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by David Zalstein

Following the 2015 launch of its first US-based Experience Centre in Atlanta, Porsche Cars North America has opened its second such centre, the Porsche Experience Centre LA.

Located around 20km south of Los Angeles International Airport, the new US$60 million complex encompasses 20 hectares and includes a 6.5-kilometre test and development track, a regularly alternating racing car exhibition, and even a “gourmet restaurant”.

With visitors able to take advantage of three circuits (including one low-friction circuit), an additional off-road course, dynamic area, start control and acceleration straight, and skid pan are also on offer.

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According to Porsche Cars North America, those venturing to its new centre can also take part in a 90-minute, instructor-led, test-track driving program. The facility will also be the new home of Porsche Motorsport North America.

Although the Porsche Experience Centre Atlanta opened its doors in May last year in an effort to retain current owners and hopefully attract new ones, Porsche already has experience centres in Le Mans, Silverstone, and Leipzig, with the German car maker saying another “large construction project” – this time in Shanghai – is due to open in 2017.

As for Oz, Porsche Cars Australia public relations director Paul Ellis told CarAdvice, he’d love to see a similar Porsche Experience Centre open doors in Australia.

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“We’d certainly like to do something similar at some stage in the future, absolutely,” Ellis said.

“But that is probably a bigger project than just Porsche Cars Australia – probably more of a regional project that will include Asia.

“So we would look at that, and have discussions with our colleagues in the Asian market, but anything like that is quite considerable in terms of investment, so it would require a pretty sound business case.”

Highlighting the existing availability for local enthusiasts of Porsche Australia’s Queensland-based Porsche Sport Driving School, Ellis said any future Experience Centre would need to be set up in the correct location.

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“So the appeal [of a Porsche Experience Centre in Australia], I think, would have to be in an area in Australia that has good weather and lots of things for people to do, not just drive a car. So, if we were to proceed, we’d probably look at somewhere in Queensland.”

As for when such a project could come together, Ellis said it’s too early to know.

“There isn’t a timeline because we haven’t put a business case together.

“Would we want one as soon as we could get one? Absolutely. But a lot of detailed planning has to go into something like this, and then it needs to get buy-in with the other markets in Asia, and then it needs to get the support of Porsche globally because it’d have to be funded by Porsche headquarters in Stuttgart.”

What do you think of the Porsche Experience Centre concept? And should Porsche open an Experience Centre right here in Oz? Let us know in the comments section below.

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