He pokes his head through the window, letting in a short blast of chilled air as he does so, before inspecting which buttons relating to Porsche’s Stability Management are switched on. Ahead lies a row of cones with the purpose to zigzag between them in a fluid motion. One caveat to all this… we’re on ice.
The Macan Turbo Performance Package is equipped with a litany of stability bells and whistles, the likes of which come in handy when 324kW has to make its way down to a terrain more suited to snowmobiles.
From the onset the Macan exhibits worthy attacking brio by delivering power across the axles while gingerly applying the brakes for precise cornering. And it works, but you’re not exactly sure by how much until later in the day when the instructor sticks his head in for a final time, switches them off and ushers you back out there.
The fastest Macan currently on sale can do 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds with a top speed over 250km/h. Its shape has never looked better than it does right now, dropped against clear white snow and waning light. A presence emboldened by 21-inch Turbo style wheels and lower ride height on self-levelling suspension. Inside the ambience is sportier with carbon fibre and alcantara guiding your eye through a cockpit not dissimilar to a 911’s.
But a vast snow covered playground elicits the hooligan inside us all and fun is a major component of Porsche’s Winter Driving Experience. Based out in Finland the course aims to coach you through various faculties of car control starting with fundamentals like effective braking and direction change before leading up to techniques used to hold a correct racing line.
Attempt two with fewer traction aids yields an untidy run of power slides that get further and further off course but there are fleeting moments when drifting that perfect arc can seem so natural. Effortless even. For a car marketed as an SUV the sort of balance it portrays is an outstanding achievement.
Disregard the fact that not too long after that I’m facing 180-degree to target because I haven’t heeded the lessons about using the brakes to shift the weight forwards.
A similarly enlightening story unfolds at the next acceleration and braking test. The Macan claws at the snow using computer-controlled millisecond adjustments, restraining that 600Nm for the right moment – if there ever is such a time. On the other side of the markers is the braking test where the bigger 390mm discs and red callipers stop the Porsche from nerfing a snow bank.
Next run with none of the electronic minders activated results in the artic version of a burnout, which is to say sans the smell of rubber or decimation of tyres.
Serene and surreal all at the same time, snow is the great leveller. Driving techniques are established around patience, rather than trying to clumsily bludgeon the elements with obscene amounts of power. Of course the Porsche could do this too but this is real scalpel stuff.
As the sun slips back over the horizon barely four hours after it rose that same morning I have gained a new respect for the calibre of engineering in the Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Package, or any Macan for that matter. To use an old movie quip, lightning can run on ice, and I reckon that’s just about the most extreme of all places for any car.
The Porsche Winter Driving Experience can be booked by anybody wishing to immeasurably deepen their driving skillset.