Porsche showroom opened its doors to the West Coast car enthusiasts this week with the inauguration of the Porsche Experience Center at Los Angeles (PEC LA), $60 million complex that promises to draw more than 50,000 visitors from Southern California and beyond.
Built on the former nine-hole golf course in L.A.’s industrial South Bay, the 53-acre site boasts multiple test tracks, an event space, a fine-dining restaurant and a small but significant collection of classic Porsche racecars. The facility will also serve as a new headquarters for Porsche Motorsports in North America, where factory techs will support more than 400 racing clients from the U.S. & Canada with parts and can know-how from a spotless workshop enclosed in glass.
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Detlev von Platen, former president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America (Platen became the executive board member for the Porsche’s global sales and marketing last fall), says the PEC LA “allows us to showcase the whole thing Porsche stands for.” Not just the cars and a racetrack, “but also teamwork and, most importantly, the people.” The company conventionally estimates the new center will bring 50,000 visitors, with an about a third coming from current Porsche owners, another third from corporate events, and remaining are from “floor traffic.” Porsche’s first Experience Center in the U.S., adjacent to its North American headquarters of Atlanta, Porsche dealer says that is has already seen 36,000 visitors since the center was opened in May 2015.
The centerpiece for most of the visitors will be the high-performance driving programs, taught by the professional instructors, many of whom are current & 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 $385 to $950 for each 90-minute session.
Especially, the PEC LA will also offer restoration services of classic racecars for both private and corporate customers, while the restoration facilities for road cars will remain in Atlanta. Von Platen stresses, “This center is all about the race cars.”