The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the retail price of regular-grade gasoline will average $2.04 per gallon during this 2016 summer driving season, down from $2.63 last summer. That would mark the lowest summer average since 2004.
Sure, there is a trade to be made, but how about a taking the pedal to the metal in a luxury car of your choice on the race track at the first automotive experience center to open in North America: The Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta. It is a destination where customers and enthusiasts alike can immerse themselves in the Porsche brand.
The facility, which is also Porsche’s North American headquarters, provides off-road conditions to low-friction surfaces and a kick plate that sends cars skidding. These varied conditions highlight the capabilities of Porsche models while helping everyday drivers acquire useful skills.
The Porsche Experience Center’s grand opening was June 2, 2015, a year later Modern Trader checks in with Michelle Rainey, manager of the Porsche Experience Center, about what exactly the experience has to offer (see “The fast lane,” below).
It’s an extravagant endeavor for the parent company of the recently scandal-embattled Volkswagen, but Rainey says, “We continue to experience record sales, with 51,756 vehicles sold in 2015. This was the best sales year in the history of Porsche Cars North America. Additionally, last month, with 5,410 vehicles sold in April 2016, we [had] the strongest sales month ever in the history of Porsche Cars North America.”
Before you hit the track, you might benefit from the facility’s Driving Simulator Lab, which offers a cost effective introduction to driving and racing, links driver training and coaching to safety and driving enjoyment and brings to life the visual thrill of driving on top-level racetracks around the world.
Intentionally designed to replicate characteristics of famous circuits, The Porsche Experience Center’s Driving Simulator Lab uses highly responsive actuators and algorithms to create realistic driving experiences, help engineers and drivers optimize car settings prior to a race and provide a fun entertainment option for those simply seeking something different. There is an extensive 77-vehicle fleet and customers can book various driver experiences through porschedriving.com.
And if you have the extra money to burn, you can add the Porsche Exclusive – Personal Design Studio to your experience where you get the opportunity to build your most personal Porsche with a wide selection of leather, paint samples and specialty parts.
Aside from being a great way to treat yourself if you’re a car enthusiast, the Porsche Experience Center offers corporate packages for companies looking to treat their employees to a very special outing.
Packages vary in offerings and range from $300 to $1,000 per individual, with options for groups of at least six people.
Business center options include board rooms that prices range in prices from $500 to $800 per day and conference rooms that range from $1,500 to $3,000 per day. The facility can accommodate multiple groups simultaneously and the room offers various seating configurations, Wi-Fi and state-of-the art audio/visual equipment.
The facility’s Classic Car Gallery & Restoration Center includes a customer gallery and exhibition gallery housing museum cars and provides a display setting next to other legendary Porsche classics for customers’ vehicle storage.
Adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the facility boasts a total of 550 parking spaces with 13,000 square feet of event and meeting space.
The Porsche Experience Center also includes a Driving Simulator Lab, the Porsche Driver’s Selection Store and the Carrera Café and Restaurant 356 for the ultimate fine-dining experience.
Your visit to the Porsche Experience Center may not be the most ESG-friendly experience that you can make with the savings from this summer’s low gas prices, but you can definitely count on your friends being green with envy.