2006 Porsche Carrera GT
“There’s no denying just how significant a mark the Carrera GT makes on the supercar map. Expletive-inducingly quick, beautifully balanced and phenomenally engineered, it’s the kind of car that will deliver the goods all day every day for the rest of its lifetime without hiccup or complaint” – a 2008 test in the British magazine Car.
Porsche’s Carrera GT project started as a concept at the 2000 Paris Show, using a 5.5-litre V10 derived from a commission received from the Footwork F1 team in the early 90s.
Although it was intended to build 1,500, just 1,270 examples of Porsche’s 612bhp mid-engined hypercar were sold. The Carrera GT and the Ferrari Enzo set the benchmark for ultra-performance hypercars of the mid-2000s, and even today remain stunningly quick road machines, offering the ultimate driving experience to the most experienced drivers.
The Porsche Carrera GT
Post-2000, the industrial conglomerate that made up the group of companies that included Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche was unsure as to which brand would carry its colours at Le Mans. At one point a V10-powered Porsche prototype was on the cards.
Ultimately, the decision was taken to allow Audi a shot at the great 24-hour race unhindered by ‘family’ competition from Porsche. The 2000 Paris Show car had generated much interest, though, and it was decided to make a limited (to 1,500) run of cars using data from the aborted Le Mans project. It was in the mould of the McLaren F1 and entered production when final deliveries of the Ferrari Enzo were leaving Maranello.
The new ‘Carrera GT’ that went on sale in 2004, built at Porsche’s new Leipzig factory in the old East Germany, was a high-tech hypercar capable of quite extraordinary performance. Zero to 62mph was quoted as just 3.9 seconds, but testers managed it in just 3.5. Top speed was 205mph.
The car was futuristic and exotic, having a carbonfibre tub, magnesium wheels and massive (380mm, or 15in) carbonfibre-reinforced silicon carbide ceramic composite brakes. The 5,733cc engine was fed cooling air by curving ducts that dominated the side profile of the car.
It was only available as a roadster with a removable hardtop, and the standard colours were: Guards Red, Basalt Black, GT Silver, Fayence Yellow and Seal Grey.
As a pure driving machine it had few equals, and Porsche reinforced this message by only fitting the Carrera GT with a 6-speed manual – not sequential – gearbox. The standard wooden gear knob in beechwood, fitted by Porsche as standard to all Carrera GTs, is a humorous nod to the laminated balsawood items present in iconic racers such as the mighty 917.
Production ceased in May 2006, although the car was catalogued in 2007, impending economic storm clouds causing demand to peter out after only 1270 were delivered.
This Motor Car
Chassis WP0ZZZ98Z6L000108 is a late-model Carrera GT, number 1129 of the 1,270 built.
Offered today with EU taxes paid, it comes with all tools, manuals and fitted luggage.