How to Enter Steep Driveways Without Damaging Front Lips
Porsches, like most sports cars, feature a low ride height and often have additional front lip extensions or aerodynamic spoilers that push the front even lower to the ground. Many of our Project Cars have suspension modifications installed with either TechArt lowering Springs, or Ohlins Coil Overs that lower the ride height anywhere by 1-1.5 inches.
Shark Werks has collectively owned a dozen 996 and 997 GT2, GT3, and GT3RS models, and we learned early on how to preserve the front lips on our own cars, and the 1000s of customer cars we have to take for test drives.
You can buy a front noselift kit for something like $7500-$15,000 installed (for a quality unit such as TechArt), or option it from the factory. Or you can re-pave your driveway if you simply cannot enter it. But you can also try this trick, which we find works in almost all situations.
A stock GT3RS (2010) has the front lip sitting about 4" off the ground, maybe lower in the middle and depending how you measure it. But we've used this trick into some of the driveways on Route66, in places that rarely see anything but semi trucks, and all over the USA in nasty last resort gas station parking lots. Give it a try!
Here is an animation showing the technique:
Steps to Perform the "Arc":
Start perpendicular* to the entry when possible -- do not come straight on, and do not come at a 45 degree angle (this is the most common but just does not work as well).
When your front wheels are past the opening of the driveway, turn the wheel all the way to the right.
Driving slowly, continuing to arc the car into the driveway. The car continues to rotate as it enters the driveways (on most 911 models, an inner wheel will lift off the ground giving your front lip even more clearance).
Be careful not to damage the car (red X in animation), especially the wheels near the curb and the side of the chassis where the curb opens up.
At any point if you're unsure, have a second person watch the approach angle, wheels, and front lip clearance as you perform the technique.
You can also stop at any point along the turn and park the car, get out, and check the clearance yourself.
You can open up the wheel (less angle) and tighten up as needed to make sure you don't damage anything.
* - You can be slightly angled or further away when starting the arc as needed, but the real point here is to arc into the driveway, not drive straight.
With practice you'll find this is a huge benefit and very effective in reducing damage to the front lip of even the lowest Porsches.
You can also continue the arc or reverse the direction to go over speed bumps or straight head-on driveways a lot more effectively than 45 degree straight angles.
We'll try to add a video and more techniques to this page in the future.
And just for fun, here are a couple of our old videos show the noselift kits in action: