MotorTrend drives Porsches with 'Bad Boys' stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence

Andrew Beckford, Jofel Tolosa

Almost 30 years ago, droves of us went to theaters to watch Bad Boys starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Anyone who has seen the movie likely remembers the comedic banter between the two leads and the intense action scenes, but a personal core memory for me was seeing .

Porsche has remained a staple of the film franchise, including in the fourth installment — Bad Boys: Ride or Die — which is slated for an official release date of June 7. The Porsche 911 once again plays a role in the film; to celebrate and drive home the whole corporate synergy thing, Sony Pictures invited MotorTrend to a takeover of the Porsche Experience Center in Carson, California, to “drive like Mike Lowrey.”

Sony Pictures brought props and cars from previous Bad Boys films, including a 964 Porsche 911. Additionally, I was provided a tasting menu of the various activities offered by the Porsche Experience Center during its normal operations. (Well, except for the Ninja Warrior–esque obstacle course that my 42-year-old joints declined to cooperate for.) Things kicked off with an autocross session in a 718 Cayman GTS set up on the Experience Center’s dynamics pad. The group was competing for the best time, and we were told that we would only have one shot and if we touched a cone, it would be an automatic DQ. My time wasn’t the fastest, but it was good enough to avoid shaming the masthead.

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However, Smith and Lawrence surprised the group by showing up after our first run and convincing the staff to give a few of us a second chance. I jumped at the opportunity and went much faster — but disaster struck, as I hit a cone right at the end of a slalom. I was told I'd have won otherwise. Bummer!

After the autocross I jumped in a 911 Carrera to try out the Experience Center’s kickplate, a computer-controlled hydraulically actuated panel that sits flush to the road surface. The plate shifts to the left or right to induce a loss of rear wheel traction just before the car goes over a water-soaked asphalt surface. Its actuation is random, so you didn’t know which direction to expect; all you can do once it happens is try to catch the slide and correct it as quickly as possible. It's a blast, even the one time I was unable to catch the car. The last activity of the day was a ride with one of the Center's instructor in a Porsche 911 Turbo S going full send around the Experience Center’s 1.3-mile handling course. The tight track doesn't allow crazy speeds, but it does reinforce just how ridiculously capable the 911 is on a winding course.

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I can’t say for certain if I’m really capable of driving like Mike Lowrey, but I did end the day with a huge smile on my face. If you're interested, you can check out the Porsche Experience Centers in America in Carson or Atlanta, and ther are myriad centers across the globe, too. The good news is you don't need to be a Porsche owner to sign up, just have a driver's license and the ability to pay the course fee. (.) They have a ton of experiences to offer and amazing staff to guide you. It’s not cheap but it’s not a bad way to spend a day if you can afford it.

If you want to see someone else have a go in a Porsche first then you can watch Will Smith thrash a Porsche 911 in Bad Boys: Ride or Die when it hits theaters on June 5th, 2024.Photos: Jofel Tolosa, MotorTrend