Is it possible to find driving nirvana at the intersection of Los Angeles’ notorious I-405 and I-110 freeways? Not now, but perhaps sometime in the future. Porsche plans on opening a so-called Porsche Experience Center — along with one amazing test track – within the next few years.
The idea, which allows for Porsche clients and customers to put the automaker’s latest offerings to the physical test — isn’t exactly new, but it is relatively exclusive. When it opens, the facility in Carson, California, will be one of only five in the world, and one of two in North America (a similar facility is under development in Atlanta, Georgia).
This latest locale, although a bit unusual for native L.A. residents, makes sense on paper, at least. SoCal is one of Porsche’s biggest markets, and the proposed site is incredibly visible, being that it’s next two two major traffic arteries and minutes away from a major international airport.
Like Porsche’s other PEC locations, the highlight of the 53-acre facility is undoubtedly the massive test track. Billed as a “safe, exhilarating environment for experiencing the pleasure of being in the driver’s seat,” the proposed course seems to offer almost everything a driver could want. A road course is a requisite, of course, but the playground will also include a giant skid pad, special surfaces that replicate wet or frozen roads, and an off-road portion for Cayenne SUVs to prove their mettle. The grounds will be open to those enrolled in driving courses, but Porsche hints it will likely allow corporate clients, car clubs, and other groups to rent use of the facility.
The PEC is more than just an impressive track, however. Other facilities on-site include a showroom, gift shop, café, and conference rooms. Interestingly, the PEC will also serve as home to Porsche’s Human Performance Center, a sports lab that caters to honing the performance of man, not machine. Similar programs in other corners of the globe provide training not only for race drivers, but for endurance athletes as well.
Porsche hasn’t indicated exactly when its latest Experience Center will open its doors to gearheads and the general public, but seeing as groundbreaking is scheduled for this coming summer, expect a grand opening sometime in 2013.