Just come back from Finland where I spent a few days learning how to get the most from a four-wheel drive car.
Which might sounds like an easy thing to do, but as I discovered, requires a re-boot of the old brain.
Porsche runs a series of driver-training courses (available to anyone, not just owners), including three levels for ice and snow driving – Camp4, 4S and Ice Force. And it was the latter that I joined; driving three different Panamera models, each with spiked tyres, on a huge lake near Ivalo.
The two-wheel drive Panamera was predictably entertaining, but not hugely quick, even with the spikes. To get an idea of how much traction you get with four spiked driven wheels - above about 30mph, you could actually feel the extra performance of the Turbo Panamera over the 4S. And that’s on ice.
But as impressively quick as the four-wheel drive cars were, initially I struggled to get on with them. With rear-wheel drive you know where you are, turn-in, get on the power, oversteer, corrective lock, balance it on the throttle. Done.
Not so with four-wheel drive, which goes something like this. Turn-in, power, neutral steering, more power. By which point the car can be in a huge slide, and it is here that you need to re-learn what to do with the steering.