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      05-26-2018, 03:28 AM   #1

Drives: F80 ZCP
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Calgary, AB Canada

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Porsche Experience Center - Atlanta *pic heavy*

I was able to do the mid vs rear driving experience at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta recently. It was an amazing experience and extremely capable vehicles, will be doing this again but at the Porsche Experience Center in LA with a GT3 next time. Iíve been asked if it was worth it several times, and each time I say 200% it is worth it.

Full album Ė https://flic.kr/s/aHskyGDU1p
Videos of my driving Ė

A bit of background before we get started
Prior to my ordering my F80, I was on the verge of ordering a 718S but went with the F80 as it was a better fit for at the time (wanted a daily that was half decent in the winter). I absolutely loved driving the 718S and was somewhat satisfied with the sound, then I made the mistake and drove a 981 with PSE and it was over from there, I wanted a NA flat-6, no, I NEEDED a NA flat-6 in my life. So I decided to go for the F80 and wait for the new GT4.

Fast forward a year, I have been lusting for a 991.2 C2 or a 981 GT4 for a bit and when the Carrera T was released I almost walked into the local Porsche dealer to place my order. However, I stopped myself as I knew the 718 GT4 will be released in a year or so giving me an opportunity to spec a new GT4 and do another European Delivery but with Porsche this time. So I drove a C2 just for a baseline, pretty damn good for the bottom of the range. Now this got me curious, how big of a difference is there in terms of driving dynamics between the 718 and 991.2? That is why I choose the mid vs rear engine experience. Another reason why I did a driving experience at the PEC was because it was on my bucket list but more importantly, I wanted upskill my driving techniques.

Initial impressions
Holy shit Porsche really knows how to impress, the facility is very nice but this is Porscheís brand identity and design language Ė clean and modern. When you enter the facility there is a gorgeous hotel beside it which shares similar design aspects, the Solis. Fun fact, you need an appointment to get on the grounds otherwise they will turn you away and the building is their US headquarters.

When you get into the building you are greeted by a 919, unfortunately it is a 1:1 scale model but it is still stunning. The main floor has retail, PTS area, welcome desk, etc. There are underground levels that house their Classic Car Workshop and a bit of a mini museum, very cool. The second level has the best view of the track where you can see everything except for the back section and the off-road course. You can easily stand on that patio for hours watching the cars go by.

The track and the cars
I was able to experience all sections of the track; handling circuit, low-friction handling circuit, kick plate, and dynamics area. I was asked which car I wanted to drive first, the 718 GTS or the C4S? I was told that if I drove the C4S first then it would be the better experience; where as starting with the 718 GTS Iíll get to know the track a bit quicker. Of course I went with the C4S first, glad I did. At first I was disappointed that I was not able to drive them in manual but the track is very technical and PDK was great which allowed me to concentrate on the track.

According to the data of the car, my max speed in the C4S was 89 mph and the g-force was -1.25G for braking and I was fairly balanced in cornering, 1.06G and 0.98G. Where as in the 718 max speed as 96 mph and g-force was -1.26G for braking, interestingly I was left bias with 1.15G and 0.95G on the right.

Handling circuit
This is basically a short and tight road course, by far my favourite part of the experience. There are some pretty fast corners there that amazed me on how good these cars are, especially how agile and well balanced they are. The fastest corner which is also the biggest holy shit is after you pass the spectator area and are going WOT while it turns. These cars a way more capable than I am but I was able to catch a Turbo (several times), C2 GTS, and a pack with a GT3 leading so that was fun. Before we go on, would like to mention that I am in no way a professional driver, just a car enthusiast who has a couple of track days and a very slow Nurburgring lap under his belt.

C4S Ė This car is very stable and it had such good corner exit grip. When I first drove it I thought it would be vastly different than driving a front engine car but, it didnít feel like the rear end was going to kick out at any second and kill me. It actually felt good, realllllly good, the front end was light so less urge for understeer but just so much grip. Mind you this could be because it was a C4S. Those two turbos felt pretty good, felt almost like a NA engine, well, maybe not, but itís close-ish.

