It was a snowy, slippery January day, and I had to make a trip to the grocery store. Here’s a photo of the two test cars I have right now; guess which one I took.
Here’s a hint: it wasn’t the red one.
That big Explorer’s all-wheel drive makes it a champ for charging through wintry weather, but the Porsche’s advantages here are the same ones that make it a better car on a racetrack. It’s light (it weighs less than two-thirds what the Explorer does) and handles brilliantly, and so can stop and change direction more easily no matter what the road conditions are.
It’s a common misconception that all-wheel drive is a benefit in all driving situations; in truth, all it does is make it easier to get moving; when it’s time to stop, all that all-wheel drive does is make the vehicle heavier and harder to halt. Stopping ability largely comes down to what kind of tires the vehicle is fitted with; the Porsche has winter tires, and the Explorer does not (and the Explorer’s tires are crap in snow). That was a factor in my decision, too.
It takes patience to get the Porsche moving on messy-slushy roads, but a gentle right foot and steady hands on the steering wheel are all it takes to keep the car between the lines. Of course, you have to concern yourself with the amount of snow on the roads, too. In the winter of 2008, when Ottawa got more than half a metre of snow in less than three days, this car wouldn’t have made it six feet before getting hopelessly stuck.
But you know what the best part is about driving that Porsche on a snowy winter day? It’s the looks you get from everyone else slogging through the slush, most of whom think you’re crazy. Sure, driving a
sports car in the winter has its risks and requires caution, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Just make sure you know how to do it properly, first.