event is not your run-of-the-mill corporate stunt. It is not even a race, per se. Once you go there, you get to enjoy a whole slew of things, and you are not a simple attendee. Indeed, they let you in on the action!

One of the unique things at this event is that you are actually a part of it. You get to experience it, as its name suggests. That means they take you through an entire drifting course, teaching you operation specifics. This is a rather unique proposition, in my opinion. Oh, yes, I almost forgot – all this happens in luxury Porsche cars. You get to drift them… on ice!

Why makes Porsche Ice Experience unique

Like I have mentioned in my article on Formula DRIFT, certain drifting skills can be quite tough to build. Considering that driving, in general, can be a bit dangerous, you understand why drifting is not an easy skill to get. This is why I think that makes any controlled course in drifting quite valuable. Enter the Porsche Ice Experience!

Even if you set aside the awesome fact that you will be driving iconic Porsche models, the event is still great. Many people want to learn how to drift and this allows them to do it. On top of that, many of the skills you will get translate well into winter driving everywhere. Sure, you may not be drifting your way through the interstate, but handling slippery conditions is crucial.

The controlled environment at the Mecaglisse Circuit makes for a wonderful beginner’s course. However, the cool thing is that you can actually ascend the ladder, so to speak. If you enjoy the experience, you can graduate over three levels. By the end of it, you should be a somewhat proficient ice drifter.

That being said, you will have to spend a hefty sum for such a pleasure. You can only go through one level at a time, which means you will have to attend Porsche IE at least 3 times for all the levels. Still, it is well worth it, considering how comprehensive all courses are. But what about the cars?

What cars can you see there?

The whole topic about Porsche cars available at the Ice Experience is a bit tough. Firstly, they may change from year to year. Secondly, not all cars are available for driving anyway. That does not mean you cannot see some great models on the side, but the lineup you can drive is limited. On top of that, not all drift levels have access to all vehicles. Which may actually give you something to strive for!

The whole event features a lot of the Porsche models we all love. Of course, none of them are the actual classics, but you can still see some awesome cars. Here they are:

  • 911 Carrera S – The iconic Carrera is an awesome car to drive and drift in, so it should be enough fun for all beginners. With its acceleration time from 0 to 62 mph being 3.6s, you will surely get quite the kick out of it.
  • 911 Carrera 4S – This is pretty much the same model, with the exception of it being a 4-wheel drive. This is perhaps a good thing for snowy conditions. In any case, you have the option of choosing between this and the former model.
  • 911 Turbo – This model is a step up from the previous two and is reserved for the last level of the Ice Experience. With 540hp it cuts down the 0-62 time to a mere 3 seconds. Of course, these are just numbers, as you will hardly be reaching top speed or anything, but still…
  • 911 Turbo S – If the last model was not enough, they give you the option of picking its S version as well. It is marginally more powerful, though you will likely not see much difference between the two.

Obviously, regardless of the drifting level, you get to ride some great cars. Though I wait the day to see a full EV (like the Porsche Taycan) getting into snow drifting. Anyway, while the current cars differ in certain regards, most will be equivalent on the icy track. Additionally, your vehicle will be equipped with special studded snow tires at some point. But now let us see what exactly you get to experience there!

What you go through at the event

The Porsche Ice Experience gives you plenty of opportunities to meet fellow car enthusiasts. However, its main goal is not networking, but teaching you actual skills. As such the 3- and 4-day programs are quite packed.

The beginner’s Ice Intro course is carried over a span of 2 driving days. Expert Porsche instructors teach you some winter driving and drifting theory. You get briefed about the vehicles you will drive and then you jump in on the action. You will learn a bit about understeering and oversteering, braking, course handling, and more.

For returning attendees the course gets extended by an additional day. The intermediates are taught certain slalom techniques in addition to reviewing the theory. Plus, the course toughness is somewhat increased, as you would expect.

Obviously, the most interesting experience out of the bunch is that for advanced attendees. They get to enjoy mile-long handling courses in the fastest Porsche cars available. They also get additional winter driving tips and some unique experiences as a whole. Though I have talked a whole lot about the event, I figured I should also tell you a bit about winter drifting itself!

Why winter drifting is something special

I bet that many car enthusiasts have been tempted to try drifting at some point. Any car with a rear-wheel-drive kind of pushes you into that. Yet even if you have never tried drifting, you can imagine that ice would somehow make it all more challenging. Well, it goes further than that!

Naturally, snow makes getting into a drift easier. The problem comes when you try to control your drift. Most people have an instinctive reaction to overcorrect, which gets intensified in icy conditions.

All of the above happens even during regular drifting, but not to such a drastic extent. Actually, a lot of drivers face such situations if their car starts sliding during winter. The only difference is that most cars nowadays are either front-wheel or all-wheel drives. That means you will not experience such a spiral of control loss in a short period of time.

With all that said, proper teaching and enough training will get you quite proficient in navigating snowy conditions. You can train your body to respond better, instead of shooting your car completely out of control. This makes Porsche IE rather valuable, as the experience gets easily translated into real-life scenarios.

Would you go for the Porsche Ice Experience?

Even though it is a bit on the expensive side, I would definitely think about joining Porsche IE. Or perhaps I would just want to see more car events that place such an emphasis on attendees. It feels nice to know that people are trying to bring some value for car enthusiasts in general. Sure, we all enjoy cool motor shows, but the firsthand experience is something entirely different.

What do you think of this Porsche event? Would you want to take part in it, or is snow drifting not your cup of tea at all? Hey, if you know about a similar event, be sure to mention it. I will try to cover it, and expand my bucket list with one more unlikely entry!


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