Porsche’s new $100 million Experience Center in Atlanta wants to mess you up
A speedy getaway
by CHRISTOPHER WYNN
Porsche has never prized subtlety. After all, this is the automaker known to install a button on the center console, which immediately amps up the loudness and resonance of the exhaust system. (Hell, yes, I bought a German sports car!) Now, disciples of the brand have a new place to worship: The $100 million Porsche Experience Center in sunny Atlanta, Georgia. Prepare for windblown hair in your selfies.
The sleek, futuristic building — it is also Porsche’s new North America HQ — gleams like a modernist beacon on 27 acres near the northeast corner of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Inside, a classic-car gallery offers a fetishist romp down memory lane. A restoration center is on-site, and a Porsche boutique sells logo-clad bomber jackets, handbags and bicycles. A fine-dining restaurant serves rare bottles of wine and sweeping views of the star attraction: the driver development track. Hug the curves in a 911 — yours or theirs — on the sprawling, low-friction test track. (Instructors are available to save you from yourself.) Even more satisfying, get a Porsche Cayenne absolutely filthy on the off-road course, complete with muddy creek bed and white-knuckle 45-degree vertical descent slope. Yes, tell Mother to wait in the gift shop.