The Carrera GT’s routes can be firmly traced back to its predecessors, the 911 GT1 and LMP1-98 racing cars. In 1998 Porsche planned on a new Le Mans prototype for 1999. The V10 was a unit secretly built by Porsche for the Footwork Formula One team in 1992 but had been shelved. The engine was resurrected for the Le Mans prototype and increased in size to 5.7 litres. Unfortunately the project was canceled after two days of testing for the first car, in mid-1999, mostly due to Porsche’s wish to build the Cayenne SUV with involvement from Volkswagen and Audi, thus requiring engineering expertise to be pulled from the motorsports division. It was also speculated that VW-Audi chairman Ferdinand Piëch wanted Audi’s new Le Mans Prototype, the Audi R8 not to face competition from Porsche in 2004.
Porsche did keep part of the project alive showing a concept car at the 2000 Geneva Motor Show, mainly in an attempt to draw attention to their display. Surprising interest in the vehicle and an influx of revenue provided from the Cayenne helped Porsche decide to produce the car, and development started on a road-legal version that would be produced in small numbers at Porsche’s new manufacturing facility in Leipzig. Porsche started a production run of this astonishing super car in 2004 and the first Carrera GT went on sale in the US the same year.
Only 1,270 examples of the model left the Porsche manufacturing facility in Leipzig, Germany, where 70 highly qualified specialists assembled the vehicle on an assembly line in eight stages. Porsche itself described the Carrera GT as a car ‘suitable for everyday use that is based on thoroughbred race car technology’. The 5.7 litre V10 naturally-aspirated engine delivered a maximum output of 612 bhp at 8,000 rpm, and accelerated from zero to 124 mph in just 9.9 seconds, with a top speed of 205 mph.
The Carrera GT also heralded a new construction concept in road and racing vehicles – both the monocoque and the entire subframe were made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic, delivering optimum strength and weight characteristics. An automated rear wing spoiler deployed above 70 mph, while the roof system consisted of two individual carbon fibre lightweight shells which could be stored in the front luggage compartment. Other features included a specially-developed six-speed manual transmission with Porsche’s race-calibre Ceramic Composite Clutch, and a carbon fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide ceramic composite brake system. Traction control, air conditioning, GPS navigation, a Bose audio system, and a fitted, five-piece, matched-leather luggage set were standard equipment.
Traction control, Manual Air conditioning, CD Radio, Electric windows, Aluminum/leather Instrument panel and interior trim, Leather steering wheel, Trip computer.
Finished in a glossy coat of the launch colour GT Silver this Carrera GT is in good condition having covered more mileage than most but fully covered in paint protection film. Panel fit is excellent with only a few small chips or scuffs to note which do nothing to detract from the good looks or hyper car presence of one of Porsches finest machines.
The low sleek body combined with large side air inlets on both sides as well as front and back leaves any passers by in no doubt that this is an extreme supercar engineered by the best in the business. The rear spoiler extends at speeds over 75 mph to generate stabilizing rear downforce, while the chassis using its carbon fibre monocoque and the engine as rigidity, provides race car manoeuvrability and performance. Bi-xenon headlights are fitted, as well as LED directional and brake lights.
The interior, dominated by aluminium and soft black leather, is an incredible combination of luxury and race car tech. Although sparse, there are some concessions to luxury including specially-designed power windows, which weigh no more than manual windows. The racing-type seats, without power adjusters to save weight, are clad in leather as is the three-spoke steering wheel. A beechwood gear lever knob is a classy finishing touch, harking back to the balsa wood gear knob used in the Le Mans-winning Porsche 917 of the early 1970s.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Opening the rear engine compartment reveals a visual treat, the V10 sat pride of place and cocooned in the carbon fibre monocoque chassis, pushrod actuated suspension and air intake scoops make up an engineering masterpiece. The engine bay is incredibly clean and the mid-mounted normally-aspirated all-alloy V-10 engine on this example is immaculate, fitted with double overhead camshafts, variable valve timing, titanium connecting rods and a dry-sump oil system ensuring reliable and consistent oil supply and pressure.
Twinned with a traditional 6-speed manual gearbox with racing-type three-plate carbon clutch it is a potent, very mechanical combination and experience, allowing jaw-dropping acceleration and a top track speed of over 200 mph. The engine and mechanical have been well maintained over the years, the car having had 3 clutch replacements in its life.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
Yellow monoblock callipers can be clearly seen through the Carrera GT’s five-spoke forged light alloy wheels, 19 inch at the front and 20 inch at the rear, all wheels remain in good order as do the anodised wheel hub nuts, blue on the right, red on the left side distinguishing thread direction. The calipers are part of the awesome Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system that owed little to Porsche road cars at the time, and which continues to provide astonishing stopping power. The car remains on its factory spec Michelin N rated tyres all round with plenty of tread remaining.