The Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, which offers thrilling drives for visitors with a full brand immersion including a museum, shop and dining, has embarked on a major expansion of the facility. Construction has begun on a second track that effectively doubles the length of the existing driver development course. The new section can be driven on its own or in combination with the existing track and adds features inspired by some of the world’s best roads and racing turns - designed to give both the drivers and the cars an intense workout. The project is a cornerstone of a multi-million dollar investment in further developing the headquarters campus of Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA).
Driver Development Track - PEC Atlanta
The track expansion is a portion of the 33-acre site development adjacent to the existing 27-acre headquarters, which first opened in 2015. Construction will be ongoing through 2023 and includes a new Porsche Classic Factory Restoration facility, a parking deck and the already-opened Porsche Service Center South Atlanta.
“The physical connection a driver enjoys with our sports cars is core to the Porsche brand, which is why we’re expanding this option even as we and our dealers invest in new digital touchpoints for customers. The two worlds – digital and real – complement each other,” said Kjell Gruner, President and CEO of PCNA. “Whether a Porsche owner or not, the Experience Centers in Atlanta and LA serve as destinations where anyone can experience the thrill of a Porsche sports car and learn more about the brand. The Atlanta center has already hosted more than 6,000 visitors a month in normal times, and we hope the track expansion excites many more to come engage with Porsche.”
The track addition at the PEC Atlanta will include the following features:
- A 1.3 mile handling circuit with elements inspired by the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca, with a rise of 30 feet and drop of 25 feet through approaching and descending turns; the Carousel from Germany’s Nurburgring-Nordschleife; and the twisty and challenging Tail of the Dragon in the Smoky Mountains, one of North America's most iconic driving roads.
- Three new driving modules: a low-friction, wetted 60 meter asphalt circle; an ice-hill, with a wet and slick surface along with an incline and decline to demonstrate traction control; and a dynamic area comprising 135 feet by 555 feet of asphalt to demonstrate handling capabilities.
Dynamic and emotive, the tracks at PEC Atlanta are designed for driver development, allowing customers to test the capability and technology of a Porsche vehicle. The expansion will operate independently from the existing South track, but the two layouts can be combined for an overall main handling circuit of 2.3 miles, and up to 2.9 miles when all track surfaces are utilized. Track expansion is expected to be ready for operation in the first quarter of 2023.
Focus on sustainability
Development projects also provide an opportunity for PCNA to further its commitment to sustainability.
New and existing facilities on the campus will provide opportunities for renewable energy through solar panels on the parking deck, a covered walkway, a new track staging area and the roof of the classic building. Landscaping will focus on biodiversity through native plants, “green walls” of living vegetation and water recycling measures. In addition, the new Porsche Classic Factory Restoration facility aims to meet the same LEED Gold Accreditation that has already been achieved by the One Porsche Drive headquarters building.
“The entire project team has placed an earlier and greater collaborative focus on sustainability measures to unlock the potential of the new campus,” said Daniel Barcham, Director, Corporate Real Estate and Facility Services at PCNA. “Our master plan has the ability to limit our carbon output and get us closer to our goal of CO₂ neutrality as a company by 2030.”
The overall development team includes Brasfield & Gorrie as construction manager, project manager IMPACT Development Management, design consultants Tilke, Kimley-Horn, HOK and Praxis 3 and sustainability consultant Jones Lang LaSalle.
Porsche opened its first U.S. Experience Center in Atlanta in 2015 and a year later the second one, in Carson, California, near Los Angeles.