*I received the experience in exchange for this review.
If you’re looking for an experience of a lifetime, either for yourself or a loved one, I highly recommend a trip to Atlanta to visit the Porsche Experience Center.
Start off with a gourmet lunch overlooking the tracks in anticipation of an exhilarating and educational afternoon. At Restaurant 256 you are met with a view of the 1.6 mile driver development track and the world’s busiest airport.
Driving experience opportunities abound including driving with a coach through various exercises like Launch Control, a Smooth Track to experience drifting, a Kick Plate, Slalom, Off-road with the Cayenne and more. They don’t call it a driver development track for nothing. Their expert driving coaches are by your side as you drive and learn about how the vehicles respond to you and the drive conditions.
My favorite driving exercise was Launch Control.
What is Launch Control
Launch Control is putting the vehicle to the test in terms of dramatic acceleration while minimizing tire spin and loss of control.
You test this, and really feel the acceleration and braking of the vehicle using a 550-foot ‘track’ – with pylon’s on the start line and red pylons at the finish.
At the start line, you hold your left foot down on the brake, and push the gas pedal to the floor (yes, all the way) until you’re revved up until your Porsche driving coach tells you to let go of the brake, BUT you need to keep your foot on the gas pedal ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR. The Porsche takes off like a shot and you have to keep it gunned until the coach tells you to brake, then you slam on the brakes and come to a stop right at the ‘finish line’, or red pylons. I managed to get the 911 Carrera S up to 84 MPH in that 550 feet, which is about 135 KM/hour.
During the experience, I was able to try this multiple times with the 911 and with the Cayman GTS and it was so much fun!
Porsche 911 Carrera S with my driving coach, Ryan. Photo Credit: Connie Peters
The Next Most Fun Activity was the Kick Plate
The Kick Plate at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta is one of only 1 in 7 in the world. “As your vehicle travels over the plate, sensors trigger it to move randomly, mimicking sliding that occurs during inclement whether conditions. This experience forces the driver to react effectively in the scenario of a vehicle skid or spin.”
In the mid-engine Cayman GTS, I drove the Kick Plate several times and couldn’t regain control, at 18 mph I just spun around in donuts until my coach had to tell me to brake. So, when I got into the rear engine 911, I was nervous to try the Kick Plate, and quite honestly, I didn’t really want to do that exercise again. But, I had a new car and a new coach, so why not!
Wow, what a difference in how the 911 handled compared to the Cayman. I regained control immediately in the rear-engine 911 and I felt SO good about it.
Here’s Porsche’s video on how the Kick Plate works:
After tackling that Kick Plate, I also enjoyed the wet low-friction handling circle to experience more wet drive handling, a low-friction (smooth) circuit, slalom and absolutely enjoyed gunning it on the straightaways of the 1.6-mile track.
Talk about driving enjoyment!
Lastly, we also did a ride-along in the Cayenne on the Off-Road course, which was crazy-scary but the Cayenne handled it with ease. Our driver was clearly a Porsche professional driver!
Credit: Jana Seitzer
Access to simulators, the 1.6 mile track, 6 driving exercises, a heritage gallery, business center, two dining options, coffee truck and a beautiful gift shop make this seriously a once-in-a-lifetime-special place to spend a day out!