Over the summer I had a chance to visit the two Porsche Experience Centers in the US, one in Los Angeles and the other in Atlanta. Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) has its headquarters in Atlanta so it makes sense to have a track there. Before I get to what I thought of the two tracks, let me first talk about the various offerings that PCNA has for people that want to get some experience with Porsche vehicles before actually buying them.
They have 4 different programs in the US:
- Porsche Rental – rent a vehicle for day(s) and do your own thing
- Porsche Experience Center – rent a vehicle for a couple of hours and use their track facility to push the car to its limits
- Porsche Travel Experience – go on a guided tour across parts of the US in a Porsche
- Porsche Track Experience– a multi-day course at their track in Birmingham, Alabama
Yes, it’s pretty clear the marketing guys were definitely a part of the naming committee and had to throw in the word experience wherever possible!
Truth be told, I wanted to visit their track in Alabama and spend 3-4 days in a Porsche 911 while learning from their instructors but it was sold out for all of 2022 when I checked in January 2022. So instead I decided to visit both Experience Centers in LA and Atlanta and also meet friends I had not seen in several years in both cities.
Porsche Experience Center – LA (PECLA)
First stop was LA, I decided this would be the electric vehicle (EV) part of the trip. I opted for the Taycan Turbo S on the track. And it was a great way to compare versus the daily driver I rented for 5 days, the Tesla Model S Plaid…the fastest production car in the world.
I had the Taycan Turbo S for 90 minutes on the track and part of the time was with an instructor who would push you to test the limits of the car…it really was awesome in a controlled environment. The instructor was being the perfect salesman and explaining how the Taycan is better than the Tesla Plaid in every possible way!
The LA track is on 53 acres and has several different driving modules. The best one is the Acceleration Straight which is nearly a mile long and you could use launch control to propel the Taycan Turbo S.
Porsche Experience Center – Atlanta (PECATL)
After a couple of weeks, I hit the Experience Center in Atlanta. This part of the trip was going to be all about the legendary 911. I had booked the track session where you compare a 911 GT3 vs. a 911 Turbo, two very different cars even though they are both 911s. And I was also going to rent a Porsche 911 as a daily driver for the 4 days I was in the Atlanta area via Hennessy Porsche. But, I loved the Tesla Plaid so much that I cancelled the 911 and booked another Plaid via Turo – the car sharing app.
Don’t get me wrong I love the Tesla Plaid but there is something about the 911 that still makes me giggle like a little school girl. On the track it was clear the GT3 was in it’s domain and I tried to push the car to its limits but according to my instructor I failed…I was being to easy on the car. Personally, the 911 Turbo was more my thing, comfort and speed.
It was great to visit both Porsche Experience Centers but I would have rather enjoyed a couple of days with them in either an instructor-led course or driving in one of their guided tours. Having said that, I would still recommend PECLA and PECATL…definitely an Experience…man those Porsche marketing guys are spot on!