Porsche’s U.S. home base in Atlanta, as visible to most people landing at the airport next door, is officially much bigger. And twistier. And challenging.

Porsche Cars North America will open its second, 1.3-mile handling circuit—now called the “West Track,” as designed by Tilke—to the public on Saturday, vowing to “wow you at every turn” while establishing a larger presence for the German automaker in the city’s growing ATL Airport District.

Urbanize Atlanta was invited to tour and test the facility as part of a preview event this week. Alongside three modern-style new structures between Porsche’s HOK-designed headquarters and downtown Hapeville, the new driver development course is much longer than the original track, with greater elevation changes and a G-force-inducing carousel section, resulting in a more technical, rip-roaring experience overall.

The new parking deck for more guest capacity, as seen beyond the ice hill and road course carousel. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Proximity of the new track to ATL's recognizable airport control tower. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

The PCNA campus and Experience Center—one of two in the U.S. and 10 around the world—has undergone a $50-million expansion. Both courses will operate separately, but the new course can be linked with the existing one, the South Track, for almost three miles of varied driving experiences, Porsche officials say.

Positioned at the northeast corner of the Atlanta airport, the 33-acre addition is adjacent to the 27-acre Porsche headquarters that opened in 2015, allowing guests to push the cars to their limits like no place in the U.S. outside of another facility in Los Angeles. (Porsche says the Atlanta experience center has logged nearly 400,000 guest visits to date.) Porsche's growth joins a bevy of developer investment in Hapeville that city leaders hope will more firmly establish the city as a live-work-play alternative around ITP Atlanta.  

Corners of the new course were inspired by the Nürburgring carousel turn, the Laguna Seca corkscrew (with a 30-foot rise), and the Tail of the Dragon road in the Smoky Mountains. Other features include a dynamic zone for slaloms, a low friction circle, and a new ice hill.

Prices for one and ½ hour sessions at the West Track start at $600 for time behind the wheel of the base Taycan, Porsche’s first foray into electric vehicles. The priciest experience allows guests to spend that same amount of time driving a 911 Turbo S and a 911 GT3—both exotic models with more than 500 horsepower—for a cool $1,275.

The original track next door offers experiences with Boxster and Cayman models from $450 for 90 minutes.

Find a sneak peek of the new facility and its dynamic vehicles in the gallery above—no drivers license required.


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