Get the most out of your supercar at the Concours Club, a luxury automotive one-stop haven.
Owning a supercar is almost a prerequisite to living in Miami. The problem is the place is relatively flat, and most supercars, like the Porsche 911 Turbo S, can break the speed limit before you hit the top of second gear.
After a few days of using it on the freeways around Miami, you start looking for somewhere to explore its full potential. If that sounds familiar, may we recommend the Concours Club?
The Concours Club is Miami's first private track and boasts the USA's most technologically advanced circuit. It's built alongside a premier private jet center for the most convenient arrive-and-drive experiences. But focusing only on the track would be a sin because it's so much more than that.
More than anything, it's a one-stop haven for automotive enthusiasts. You can spend an entire weekend there and not drive an inch. We all know that the lifestyle is about more than just ownership and driving, and that's precisely what the Concours Club taps into. CarBuzz was recently invited to the ultra-exclusive hangout and was seriously impressed by what we found.
The Club sold a portion of its memberships while it was still being built in 2019, but it only officially opened its doors in June 2021. The remaining 100 memberships were sold for a one-off fee of $375,000 and a $35,000 annual fee.
Currently, there are over 200 people on the waiting list. And if you're interested in being added, you'll need a couple of members to vouch for you.
It's a significant chunk of change, but you get a lot in return. Firstly, an entire track on which you can explore. Though it's not the main focus point, we'll investigate it first. It's challenging and a riot. Perhaps more importantly, there's enough room to play around and enough run-off. If you do get it wrong, you won't be looking at an expensive repair bill.
What we liked most was the lack of ego. The Concours Club knows that your driving talent doesn't necessarily grow in tandem with the size of your wallet. Several advanced systems are in place to help you get the most out of your pride and joy.
These include state-of-the-art automated digital marshaling, electronic flag panels designed by Racetrack Engineering, and 22 timing loops for telemetry systems. Only five full-time marshals are required due to all the machine-learning autonomous systems. This enables the track to be available all week and facilitates members at a moment's notice. Most tracks require dozens of marshalls, with track days planned well in advance. Not so at the Concours Club.
The Club employs twelve professional driving instructors led by Lead Instructor Rod MacLeod who boasts more than 30 years of experience racing across multiple classes and Formula-E, winning the Mexican Formula 3 championship in 1996.
Rod took us for a couple of hot laps in a BMW M2 CS around the track, which includes a forty-six-foot wide track surface and painted asphalt runoffs. Incidentally, the Club claims to own more than half of all BMW M2 CS models in North America.
It takes around 90 seconds to get around the tight, technical track, designed by industry legend Alan Wilson with the longest straight enabling a top speed of 130 mph. A lot of thought went into creating a track that flows, balancing challenging turns with fast exits.
Turn five is dubbed Temptation, followed by turns six and seven, which form what they call Frustration. Even experienced track day drivers get caught out here, but these are the sorts of corners they want to conquer and what keeps them coming back for more.
The track is short, but drivers will see their skills improve dramatically with every visit. If you go past the run-off, you'll be met by FIA-certified TecPro energy-absorbing barriers and Geobrugg catch fences.
With dedicated staff in the pits ensuring members waste no time getting in and out of their cars, instructors can stop after a dozen or so laps, spend a few minutes going over the data with members, showing where they need to improve, and then jump back in to put the theory into practice.
To keep members and guests up to speed on every moment in real time, The Concours Club has integrated a complete CCTV camera system to provide uninterrupted track coverage. This can be viewed in different areas of the Club and on a dedicated app so members can watch their buddies from anywhere in the world.
If the track feels intimidating at first, you can use the race simulator. The Concours Club is the only private track we know of that had its entire track recorded for simulation driving. It's a great way to learn the various layouts and corners before heading out there to drive in real life.
"While designing The Concours Club, we knew that we had to deliver a truly elite track experience alongside delivering the world-class amenities that our members deserve," comments Neil Gehani, founder of The Concours Club. "We want our members to be able to maximize their time on the driving circuit and also enjoy a fabulous club setting with their friends and family. For many of our members, time is the most precious commodity. Our A+ location allows our members to arrive at The Concours Club from anywhere in Miami in 20 minutes or less. Or for those traveling from around the country or abroad, you can literally walk off a jet and be ready to go at the starting line in minutes."
Gehani's quote above touches on the other great things about this place. A love for cars is usually tough to share with the family, but the Concours Club has many amenities to keep the entire family entertained while you strut your stuff on the track.
Heck, you don't even need to use the track. It would be fun just going there and hanging out with like-minded people. Other folks who love cars just as much as you and don't get caught up in meaningless 0-60 mph battles. The people we met discuss cars on an entirely different level, and there's an aura of appreciation for all things automotive.
Or you can go for a fill-up at the on-site gas station or use the fantastic detailing services. Why not? It's a mere 20-minute drive from anywhere in Miami.
As mentioned earlier, the whole family can join. The Concours Club campus features 28,000 square feet of facilities in addition to the track. You can relax in the Member's Lounge and enjoy other drivers going around the track while being served lunch by a Michelin-starred executive chef.
The on-site restaurant is called Verge, and Culinary Director Chef Brad Kilgore curates its menu. Chef Kilgore is an internationally-renowned chef and restauranteur whose accolades speak for themselves: 2016 Food & Wine Magazine's 'Best New Chef,' James Beard Award nominee for the 'Best Chef South,' and multiple nods for 'Best Chef' in Miami.
The accommodation is sublime, and you get access to a Lifestyle Concierge to assist with any request.
If you are a collector of fine automobiles, you'll know that space is a limiting factor. This is why members take full advantage of the Club's private garages and storage. You can display or go for a secured individual space or a fully finished Auto Loft garage where you can host friends.
The Auto Lofts are designed by DMAC Architecture and are currently under construction with an estimated completion date of the end of 2022. Limited to 41 units with more real estate offerings planned for future phases, these are ideal for car storage or entertainment. The units overlook the circuit directly and are monitored 24/7.
Perhaps, more importantly, the storage spaces are protected against the weather, which is highly relevant given the recent hurricane in Florida in which a McLaren P1 was lost, an irreplaceable machine.
In addition to private lofts for members, the Auto Lofts will also feature two event spaces that can be combined or used independently. These will add to current event venue offerings and look like a great space to host boutique events directly by the circuit.
The Club offers multiple venue options ideal for private events, vehicle unveilings, and product showcases.
It will also soon feature an Event Campus designed by Pininfarina, an event venue designed with automotive events in mind. The new facility will be located within The Concours Club and features its own entrance, pit lane, and skid pad.
A lot of thought has gone into this space, which will feature its own business center and storage to cater to operational staff, a service area for vehicle support, and a car elevator that allows vehicles to be displayed on the second floor of the building. And, of course, food and drink will come directly from the Verge restaurant.
We imagine carmakers wanting to unveil a new model in Miami will be falling over themselves to use the Event Campus once it's operational a year or so from now.
The supercar ownership experience is best when shared with others, away from a world where rules and regulations keep you from exploring the full experience the designers had in mind. That's why the Concours Club exists. Not just for driving pleasure but to share the supercar experience with like-minded folk.