You’ll have seen no shortage of Porsche 911s on TopGear.com this year, given how frequently there’s a new version. But we bet you’ve seen none like this. For reasons that will be clear if you’ve got a copy of the current, ‘Best Cars in the World’ issue of Top Gear magazine, we froze a Porsche 911.
A Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, to be more specific. The editor’s Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, if we’re being really specific. Let’s hope he knew it was happening…
Now, those of you reading this outside the UK might presume our cars look like this simply from being left outside for five minutes. Afraid not. Instead, we had to pop the boss’s 911 in a very big freezer.
That freezer belongs to Mira, the midlands test facility you’ll have seen on TG TV episodes past, and which the car you own might well have completed development miles at.
The facility our unsuspecting Porsche was wheeled into serves a very functional purpose, and is typically used to see how cars cope in a deep freeze. In particular, their ability to thaw out of it.
“We would be looking at the amount of time taken for the vehicle to clear a percentage of the windscreen, side windows and rear screen,” says Sam Hooper, the facility’s Operations Supervisor, who helped us freeze the 911. “It’s normally a Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) witnessed test, as there is legislation on the performance of a car’s defrost mode.”
So to prep a car, it will be soaked in minus-18 degrees Celsius cold for eight hours, before being sprayed with deionised water so that lots of ice can build up on the screens.
A Mira engineer and VCA witness – with their mittens and long johns firmly on, we suspect – will then climb inside and switch on the car’s demisting systems, and measure how much vision has cleared every two minutes, analysing it against what the EU and Federal rules say.
The editor’s 911 did not face the rigorous clipboard treatment, though, merely suffering the coldest parts of the process to provide some spectacular visuals for the magazine. And yes, it still worked fine afterwards.
Get clicking through the pictures above and you can enjoy the full director’s cut of the most Christmassy 911 you’re likely to ever see. And if you’re reading this Charlie, sorry we froze your car…
Pictures: Mark Riccioni