Experience Porsche in a different way in LA
Porsche opened its doors to US car enthusiasts this month with the inauguration of the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles (PEC LA), a $US60 million (about $A82 million) complex that promises to draw more than 50,000 visitors from Southern California and beyond.
Built on a former nine-hole golf course in LA’s industrial South Bay, the 53-acre site boasts multiple test tracks, a fine-dining restaurant, event space, and a small but significant collection of classic Porsche racecars.
The facility will also serve as the new headquarters for Porsche Motorsports in North America, where factory techs will support more than 400 racing clients from the U.S. and Canada with parts and know-how from a spotless workshop encased in glass.
Detlev von Platen, former president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America (Platen became the executive board member for Porsche’s global sales and marketing last autumn), says the PEC LA “allows us to showcase everything Porsche stands for.” Not just the cars and the racetrack, “but also teamwork and, most importantly, people.”
The company conservatively estimates the new centre will bring 50,000 visitors, with about a third coming from current Porsche owners, another third from corporate events, and the remaining from “floor traffic.” Porsche’s first Experience Center in the U.S., adjacent to its North American headquarters of Atlanta, has already seen 36,000 visitors since opening in May 2015.
The centrepiece for most visitors will be the high-performance driving programs, taught by professional instructors, many of whom are current and former racecar drivers. Students can drift around a wet skid pad in a Boxster, test launch control in a 911, go off-roading in a Cayenne, or zoom around the handling circuit in a Cayman. Prices range from $US385-$950 (about $A525-$1300) for each 90-minute session.
Notably, the PEC LA will also offer restoration services of classic racecars for both private and corporate customers, while restoration facilities for road cars will remain in Atlanta. Von Platen stresses, “This center is all about the race cars.”