2005 Porsche Carrera GT
“The steering has fantastic feedback and is very direct, allowing you to feel exactly what the car is doing. Even in comparison with the Ferrari F40 the car feels extremely light, with undulations in the road moving the front-end around at high speed, much like a 911 Turbo.
“Pushing through each gear, the acceleration is relentless; foot to the floor, the engine screams towards its 8400rpm red line with absolute ease. There's no doubt that this is a genuine 200mph car.
“Ceramic composite brakes help keep all that speed in check, with a rock-hard centre pedal giving access to instantaneous deceleration and (unlike the F40) providing huge confidence in the car's braking ability.
“At the end of my first drive, with the engine switched off and the car cooling, I just stand there, staring at the beautiful lines of this rare supercar with the biggest smile on my face ever. Needless to say, I'm already looking forward to spending more time behind the wheel of the GT; I know there is so much more to learn and experience.” Evo magazine’s long term test of the Porsche Carrera GT.
When testing the Carrera GT the eponymous Jeremy Clarkson, not one to usually mince his words, described it rather factually, perhaps inspired by its Germanic efficiency, as the most exciting, best looking, most expensive and fastest Porsche ever made, summing it up as “Supercar Unplugged”.
What became the Carrera GT actually came from the ashes of a Le Mans sports prototype project which became stillborn when Porsche took the difficult yet necessary decision to scrap the Le Mans campaign after just two days of testing to concentrate on the development of the Cayenne. While some die hard Porsche fans regretted this, they were duly rewarded for their faith in the company. The 2000 Paris car show featured a surprise dawn press conference at the Louvre museum, and what a fitting launch location it was: the initially disgruntled media had no idea why they were summoned to such an unusual place at such an hour but they were not disappointed. It was for a true technological work of art, the Carrera GT concept car. Soon afterwards, following overwhelmingly positive response from media and customers alike, the green light was given to produce the car, which came onto the market in 2004 for a scheduled production run of just over a thousand, ensuring its exclusivity.
The spiritual descendant of the 959, Porsche’s original supercar, the Carrera GT broke new ground for the firm. Never with the exception of the long ago, comparatively timid 914 had Porsche produced a rear mid-engined road car, never had Porsche offered a V10 in a road car and last but not least, it was indeed the fastest Porsche road car of all time.
At the heart of the Carrera GT is direct evidence of its cutting edge racing heritage: an extremely low centre of gravity made possible by an unusually compact clutch and fly wheel. It is their tiny diameter which allows not only for the dynamic qualities which make the Carrera GT a standout amongst supercars but also its stunning design, immediately recognizable as a Porsche yet a masterful rendering of what a 21st century Porsche supercar should look like.
Everything about the Carrera GT is state of the art; in fact the factory states that several dozen patents were filed just for this model. Its carbon fibre monocoque with removable hardtop is mated to the 5.7 litre V10 producing 612hp at a vertiginous 8,000rpm, mammoth urges which are reined in by equally potent brakes, long a Porsche forte: enormous 15 inch ceramic disks which almost completely fill the 19 and 20 inch wheels. A rear spoiler automatically deploys at 110kph to aid stability. One feature for which Porsche decided to remain purist is the transmission, a manual 6 speed gearbox with a gear knob partially in ash wood as on the legendary 917s that won Le Mans in 1970 and 1971. It is located very close and level with the steering wheel, an ergonomically ideal layout in contrast to the simian position often employed in other supercars.
With build quality superior to Ferrari’s Enzo and a price tag 30% lower, not to mention equivalent performance (0-100kph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed over 340kph), it’s no surprise that Carrera GTs can be found in the garages of motoring connoisseurs ranging from Jay Leno to Ralph Lauren and Jerry Seinfeld. Production ended in May 2006.The Carrera GT we offer, the first we have handled, is car no. 0548 of approximately 1,200 built. From the later production batch, it features the improved clutch mechanism and is a genuine UK delivery car, not an import (all Carrera GTs were left-hand drive). First UK registered ‘FJ05BSV’ on 20th April 2005, it was acquired at 1,200 miles via dealer Tom Hartley by the second and present owner, an investment banker, in 2006. Late last year the car was sent to Porsche specialist Ruf in Germany for fitting of their bespoke ride height raising system, which cures one of the Carrera GT’s weak points (the nose usually touches over speed bumps and ramps), and a discreet parking sensor system hidden in the front and rear bumpers. The invoice for this work, dated February 2007 and totalling €21,792.52, is on file.
Now with 5,269 miles covered, this is an immaculate example of the Carrera GT in the best colour combination, complete with all books, tools and fitted luggage. It has never been track driven nor suffered accident damage and is ready to be enjoyed. A future collector’s supercar.