718 GTS Ė Night and day difference between the 718 GTS and C4S. The 718 felt lighter because well, it is. It is slower (no surprise there) and with a single turbo, there is more of that turbo feel. I was immediately quicker in the 718 but didnít have that sense of huge rear end grip like in the C4S. Steering was also lighter than the C4S but probably is because the C4S has a diff up front. You also have to drive the 718 a bit different than the C4S, not better or worse, just differently. Side note, I also dropped the top because what the hell not, gotta take advantage of that drop top and to be honest it was fucking great to have the open air cockpit when going through the track.

Dynamics area
So I didnít do the slalom as I only had 45 minutes in each car but clearly the C4S launched harder and was much faster than the 718. Felt the brakes on the C4S were better but that could be several reasons.

Low-friction circle
I only did this with the 718 and all traction was turned off, didnít do it with the C4S as it would take quite a bit of speed and time to get it to drift due to the AWD. With the 718 and the mid-engine layout, it spins extremely easy, did about five attempts and was only able to get it to drift a little bit. Another few more attempts and I think I would be able to get the hang of it better. Mind you this is much different than drifting the F80 in a parking lot during the winter. Would be interesting to take a F80 there and try it out.

Low-friction handling circuit aka the go-kart track
This was an extremely tight low speed area meant to kick the back end out.

C4S Ė Surprisingly pretty well balanced and didnít feel like it would snap out and kill me because of the rear ending. Also took a bit of effort to get it to drift a little, this is probably due to my technique and the AWD.

718 Ė Easier to control over the C4S due to the light weight and lack of AWD. After my instructor swapped seats with me an drifted it pretty damn good.

Kick plate
You drive straight at around 25 mp/h and a plate pops up so your rear tires hit it and you start to spin. 95% of those people havenít seen or driven on snow/ice so I definitely had the advantage.

C4S Ė Again, wasnít as bad as I thought, more controllable than I thought until I got to the end heh.

718 Ė Very hard to gain control once it snaps, similar to the low-friction circle, you just spin like a top. Very easy to spin out here with it.

Demonstration laps
At the end of the session, my instructor took my on a few demo laps and damn he can really hussle the 718. Watched a GT3 one which sounds amazing, as well as a Panamera one which also sounded great.

Overall impressions
Incredible experience, would highly recommend this. It was much better value and way more fun than a ring taxi ride (250EUR vs 550USD) but...the Nurburgring is the Nurburgring.

As much as I liked the 718, I actually preferred the C4S, felt it a bit more rewarding IMO and that rear end grip was just something else. Now if the 718 had an NA motor and better suspension (perhaps from a GT3), it might be a different story...canít wait for that GT4.

I would highly recommend this to everyone if they can do it, for 550USD at 1.5 hours, it is well worth it because not only do you get to thrash around in new Porsches but you are instructed 1:1 by very experienced instructors. The instructors are basically ex or current racers and will work with you to help you achieve your goals for the session.

I will be back again for sure, but this time it will be at the PEC in LA using a GT3 for the full 1.5 hours and hopefully in Leipzig when or if I get a GT4 allocation.

Time for some pics
PEC_ATL_01 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_02 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_03 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_04 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_05 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_06 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_07 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_08 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_09 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_10 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_11 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_12 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_13 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_14 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_15 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_16 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_17 01 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_18 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_19 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_20 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_21 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_22 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_24 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_25 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_26 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_27 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_28 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_29 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_30 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_31 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr

PEC_ATL_32 by Pearson Chung, on Flickr
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      05-26-2018, 07:02 AM   #2
ignorance is bliss..

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looks pretty fun..
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      05-26-2018, 09:25 AM   #3
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I bought my 993 last fall and get email from the dealer every few months with up coming events etc. Always been a Porsche fan and will definitely take in one of these experiences.
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      05-26-2018, 03:10 PM   #4
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Wow very cool. Porsche is one helluva brand.
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      05-26-2018, 03:13 PM   #5
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Porsche's branding has always been amongst the best.

How is the rest of Atlanta? I've yet to be there. Seems to be a fast growing city. Thanks to Porsche I now have a reason to visit.
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      05-26-2018, 09:15 PM   #6
dingo ate my baby
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Very cool!

