We’ve all dreamt of it: a few mates in their favourite cars enjoying a summer evening on the Furka Pass in the Alps, watching the sunset over a peak from the infamous instagram famous Belvedere Hotel. But what if there is more to summer and warmth in the mountains? What if you strap on a set of winter tyres and visit snowy St Moritz? Well, Pirelli fitted my 997 GT3 with a set of Sottozeros and away I went, the destination was Samedan, just outside St Moritz where Porsche Switzerland promised they would have something fun to share with you, dear reader. In tow was a noteworthy snapper ready to frame and focus on some snowy peaks and tasty metal, Mr Alex Penfold, who himself was in a Porsche Cayman GT4. The GT3 & 4 made quite the combination with their matching Dark Blue Metallic paint work.

A super early start, tanks brimmed with equally super unleaded, a smooth sunrise ride on Le Shuttle had us over to the land of frogs legs and foie gras. There is a surreal, yet inspiring feeling when driving a form of transport into another. Le Shuttle really is an engineering marvel which is often under appreciated, it’s quick, convenient and you don’t get seasick. A short hop, skip and a jump through Belgium and then into Germany where fuel economy is traded for a focus on speed and smashing your ETA on maps. There is a freedom and a rush that is hard to convey in words, but after you’ve had your fix, you’ll leave triple digit (mph) figures and settle into a brisk cruise which has a satisfaction of its own. 2 hours ahead of schedule the night stop, Munich is in sight.

Typically these stops are basic, simple stays that are not much more than a bed for the evening, but this night would be different, not only would we be enjoying a classy hotel room, but our cars would be too. We would be staying at the AMERON MÜNCHEN which is housed in the magical Motorworld in the city. We didn’t really know what to expect when we read the description of the ‘car gallery’ probably best that we did not, we would have been a long way off the mark, these galleries are really quite special. A glass box houses the car and is an extension of the hotel room, your car is sat at the end of your bed and is separated by a lane of glass. In the ‘garage’ side there are a couple of sofas and a fridge so you really can just kick back and relax with a beverage and admire the work horse which got you there. However, you might not want to do that, the Munich Motorworld is a jaw dropping place. There are Bugattis, McLarens, Porsches, Ferraris of all eras dotted around the space. Staying in the hotel means you can roam around Motorworld at all hours and get real Night at The Museum vibes as you take it all in for as long as you like before heading back to your room and enjoying the plush AMERON surroundings. A really unique experience, it’s particularly surreal opening your eyes and seeing your car. We would highly recommend a stay, not only as a stopover, but a destination worth adding to your route.


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Munich was amazing, but the main event was ahead of us, onward to the Alps via Austria and into Switzerland. The 96 from Munich towards the Austrian border is a glorious stretch of autobahn with humbling views of the mountains, the Raststation Bodensee is the place to stop to pick vignettes and take in the cool architecture.

Sunrise after an evening in Surses, we were quickly up into the hairpins on the Julierpass where the weather was glorious. The winter tyres were holding up well under the pressure of some very spirited driving, despite the higher than average temperature of February in the Alps, it was warmer than London, between 5-10 degrees celsius in the day. This was not the best news for the event we were heading towards, an ice driving event that was taking place on the ice fields in Samedan, neighbouring St. Moritz. Fortunately there was no fear of falling through a frozen lake. Undeterred, we registered, had a quick lunch and hit the ice to learn about car control under the car of the Porsche Experience specialists and a few very exciting exercises. We were in the finest company with Porsche Works driver and Le Mans hero, Neels Jani showing us the ropes. First up was a slalom in the Cayenne GTS, Macan S and Panamera 4S, it was fascinating to feel the all-wheel-drive systems reacting in different ways, scrambling for traction as the ice became more polished. A quick time trial saw GTspirit top the tables (did you expect anything less)?, it was time to head over to the most challenging part of the day, the Scandinavian Flick.


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With a practical demonstration of car control and throttle application in four-wheel-drive cars in 1:64 scale, we witnessed the real thing, it never ceases to amaze how seeing a car being thrown sideways into a huge slide makes fully grown adults get all giddy like a child at Disney World. Of course, there was an added element of competition thrown into the mix to incentivise the exercise – Neels Jani would be the judge, no prize could top being told you were the driver in the group by a living Le Mans legend. A mix of Carrera 4 GTS in coupe and cabrio guises were at our disposal, as was a 992 Turbo S finished in Oslo Blue. I’ll be honest, I’ve had the privilege of participating in quite a few of these ice driving events before, but as cool feeling go, being roof down in a 911 on ice and sending it sideways filling the car and my face with snow in a monumentally large skid with Neels Jani watching on feels quite special. That is why Porsche hosts such events and invites customers to participate. Whether you’re gifted with Finnish ice driving skills or not, you’ll have a fantastic time and have a smile on your face the entire time. There is something liberating about having little/no traction under the tyres.

Following lunch I experienced the Porsche Tequipment Roof Tent which was installed atop a Panamera and parked on the ice. This was the perfect place to catch some rays and see the instructors practising their sliding skills. Unfortunately our time on the ice was over, but the programme was most certainly not. It was time to hit the passes around Samedan. There were some very special Porsches at the group’s disposal.

Highlights included the epic Cayenne Transsyberia from the Porsche Museum and a box fresh 992 911 Sport Classic. The chosen road to enjoy the eclectic mix of Porsche power was the infamous Bernina Pass. As entertaining as the Transsyberia was, the mountain passes are not where it was able to flex its muscles and really strut its stuff. There was a winter wonderland off-road course just off the pass for that. The Cayenne Transsyberia may be old, but it was fit as a fiddle and waltzed up steep and icy inclines as if they were tarmac proving its off-road credentials are spectacular.

Regardless of whether or not you can participate in a Porsche Winter Experience, GTspirit cannot recommend a winter road trip highly enough. With the luxury of amazing night stops in places like AMERON in Motorworld to the Swiss mountain skiing towns combined with the quieter roads in the Alps, winter trips offer a different sort of enjoyment. The famous passes may be closed, but the slopes are open, so strap skis or a board to the roof of your sports coupe and there is a different sort of fun to enjoy before the passes open once more and you can be back on summer tyres blasting up the Sustenpass.

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