Porsche Punks New Drivers by Making Them Take Their Test in a 911 Carrera 4

Not exactly a beginner's vehicle

There's a reason your parents put you in a beater when you got your driving permit.

To promote the opening of a new Porsche Experience Center in Le Mans, France—the fourth in the world, after Leipzig, Silverstone and Atlanta—agency Quai des Orfèvres came up with an idea it knew would generate lulz aplenty: It slid a Porsche 911 Carrera 4 under the noses of people who don't even have driver's licenses yet. 

In the video below, attendees of a local driving school show up for their exam to discover "something's changed," and they'll have to take their test in a new car, but that they shouldn't worry. 

Regardless of whether or not the video is "real" (in a filmed-to-truth sense versus a reality TV sense)—and we're about 60 percent sure it isn't—the resulting hijinks yield some prime hilarity. The first reactions alone are gold, because the panic of these already-stressed would-be drivers is tangible: "I learned to drive in another car," a guy says flatly. One woman simply backs away and repeats "No" as many times as she can. 

Things only worsen from there, and that's when you start to get a real sense of the sadism required in bringing this scenario to life. 

"What's this engine?" a student asks after a cursory peer under the hood.

"That's the boot," the teacher replies (meaning, the trunk). 

Several others can't find the key because Porsche starters are on the left, prompting another student to uncertainly ask, "Is this for left-handed people?" 

These early negotiations of comedic space set you up for what's to come: The woman who screams when, asked to hit the gas, she suddenly finds herself doing donuts in a roundabout. The awkward, sweat-inducing parallel-park, as onlookers take photos (mostly because of the car, but immortalizing the driver's shame in the process). The palpable concern on the teacher's face at the sensation of a nervous driver just trying to get the Porsche to go straight.

(Fuel to the flames: French drivers generally learn to drive on manual transmissions. There is no solace anywhere.)

Despite its 3:23 length, the ad ends in a way that seems abrupt: "Want to learn how to really drive in a Porsche? We've got just the experience for you." It then cuts to action shots of people doing donuts (willingly) and otherwise cavorting on the Le Mans track, where you can learn to drive Porsches properly across 32,000 square feet—or just visit the Porsche Museum and check out the new models.

The video, which came out Nov. 23, has clocked nearly 1 million views. It's unclear how many of those are qualified Porsche Experience Center targets; we suspect most just enjoy the schadenfreude. On the cheery up, the victims of this evil social experiment are going to go home, licenses in hand, with a new appreciation for their steady, predictable Renaults and Citroëns (made especially for right-handed people).

They don't know it yet, but they've probably just saved $100,000.

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