Atlanta Porsche Experience Center Adds New Track to Race Around N.A. Company Headquarters

Last August, we reported here on autoevolution about the progress the Porsche Experience Center(PEC) in Atlanta, Georgia, was making in reducing its carbon footprint. The facility had entered an agreement with Cherry Street Energy to install a solar micro-grid to power the sprawling campus at One Porsche Drive that includes the headquarters of Porsche Cars North America (PCNA).
Porsche Experience Center 6 photos
Photo: PCE Media
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That apparently was not the only project the German luxury sports car manufacturer was planning, as the company has just announced a new addition to the attraction for both Porsche owners and non-Porsche owners alike.

The PEC, which has attracted over 400,000 visitors since it opened in 2015, will add a second driver development track on April 1, which will have elements borrowed from some of the world's most famous racetracks. The Tilke-designed track will double the length of the driver development course feature at the center and can be covered separately from the existing course or in tandem.

One-on-one instruction from a Porsche Drive Coach is included in a 90-minute driving session in a Porsche sports car. The PCE website shows that a 90-minute experience in a 911 GT3 will cost you $1,200 (1,119 euro), while the price of a go 'round in a Taycan Turbo vs. 911 Turbo S experience will set you back $1,050 (979 euro).

We’re thrilled to expand our U.S. headquarters with a new track that delivers exhilarating driving experiences in Porsche sports cars,” said Kjell Gruner, President, and CEO of PCNA. “We have called Atlanta home for 25 years and this ribbon cutting will help mark that anniversary in the most exciting way possible, underlining our continued investment in Atlanta and the local community. It’s been a fulfilling journey to bring this track to life, with inspiration drawn from several iconic race tracks, such as the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, Daytona, and Laguna Seca.”

The new driver development track is 1.3 miles (2.09 km) in length on its own and includes four distinct instructor-led driving segments: Low-Friction Circle, Ice Hill, Auto Cross Area, and Handling Circuit.

Drivers will experience firsthand the oversteer and understeer characteristics of Porsche vehicles while negotiating the Low Friction Circle, a 196-foot diameter (59.74 meters) circle with a polished and wet surface. The segment will introduce drivers to how to manage grip levels on a tricky surface, identify and recover from under and oversteer, maintain forward vision and focus, and improve hand-over-hand steering technique.

Ice Hill has an 8% slope and is designed to simulate driving conditions on an icy mountain road where losing control ascending or descending is always a possibility. The low-friction polished surface is fed by computer-controlled water jets that will test a driver's ability to handle under and oversteer, weight transfer, and braking on an incline.

Auto Cross Area is a paved area where drivers will be faced with slalom challenges, acceleration zones, and cone obstacles. This is an opportunity for drivers to develop the right vision and steering technique during the different challenges and react to the dynamic changes within the vehicle that come naturally with increased speed.

The Handling Circuit constitutes the entirety of the 1.3-mile (2.09 km) course and is where the techniques in the first three segments will be tested. The Carousel from Germany’s Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca with a 30-foot (9.1 meters) climb and 25-foot (7.6 meters) drop of ascending and descending turns, and the challenging Tail of the Dragon in the Smoky Mountains are all simulated in this segment meant to bring together all of the techniques in the previous segments together.

The tracks at PCE are designed specifically with driver development in mind and to test the overall performance capabilities of Porsche cars in a controlled environment. The new expansion will bring the total handling surface to 2.3 miles (3.7 km) and 2.9 miles (4.67 km) when the entire track is utilized.

The center itself has a little something for everyone and is situated in what could be considered the heart of America.  The fact that 80% of the U.S. population can reach the center located outside the world's busiest airport within two and a half hours of flying time makes it a viable destination for everyone. The center includes a gallery of classic Porsche vehicles, a retail shop, and a fine dining restaurant (Restaurant 356) named after the iconic Porcshe 356 from the early 50s.
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