When you think of sports cars, one of the first names that come to mind is the Porsche. Just the mere mention of its name is enough for speed nuts to salivate because of the car’s reputation. Jerry Seinfeld, one of the richest and funniest guys on television, has taken to seriously collecting all the Porsche models that he can get his hands on. Owning this car provides a different kind of experience. The company actually started out without any plans to build any car under its own name, which is itself is pretty astounding.
The Volkswagen Connection – The People’s Car
Ferdinand Porsche established the company in 1931 in Stuttgart in Germany. Known as the Dr. lng. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH, Porsche originally provided only development work and consultancy for motor vehicle manufacturers. The German government assigned him to create a car for the people. Thus came the Volkswagen Beetle, considered as one of the most successful car designs of all time.
Porsche and Volkswagen have maintained their partnership through the years. In 1969, they came out with the VW-Porsche 914 that had a Volkswagen engine and the 914-6 that sported a Porsche engine. Several Porsche models, including the 912E, the 924 and the 944s were manufactured in Volkswagen-owned Audi factories. The popular Porsche Cayenne that was introduced in 2002 was also built in the Volkswagen factory in Bratislava. The Cayenne also shares its chassis design with the Audi Q7 and the Volkswagen Touareg.
Porsche Car Models
Porsche has come up with several different models through the years. The car has become so iconic that even those models that have been phased out are still sought after as collector’s items. Some of its previous models included the following:
- 911 GT1
- 918 Spyder
- 928 Grand Tourer
- Carrera GT
Some of the consumer models that are currently offered on the market include the following:
- 911 Coupe
- 911 Targa
- 911 Cabriolet
- Boxster Roadster
- Cayman Coupe
- Cayenne SUV
- Macan SUV
- Panamera Sport Sedan
The Porsche Driving Experience
Porsche knows that driving its vehicles is both demanding and rewarding, but how does one get to fully enjoy handling all these different Porsche models? How does one explore the challenges, realize the potential and understand the technology behind the Porsche vehicle?
In 1974, just after the release of the Porsche 930 Turbo, the company opened the Porsche Sport Driving School to allow people to appreciate, enjoy and comprehend fully the power of the vehicle. The school proved to be a success, so more than three decades later, the company came out with an even better facility.
The Porsche Experience Center was opened in 2008 at the Silverstone circuit in England. There are also centers in Leipzig. Germany and in Shanghai, China. In North America, the first Porsche Experience Center is located in Atlanta, Georgia where the headquarters of the company’s operations in the United States is based.
Go West – The Porsche Experience Center in California
In 2012, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a new Porsche Experience Center in Carson in California. Southern California is one of the largest markets of the company in the entire United States, so it just makes sense to open a facility in the state. The new location that opens in the summer of 2013 is near the intersection of the 405 and 110 freeways, two major road arteries in Los Angeles. It is also just a few minutes away from the Los Angeles International Airport.
Any customer who buys a Porsche vehicle will be entitled to a free course in the driving facility. While this has become a standard offering of practically all the high-end vehicle manufacturers, what’s unique about this is that the course comes for free. Or looking at it from another angle, the fees already come with the cost of the vehicle.
You also need not worry about burning your tires and brakes, and of speeding up the depreciation of your vehicle. The car to be used for the training will be provided by Porsche, thus ensuring that the one you bought will not be used as your guinea pig and test model. As a matter of fact, you can start training in the facility even if you have paid for only the deposit of your vehicle.
At the Porsche Experience Center, you will learn how to handle and enjoy the vehicle at the same time regardless of your driving skill and level of interest. Among the facilities on tap at the Center include a state-of-the-art test track, a world-class handling course, and special surfaces that replicate different conditions, like snow, ice and heavy rain.
There is a section called the Ice Hill, which features an inclined road, water jets and surface that has low friction. This will help even the best and most experienced drivers improve their skills out in the real world. For buyers of the Porsche Cayenne, there is an off-road area that has steep ascents and declines, some as much as 45 degrees. This is an ideal training ground for those who want to maximize their sports utility vehicles.
By the end of your training, chances are you will know what specific option you would want for your Porsche. Those eye-catching dials and seat belts may remain, but more than the aesthetics, you will probably start asking for ceramic brakes and sports seats, as you will now understand how useful they can be. It may not necessarily jack up the car’s outside appearance, but your driving experience will certainly be enhanced because of these things.
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