We’re looking at a road lined with snow walls. Suddenly, a Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo appears, pushing through the bend in a spectacular drift. As soon as you realise that what you’re seeing isn’t from a video game but is ice-cold reality, the landscape – and temperature – immediately transform to show the complete opposite.

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo drifts across ice through a bend
The handling track at the Porsche winter testing facility in Levi, Finland, is a kilometre long and features nine bends

Halfway through the drift, dust and hot sand suddenly swirl in the blazing desert sun. As if in a dream, the Taycan seems to have been teleported from the Finnish ice desert into the middle of the infinite sand dunes of the Rub’ al Khali desert on the Arabian Peninsula. Arctic huskies are about to compete in an ice-cold race with the Taycan Cross Turismo but in the blink of an eye they transform into greyhounds that even the scorching desert sun cannot slow down. Did we just see some reindeer peacefully grazing, looking for food on the frozen ground? Or was it a caravan of majestic camels glimpsed marching behind a sand dune? Didn’t we just fly straight into a Sami family’s tipi where a fire promised warm respite from the Arctic cold… only to be convinced a split second later that it must have been a Bedouin tent? A mirage in the shimmering desert sun?

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo drifts on a bend through desert
A Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo drifts through the Rub’ al Khali desert in an exact replica of the snow-bound circuit it negotiated at Levi in Finland

A wild ride from Arctic ice to Arabian desert

The crazy rollercoaster ride that you’re experiencing on your screen
of a Porsche EV, filmed with a drone in ice and desert, is the work of remote-controlled drones flown by Johnny Schaer, a legend of the first-person view (FPV) drone scene. Johnny is better known by his Instagram and YouTube name – Johnny FPV. Many consider him to be one of the best FPV drone pilots in the world. In two locations, several thousand kilometres apart, he and the production crew filmed the spectacular footage that helped display the skills of the Taycan Cross Turismo in wildly contrasting conditions. 

Drone pilot lifts up goggles and looks into the distance
The view from the camera-laden drone is relayed to Johnny FPV through these goggles

Location: Porsche Ice Experience drift arena in Levi, Finland

It all began deep inside the frozen Arctic circle. Wrapped up in a thick down jacket and a neoprene face mask that tries its best to protect him from the freezing wind, Johnny FPV stands at the edge of an ice track on the Porsche Ice Experience site in Levi, Finland. Merely using his numb fingers to manipulate the joystick which controls his drones, he pilots them through a precisely choreographed route. What onlookers might see as flying in a blind, uncontrolled manner is in fact the exact opposite. Johnny is completely focused on the live images from his drone, which are transmitted to the mini digital monitors in his FPV goggles, giving him precise control over the flight path.

Pilot steers drone using handheld remote control and FPV goggles
Some 54 hours of material was filmed in freezing conditions across five production days in Levi, Finland

The man behind the wheel of the Taycan Cross Turismo, helping to prove the skill of this Porsche EV in ice and desert, works with equal precision. Like Johnny, he too is regarded as one of the best in his profession. Jukka Honkavuori is Chief Instructor at the Porsche Ice Experience. Each year he teaches hundreds of participants from all over the world how to drive a Porsche into a controlled drift on slippery ice and keep it there for as long as they can. Jukka, who also competes in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the German Porsche Carrera Cup series and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, is a man with the skills to help you convert adrenaline into unlimited endorphins.

Driver wearing helmet behind wheel of Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
Jukka Honkavuori, the driver of the Taycan Cross Turismo in the film, is a Porsche Supercup driver and Chief Instructor for the Porsche Ice Experience

A change of scene: Abu Dhabi

From one extreme to another. Just a few days after negotiating the bitter Finnish cold, Johnny, Jukka and the film crew have flown south from the Porsche Experience in icy Levi to significantly warmer climes. Johnny’s neoprene mask covering has given way to a bandana, which is needed to keep out the invasive yellow desert dust that is flying around. The scorching sun beats down. The team are working on a stretch of Abu Dhabi’s Rub’ al Khali desert where they have mapped out an exact replica of the icy circuit from Finland – this time in the sand. Only Johnny’s FPV goggles and his remote control remain unchanged following the location switch. As well as, of course, the striking blue and red Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. It is now tossing up dust and sand, rather than snow and ice, in the middle of what is the world’s largest area of continuous sand. For Jukka Honkavuori this is both a welcome change and a special challenge, because the electric sportscar drifts a little differently on sand than on ice.

Drone flies in front of Taycan Cross Turismo in the desert
Amid clouds of dust and sand, Johnny FPV steers the drone around the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo with pinpoint precision

Heat, cold, dust, ice: nothing can slow down the Taycan Cross Turismo

Apart from the fine dust from the sand dunes reducing visibility, the Taycan is just as unfazed by the desert heat as it was when it tackled the Arctic cold. To prove, in spectacular fashion, the talents of this Porsche EV in ice and desert was a must for the film crew working with Johnny FPV. It let them concentrate on their work and meant that, in the end, they were able to deliver a film that has already been viewed millions of times on YouTube – as you can now, too. Watch a film that takes you on a wild ride to the drift side in a Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo electric sports car, from Arctic ice to Arabian desert:

Whether in snow or sand, the Taycan Cross Turismo doesn’t deal in ‘either/or’ situations. In fact, it looks at the challenges presented by Arctic cold and relentless desert heat and simply says: “Why not both?”

Experience the Taycan on ice

Learn more
Red Taycan drifting on ice