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CATEGORIES (articles) > Cars we emulate > Porsche > Porsche Carrera GT History

Porsche Carrera GT History


Porsche Carrera GT
Manufacturer: Porsche

The Porsche Carrera GT is a supercar, manufactured by Porsche of Germany.


History

Porsche began developing the Carrera GT in 2000 as a successor to the 911 GT1 car they had discontinued in late 1998 because of FIA rule changes. However, there was speculation that Porsche discontinued development at the behest of VW/Audi chairman Ferdinand Piëch - Piëch was reportedly concerned over the prospect of a Porsche vehicle competing against the Audi R8 race car, which had just been introduced. As a member of the Porsche family, Piëch holds a seat on the company's board of directors and owns a percentage of the firm, so his influence could be exacted from inside. In addition, Porsche needed to free up capital and manpower for development work on the Cayenne, and dropping development of the race car made it possible.

Porsche did however produce one unit, and showed it 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 being provided by the Cayenne helped Porsche decide to make use of 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 Carrera GTs in 2004, shipping the units with an MSRP of $440,000 USD and a dealer invoice price of approximately $414,800 USD. In addition, the delivery charge could be as much as $15,000 USD.

Originally, a production run of 1,500 cars was slated. But Porsche announced in August, 2005 that it would not continue production of the Carrera GT throughout 2006, reducing the total production estimate to 1,250 units. Porsche announced that this discontinuation was due to changing airbag regulations in the US. However, reports of diminishing sales volumes, relatively high dealer inventory levels, and dealer discounts below MSRP were reported by the automotive press as being the true factors driving an early end to the production run. Despite the early end to production, sales of the Carrera GT were a huge success, with worldwide sales volumes surpassing the combined totals of Ferrari's Enzo, Mercedes' McLaren SLR, and Pagani's Zonda models.

340 Carrera GTs were sold in the United States in 2005. Production of the Carrera GT stopped on May 6, 2006 after more than 1270 units had been manufactured. Approximately half of the vehicles were sold in North America.


Design

The Carrera GT is powered by an all-new 5.7 litre V10 engine producing 612 SAE horsepower (450 kW). Porsche claims it will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62.5 mph) in 3.9 seconds and has a maximum speed of 330 km/h (206 mph), although road tests indicated that in actuality the car could accelerate from 0-60 in under 3.5 seconds and to 0-100 in 6.8 seconds and has a top speed of 335-340km/h (209-212.5mph). The Carrera GT has a basic 5 colour paint schemes which include: Black, Guards Red, Fayence Yellow, Basalt Black, GT Silver and Seal Grey. A six-speed manual transmission is the only available transmission, in contrast to its rival the Ferrari Enzo which is only offered with sequential manual transmission. With the Ferrari Enzo priced around $660,000, the Carrera GT base price of $448,400 makes the dream of owning a piece of Le Mans inspired technology somewhat more attainable. The Carrera GT is also priced at $559,000 in Canadian dollars, and at 390,000 in Euros.

The Carrera GT has large side inlets and airdams that help cool the large V-10 that lies framed by the carbon fibre rear hood. Fitted with Porsche's latest brake system, the 15 inch ceramic pad brakes make a stunning appearance underneath the 19 inch front and 20 inch rear tires. Similar to other Porsche Models, the GT includes an automated rear wing spoiler which deploys in the higher ranges of speed (70 mph).


Technology

The Porsche Carrera GT's carbon-ceramic (silicon carbide) disc brake
of note includes a pure carbon fibre monocoque and subframe, dry-sump lubrication and inboard suspension. The carbon fibre monocoque and subframe were produced and assembled by the ATR Composites Group of Italy. The main innovation on this vehicle however is the use of a ceramic clutch. This is the first appearance of this race car technology in a road car. The clutch, although difficult to master, allows the engine to sit lower in the chassis than in any other super car, both improving its aerodynamics and lowering its center of gravity.

Despite a seemingly difficult clutch, Porsche incorporated computer management of the clutch when the car is on an incline. Drivers are able to lift completely off the clutch and not stall the car. ([1] showthread.php?t=66411)

Unlike some of its rivals, the Carrera GT does not use the same electronic driving aids such as dynamic stability control, but it does have traction control. Porsche engineers have designed a communicative chassis and rely on the ability of the driver.


Owners

Famous Carrera GT owners include:

  • Jay Leno - Tonight Show Host
  • Ralph Lauren - Fashion Designer
  • Jerry Seinfeld - Comedian / Actor
  • Tiger Woods - Professional Golfer-- (which is currently for sale)
  • Thierry Henry - professionall footballer

Gallery

Porsche Carrera GT front
Porsche Carrera GT rear
Porsche Carrera GT interior - note placement of the gear selector immediately adjacent to the steering wheel




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