After several months of waiting, the Porsche Experience Center Franciacorta. After the purchase of the Franciacorta Circuit in 2019 by the House of Zuffenhausen, there have been two years of feverish work to bring about the birth of what is in effect the World’s largest Porsche Experience Center. But what is hidden in the 60 hectares of the “Porsche fiefdom”? Let’s find out together, because there is so much to talk about.
What is the Porsche Experience Center Franciacorta? The new Italian home of the House of Zuffenhausen
The birth of the Porsche Experience Center in Franciacorta could only see its completion today, theSept. 11. This date has always been an absolute reference for Porsche enthusiasts. Because? In fact, considering the number of the month of September, 9, reading 9/11 “American style” results in 9-11, 911: the most famous and beloved model of the German company. Two years of work led to the birth of what is in effect the World’s largest Porsche Experience Center. Its inauguration had some illustrious guests, in addition to our Fjona. They were in fact present Oliver Blume, the Chairman of the Board of Porsche, Detlev von Platen, member of the Porsche Sales and Marketing Board and former F1 driver, winner with Porsche of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Brand Ambassador of the brand Mark Webber.
With his 60 hectares in fact it beats all the others scattered around the world between Europe (Lipsia, Le Mans, Silverstone, Hockenheim), America (Atlanta and Los Angeles) and Asia (Shanghai and Tokyo next year). But I’m sure you are wondering: what is a Porsche Experience Center? As its name already explains, a PEC is a place where you can experience the world of Porsche, the thrill of driving its models and having the opportunity to live a 100% Porsche experience. As we will see, a Castrezzato, in the province of Brescia, Porsche has alongside the off-road track, aprons for safe driving and a Customer Center, the heart of Porsche hospitality for all types of visitors.
The two souls of the Porsche Experience Center Franciacorta: the Customer Center …
The Porsche Experience Center Franciacorta is in fact divided into two main sections: the Customer Center and the Paddock, where the action takes place on the track (and not only). So let’s start from the first thing you encounter when visiting the PEC of Franciacorta, or the Customer Center. It is a futuristic dome that hides a huge space of 5,600 m2 which gives access to all activities and possibilities for enthusiasts, customers and guests.
In fact, it starts from a central agora from which all the services of the structure then depart. There are sale briefing for theoretical sessions or pre-race briefing, one showroom Porsche to configure your car and also have it delivered on site, a panoramic restaurant overhanging the racetrack, one shop, an area dedicated to children it’s a panoramic terrace, from which to enjoy the show on the track.
But it doesn’t stop there: inside the Porsche Experience Center Franciacorta, the House of Zuffenhausen has also included a Business Center with capacity up to 140 seats to sit and one Board Room for business meetings. Both are not for Porsche exclusive use, but they are bookable on request from companies and particular events. Another wing of the complex will be completed by the end of the year, the Porsche Italia Training Center. Here the personnel of the Porsche Center network will be trained and instructed, and will be equipped with a large window to allow the curious and enthusiasts to see the exercises completed by the Porsche men.
… And the Paddock: 2.5 km track, rings for safe driving, an off-road circuit and… an electric kart track!
In a temple of the automobile, however, the real protagonist is her, the track. The Franciacorta circuit has remained almost unchanged in its layout. Therefore, the 12 curve e i 2.519 m of the original Brescia track: the differences on the circuit mainly concern a asphalt completely redone and a remake of curbs, escape routes and so on. In fact, the Franciacorta track has always been very popular with enthusiasts, riders and professionals due to its very nature technical and demanding. To go fast in Franciacorta you need talent, technique and discipline.
But the Paddock area does not include only the track. This also includes, of course, the real paddock with 29 boxes and the whole pit lane, designed for host major motoring events. Which? Obviously the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia will be at home here in Franciacorta, but there will also be space for events outside the Porsche world. In addition to the actual track, however, there will also be one low grip track where to take safe driving courses to experience skidding, oversteering and the like.
In addition to this there will be a irrigable polished concrete ring, where it will be possible to refine the under and oversteer control skills. Finally, another wide straight-apron will be perfect for testing the performance of braking systems and the stability of cars in emergency maneuvers.
The Porsche Experience Center of Franciacorta will then be the perfect terrain for test drives for customers and for us journalists. In fact, in addition to all these news there is one area dedicated to an off-road route with ramps, twists, dirt roads and obstacles, perfect for testing off-road models such as the Cayenne, Macan and Taycan Cross Turismo. If, on the other hand, you do not want or cannot test yourself on the track with the cars of the Porsche world, within the 60 hectares of the Circuit you can test yourself on the kart track from the center.
This is the only one in the world inside the Porsche Experience Centers, and the karts are electric, with 3 power mappings. A detail for fans: karts have the Porsche historic liveries, like Pink Pig or Rothmans. A wonderful touch of class.
Attention to the future and sustainability: Porsche Experience Center Franciacorta between eSports and certifications
Porsche’s investment was certainly huge, costing as much as 28 million euros. In fact, from the very beginning of the works, Porsche has given ample space to the future and sustainability. The future is represented by the space given to the Simulation Lab, a place dedicated to virtual reality and sports. In fact, there are 8 latest generation simulators in this laboratory, where you can therefore give space to the increasingly influential and important virtual sports. But, as you have seen today, that is not all here either.
The entire Porsche Experience Center Franciacorta plant was in fact born under the banner of sustainability, in line with the latest Porsche strategy. Attention to the environment was central to the entire project, from the design study to the realization. In fact, the entire architectural concept aimed at recover the pre-existing structures as much as possible, to avoid unnecessary waste. Sustainable energy sources were also of great importance: the entire plant is in fact powered by energy from renewable sources.
Thanks to all these pampering, the PEC Franciacorta has already obtained the ISO 20121 certification. What is that? The international standard for event management systems or structures built according to the criteria of maximum sustainability. A project that convinced everyone, starting with Pietro Innocenti, CEO of Porsche Italy. “The Porsche Experience Center Franciacorta is the maximum expression of the Porsche world in a country like Italy, where the passion and love for engines is combined with the culture and beauty of a unique nature. It is the ideal place to have fun, get excited and experience the passion live, in a stimulating environment and with many attractions “.
Open to everyone (but everyone) to experience Porsche emotions at all levels. But when will it open?
We close with what is perhaps the most beautiful project of the entire Porsche Experience Center Franciacorta, or the possibility for anyone to enjoy the Porsche world. In fact, great attention has been given to respecting the diversity: there are in fact some of the cars that will be used on the track equipped with driving assistance devices that can also allow people with disabilities to experience emotions without limits that a Porsche can drive.
The Porsche Experience Center Franciacorta is therefore a truly project full. Sustainability, inclusiveness, versatility and respect for the environment and for Italy are combined with the emotions and uniqueness of the Porsche brand and its cars. But when will the Franciacorta PEC open? The official opening date is today, 11 September 2021. From tonight it will therefore be available for events, races, races and road tests. We therefore hope to be invited again by Porsche very soon to be able to test the characteristics of the new face of Franciacorta.