Germany’s Porsche, the iconic sports car manufacturer owned by Volkswagen AG, the second largest automaker in the world and the biggest in Europe, has just opened its new $100 million North American headquarters in Atlanta.
But what’s more important for the 27-acre complex where Porsche now houses all of its commercial enterprises for North America – from sales and marketing, finance, a restoration facility to its team of North American consultants – is that “Dr. Porsche” also has a “playground” there. It’s their new driving training center. It’s used by the brand to resolve today’s sports car conundrum – they’re so widely performance enhanced that honing their abilities is best and safest explored in a controlled environment. Oh yeah, and that’s also a great way to attract the myriad of affluent buyers that can afford one of Porsche’s rides. Rather similar to their Experience Center at the Silverstone facility in England, the Experience Center in Atlanta will give you the basic driving skills needed to tame a Porsche model every single day.
Without being an actual race-driving school, thus catering for 100 percent of customers and potential clients, the center has a 1.6-mile road course surrounding the perimeter and five other driver-training modules located infield. German efficiency allows all six modules to be run simultaneously, with participants cycling through them and when not behind the wheel gathering advice from the experienced instructors. Which, by the way – if the client’s pockets are deep enough, can include the hero drivers – the men and women that made Porsche famous on the Le Mans, Daytona and other iconic racetracks. High performance driving includes everything from taking the 911 on a low speed, low friction skidpad to muddying the Cayenne and Macan on off-road courses.