Porsche’s awesomeness to be visible from air over Atlanta.

The new $100 million Porsche headquarters being built near Hartsfield-Jackson airport will incorporate a giant Porsche badge that will be visible from space overhead.

In two years, frequent fliers circling above Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport may glimpse a Porsche badge out their windows. The atrium of the automaker’s new North American headquarters, scheduled to open in late 2013, will be shaped to resemble the shield adorning Cayennes, Panameras, Caymans, 911s and Boxsters.

Porsche expects to break ground early next year on the ambitious new center in Atlanta, which would consolidate the company’s North American administration, technical, training and other operations. It would also include what the company called its Customer and Driver Experience Center, consisting of a test track, a restaurant, a shop for Porsche-branded goods and other amenities.

“The design must allow employees and visitors to see, hear, feel and experience both the emotional and practical benefits of the Porsche brand, from the moment they first see the building,” said Detlev von Platen, the president and chief executive of Porsche Cars North America, in a statement released Wednesday.

15 comments

  1. “and practical benefits of the Porsche brand”

    Well there’s a word I never would have thought would be used in conjunction with Porsche. I mean, I guess it’s practical if you’re a racecar driver or James Bond or something. For grocery getting, I suppose the Cayenne does offer a bit more room, but I’m still not sure I’d call a Porsche “practical”. Fun maybe… practical, no.

    • Todd Rehm says:

      A used Porsche is the only car that reliably appreciates. You’ve got to find the right model and year, but if you buy smartly, you can drive every day and sell for same price or more later on. That’s pretty practical.

      • …and when you have to replace the starter, steering rack, alternator… how practical are the parts comparatively? I know when I had to have the steering rack replaced on the Lexus several years ago it was $1200 + $600 labor. When I needed a replacement key? $250 for the key and $250 to program it. I got tired of the luxury car maintenance expenses and ended up going back to a Toyota 4Runner that I eventually sold to buy the dually.

        • Todd Rehm says:

          Some of the maintenance items can be pricy. A top-end job including belts on a water-cooled 924s/944/968 can run $1500-$2000. Most of the cars that are appreciating are the air-cooled ones and prices aren’t that obscene. Those $250 keys you might get with a new car, but my 1975 914 is appreciating, and labor’s not bad, and no electronic key. Engine work can be done on mine by anyone who regularly works on the VW IV flat-fours, which gives you a good variety of mechanics. And my car gets about 32 mpg highway.

  2. chefdavid says:

    We will look forward to them building a production facility in Chattanooga. Not only will it boost the Tennessee economy but NW Georgia as well. Remember you heard it here first.

    • Todd Rehm says:

      Audi sold about 4x as many cars in the US in 2010 as Porsche did. I don’t foresee Porsche starting US production anytime soon unless they co-develop another model with VW-Audi. But even when they did that, they still produced the vehicle in Europe.

      An Audi plant in NWGA or TN has been rumored for a while.

  3. Timing belts on the run of the mill New Beetles, are about $1000. I have had a few Porsches. The Panamera is a dud, their Cayenne is a VW. I do like the Caymans. I would love to check out their test track. I bet my Corvette can throw them boys for a loop on the staightaways.

    • Todd Rehm says:

      The problem with the belts on the 924s/44/68 is that they need to be changed every 30k miles. I’d imagine the belt change interval on the new beetle is longer than that.

      Have you ever gotten your hands on one of the v10 TDI Touaregs? That’s something I’d like to drive for a few days.

  4. Todd, they only imported them for two years. I have only had the DISPLEASURE of working on one. The price was ridiculous. 650 ftlbs of torque was pretty sweet. Service interval is 80K on the belts we have. Beats bending the valves and punching holes in pistons. I owned a 944 once, but traded it for my E30 M3 BMW, which had a much easier belt once you took the radiator out. I had a 911 with chains, much better car, sans the $2000 clutch parts (carbon kevlar, the only way to fly) and the quirky CIS fuel injection. After I popped two $300 air boxes, I invested (use the term loosely, since I lost my butt selling that car) on the six one barrell PMO carb setup… then it was way too fast for my 21 year old maturity. Traded it for $4000 and two 16 valve Sciroccos to a guy that rolled it seven times a week later.

    Sorry to turn Peach Pundit into car-palooza…

    • Todd Rehm says:

      Any excuse to talk about cars is fine with me. And it’s on-topic here. The E30 M3 probably makes my top ten all time list of cars that I might actually own someday. there’s a group of guys who come to some of the local car shows with a couple of E30 M3s.

      I think the “cool factor” of cars is part of what will eventually interest more people in alternative fuel vehicles. Look at the attention the Tesla Roadster has gotten versus the Civic GX.

      I’m somewhat confounded by the slow adoption of diesels, now that they’re pretty good performance-wise and being put into cooler but still practical cars. And Audi’s racing prowess should start moving more diesels any day now….

  5. Todd, a 914 owner? After my heart! Back in 1998 I worked with Jake Raby from Cleveland, GA on developing a bolt up 2000cc 914 conversion for type one VWs. My 1961 beetle was a recipient of one of the first kits. Unfortunately, I shattered the flywheel about six weeks later, and cried like a baby in the wrecker. I was pulling high 13’s in the quarter 🙂

    • Todd Rehm says:

      My 914 is pretty original with 52k miles. It’s got the turbo tie rods, konis all around and a few subtle things like that, but very, very original. I know a guy who has put a subaru turbo boxer from an STI into a 912 and a 3.8 Lexus v8 into a 914. He’s an electrical engineer, so he can get the engine management and gauges all working, and they’re very nice swaps.

      I keep thinking that a nice swap would be something like a Honda CNG engine into an old 924. At 110 hp, it has about what the original 924s had.

  6. jiminga says:

    The lead picture of the Porsche Speedster takes me back to my youth as a race steward for SCCA in Maryland. I have fond memories of Bruce Jennings’ Carrera racing in “C” Production running rings around the Corvettes running in “A” Production. It was truly a giant killer. I have never owned a Porsche but it remains on my bucket list.

    • Todd Rehm says:

      Except for a period in the 1970s with the 917, Porsche didn’t win races on the straights, they won them in the curves, and by keeping out of the pits. Those speedsters, and my 914 for that matter, have fewer horses than a modern Honda Civic, but the handling is what makes them exceptional cars. I’ve seen three genuine speedsters in Buckhead this summer.

      Check out toddrehm.org for some of the photos.

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