Clark Griswold X1
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      05-26-2018, 11:20 PM   #7
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Its beautiful
Currently: 2018 BMW M4 Competition & 2018 Audi S3 Prestige
Previously BMWs: 2016 340i, 2012 M3 CP, 2003 745Li, 2000 740i
Previously Owned: Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Volkswagen
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      05-27-2018, 12:32 PM   #8
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I so wanted to do the 911 Turbo vs. GT3 one, but for the price, I feel like I should use that to pay 1/120 of a payment one day.

Great write up!

Can't wait to see the LA GT3 one!
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      05-27-2018, 03:13 PM   #9
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Came for the pics and they did not disappoint! Looks like a great day.

I'm taking delivery at the LA PEC later this fall and can't wait.
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      05-27-2018, 11:19 PM   #10
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Never knew this existed. I travel to Atlanta for work a lot, must go check this out.
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      05-28-2018, 06:52 PM   #11
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Nice, Iím planning to go in July, not sure which one I wanna do as yet!
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      05-29-2018, 09:05 AM   #12
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2016 BMW F80 M3  [5.00]
all i can think of from the pictures of the facilities is the "Avengers".

beautiful photos and im sure the experience was absolutely amazing. thanks for sharing.
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      05-31-2018, 02:07 PM   #13
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That looks amazing, I definitely need to check that out.

I know getting allocation for the 718 gt4 will be tough. I picked up a 981 to enjoy until then and don’t regret it for a second.

Thanks for sharing the experience.
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      06-02-2018, 09:25 AM   #14
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Real questions is if you saw Iron Man or Capt America?

(Porsche NA HQ is used as Avengers HQ in the movies)

Great write up.
"Drive more, worry less. "

435i, MPPK, MPE, M-Sport Line
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      06-03-2018, 01:43 AM   #15
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Panamera wagon: something I would own. Thanks for sharing.
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      06-08-2018, 09:00 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by zerofighter View Post
Fast forward a year, I have been lusting for a 991.2 C2 or a 981 GT4 for a bit and when the Carrera T was released I almost walked into the local Porsche dealer to place my order. However, I stopped myself as I knew the 718 GT4 will be released in a year or so giving me an opportunity to spec a new GT4 and do another European Delivery but with Porsche this time.
I highly recommend doing the P car European Delivery at Leipzig. You got to enjoy an hour of track time with an instructor and he will show you what the car you bought is capable of. And the best part is you will be using their car and not yours.

2015 320 xdrive
2015 981 CGTS
2011 X6 gone
2008 335i gone
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      06-11-2018, 08:24 PM   #17
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Looks like a blast! I'm looking to book a session at the Los Angeles center!
F80 ///M3 Weekend
i3 REx Daily

Previous: F30 340i M Sport ZTR ē F30 328i Sport ē Audi B7 S4 25Quattro #33 of 250
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      06-12-2018, 03:59 PM   #18
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Great pics, OP. You were lucky to have a full mini-museum accessible on the ground floor; when I visited last fall there were only two cars there: a 918 and an ultra-rare, EU-licensed, street-legal 910. (The latter was enough for me for personal reasons. )

Also, FYI for everyone: You don't have to own a Porsche to do a PEC Driving Experience. Anyone can do it (Reservations are required, though -- PEC Atlanta security is tight since the facility doubles as Porsche NA HQ).

I did PEC Atlanta a month after taking delivery of my 718 last fall. I drive the car from Dallas to Atlanta and back for it (and to visit a few friends along the way). I did the 718 Cayman driving experience (massively fun: The PEC Atlanta track may be short but it's very technical), but wanted to also do the one you did, OP.

PEC Atlanta's only been open for about three years, I think, so it's basically brand new. It's in the northeast corner of HJA -- right now the world's busiest airport -- and the complex just opened a neighboring hotel, which is an important note because HJA is decidedly not in the best part of town. That said, the facility is immaculate ...

... but the kicker for me was visiting the Barber Motorsports Park on the drive back and catching a Porsche Driving School session wrapping up. I was just as excited to see that as I was to see the motorcycle collection at the museum there!
--Life is a journey made more exciting with a fast car.--
--Helmets are for closers.--
<<Current: "Blackened" '18 NBM Porsche 718 Cayman ... Gone (but not forgotten): "Blackened" MG '15 228i M Sport w/aFe filter/scoop, Hertz drivers, P3Cars multigauge, other goodies>>
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