An aerial view shows the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo driving at high speed through the desert. Dust swirls up behind it and its tracks can be seen in the sand.

Ice and Desert

Reading time: 6 min

Over five thousand kilometers and sixty degrees Celsius separate the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo’s two courses from one another. The precision of the drone pilot Johnny FPV transports the viewer from one world to the other in seamless motion.

hot-air balloon glides over seemingly endless forests of pine. A sports car is drifting in the snow. Between the two, a drone slices through the air. Then it swoops down dramatically and ensnares the car at breakneck speed. A winter landscape? The eye can scarcely apprehend how the flight maneuver suddenly transitions to a desert. The music underscores the dynamic acts of cinematography and driving like a symphony of contrasts. The locations provide the extremes in this action film: snow in Finland, desert sands in the United Arab Emirates. The protagonist is the Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo.

The second hero remains in the background. Johnny FPV has both feet on the frozen ground, about a hundred kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, as he works his magic from the bird’s-eye view above. He is wearing black video glasses and holding a drone controller in his hands, with gloves protecting them against the frigid air—the filmmaker’s biggest challenge today. A closed course with prepared ice tracks, the Porsche Driving Area provides the stunning backdrop. Johnny FPV is one of the best drone pilots in the world.

“It’s important to fly in a unique way, to establish a trademark style.”

Der Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo ist in der seitlichen Frontansicht zu sehen. Seine Fahrzeugfarbe ist geteilt in blau und rot. Hinter ihm wirbeln große Staubwolken auf, über ihm schwebt eine Drohne.
Two-tone: The striking red and blue foiling symbolizes heat and cold. The script added further extremes.
Der Drohnenpilot Johnny FPV verfolgt den Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo mit dem Kameraauge seiner Drohne. Im Hintergrund ist eine Schneelandschaft zu sehen.
The long view: With the camera eye of his drone, Johnny FPV tracks the Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo on two identical course layouts on two continents.

Born Johnny Schaer, the three initials in his professional handle stand for “first-person view”—the camera perspective of the films that have made his passion a career. Thanks to instantaneous transmission speeds, the pilot sees the world almost live with the eye of the camera. Later, the viewer experiences the spectacular flight maneuvers with sensory directness. The twenty-five-year-old from Chicago loves speed, cars, and flying, and is known for exceptionally dexterous maneuvers. Few can match his skill in making the viewer a part of the action. He opens up new horizons, offering surprising dimensions in technical perfection. Watching him and his drone at work, one senses how the virtual and real worlds meld into one.

The film, entitled Drive2Extremes. Taycan Cross Turismo x Johnny FPV, is set in the Lapland town of Levi and the Liwa Oasis on the northern edge of the Rub al Khali desert. Over five thousand kilometers as the crow flies and roughly sixty degrees Celsius separate the two filming locations. In both destinations, the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo, the first all-electric Cross Utility Vehicle (CUV) from Porsche, conquers identically set courses. The aerial precision of the drone pilot is what allows the gripping splicing of the shots between ice and desert. The film was directed by Los Angeles-based Nicholas Schrunk, who won an Emmy for the documentary Blood Road. He’s a master of the craft of accentuating emotional stories with spectacular stunts.

Eine Luftaufnahme zeigt den Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo, wie er inmitten einer schneebedeckten Landschaft auf einer kurvigen Strecke driftet.
Dance on ice: There is a spirit of adventure in every detail of the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo. The snow mutes almost every sound coming from the tires. A silent drift is all but unimaginable, yet possible.

Schaer bought his first drone at the age of fifteen, followed days later by the second, and shortly thereafter the third. He practiced relentlessly. He got good. And then he became a pro. “Hand-eye coordination is crucial to being a good pilot. Otherwise it’s just a mix of hard work, good ideas, and talent,” he says. In Drive2Extremes, the shots are dynamic in multiple ways. The car moves forward—the drone in all directions. Johnny has developed his own style with which he captivates the viewer. “It’s important to fly in a unique way, to establish a trademark style. My videos bear my signature. They’re not jerky, they’re precise, and they’re very fluid.” In just seven years, he’s ascended into upper echelons of FPV pilots. “It’s indescribable to see and feel how strongly the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo performs on different surfaces. I knew that electric cars accelerate very quickly, but the fact that the power can be called up like that on ice and sand is something I find incredible.” For him, electric cars are the future. “I’m quite sure I’ll own one too,” says Johnny FPV. He conveys this authentic desirability par excellence. One “wow” moment follows the next, punctuated by breathtakingly beautiful slow-motion sequences. The Cross Turismo and its filmmaker—two masters in two different worlds.

In einer Luftaufnahme blicken Regisseur Nicholas Schrunk, Rennfahrer Jukka Honkavuori und Drohnenpilot Johnny FPV gemeinsam in die Kamera der Drohne. Sie stehen neben dem Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, dessen Fahrzeugfarbe in blau und rot unterteilt ist.
Teamwork: Director Nicholas Schrunk, race-car driver Jukka Honkavuori, and drone pilot Johnny FPV (from left) collaborated on the video spot.
The front of a white Porsche Taycan can be seen in the background.

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Interview first published in the Porsche customer magazine Christophorus, No. 399