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Porsche Experience Center races into Carson

eric simpson

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Porsche. It’s a name synonymous with automotive performance and engineering — and now, here in Southern California, a new Experience Center opening Tuesday in Carson.

The 53-acre, $60 million facility located just off the 405 freeway lives up to its name. It's a place for drivers to learn about all things Porsche, whether it's through direct experience behind the wheel on various tracks that teach handling, acceleration, skid control and off-roading, or inside a 50,000-square-foot space with restaurants, conference rooms, video game racing simulators and a gallery that features cars on loan from the Porsche museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

"Above all, this facility is all about the experience. It's a place for visitors to touch and feel the brand in all its facets," said Klaus Zellmer, president and chief executive officer of Porsche Cars North America. "The simplest, most credible, authentic way to do this is hand over the set of keys for a wonderful sports car and say trust it, drive it, enjoy it."

To experience a Porsche at the new Experience Center in Carson starts at $385 for 90 minutes in a Boxster. Prices increase from there, depending on the vehicle. Available vehicles include the Cayenne, Macan and 911 Carrera S.

California and Porsche have a long history, Zellmer said. It was Southern California race tracks in the late 1940s and 1950s that put Porsche on the map with its 911 predecessor, the 356. Today, one in four Porsches sold in the United States is in California. If California was its own country, it would be the fifth largest market for the brand.

Porsche already operates Experience Centers in Germany, France, England and its North American headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. Next year, it will open yet another in Shanghai, China.

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