Porsche has a growing roster of ‘Experience Centres’ dotted around the world. It’s a neat concept, normally involving with some prime Pork on display, somewhere to grab a coffee and/or a swanky lunch, and a test track where instructors can show you how to make the most of the car you’ve just bought.
The latest one is perhaps the most interesting yet, though. The ninth ‘PEC’ is to open in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo, Japan, where the scenery undulates. Its 1.3-mile test track will take full advantage of the gradient changes, making it possible to reproduce various famous corners from some of the world’s best circuits.
Only two are name-checked in Porsche’s press release specifically, but they’re two of the biggest icons in the biz - the Nurburgring Nordschleife’s Karussell (or Carousel) and Laguna Seca’s Corkscrew. It’s hard to get a sense of the elevation changes in the artist’s impression so we can’t accurately pinpoint which bit is supposed to be the Corkscrew, but the Karussell is clear as day in the top right-hand corner of the image.
Although the track design takes inspiration from other nations, the architecture of the Centre building itself will be firmly rooted in Japanese culture. Its exterior design will be modelled on Edo Kiriko, a traditional craft involving pattern glasswork. The inside “will also adopt a Japanese flavour that conjures images of plaster-work and Japanese gardens,” Porsche says.
In there will be a coffee lounge, a restaurant and a simulator. For business-types and corporate away days, there’ll be a bunch of meeting rooms.
Porsche’s existing Experience centres can be found in Leipzig, Silverstone, Atlanta, Le Mans, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Hockenheim. Chiba will open at some point in 2021, shortly after another facility in Italy, which involves a renovation of Franciacorta International Circuit, which Porsche took over in 2019.