Porsche Carrera GT

The Porsche Carrera GT is a low, sleek, lightweight roadster that is as beautiful to the engineer as it is to the eye. Among the car’s unique features are its 5.7-liter, 605-horsepower (SAE) V10 engine; its monocoque chassis with engine and transmission mounts made of carbon-reinforced plastic (Porsche has registered for a patent on this design principle which uses aerospace materials); and the first use of a ceramic composite clutch in a production car. Its aerodynamic and race-bred suspension package provides safe and stable travel at speeds of up to 205 mph (330 km/h), and the Carrera GT features a lot of lightweight materials, such as magnesium for the car’s huge wheels and special sport seats.

The result of such artistic and athletic equipment is a car that accelerates from a standing start to 62 mph (100 km/h) in only 3.9 seconds, reaches 100 mph (160 km/h) in less than seven seconds, 125 mph (200 km/h) in less than 10 seconds, and can achieve a top test-track speed of 205 mph (330 km/h).

The Porsche Carrera GT made its stunning yet fitting debut as a prototype car at the famed Louvre art museum in Paris in the fall of 2000. After undergoing development and testing, the final production version was unveiled at the 2003 Geneva show. The Porsche Carrera GT will be built at Porsche’s new plant in Leipzig, Germany, with deliveries beginning late in the 2003 calendar year.

From the front, the Carrera GT bears the typical Porsche face, with an extreme, swept-back “arrow” design of the front lid with wings rising up at the sides much like the 718 RSK Spyder of the 1960s. As on the awesome Porsche 917 racecars, flat glass covers a pair of large projection headlights that feature the most advanced and sophisticated headlight technology available with V-shaped Xenon headlamp units. Just as on the Porsche 911 Turbo, three extra-wide air intakes in the lower front fascia underscore the Carrera GT’s clear commitment to outstanding performance by providing air to cool a trio of front-mounted radiators, as well as the ceramic front brakes.

The Carrera GT’s look is even more dramatic in side view, where its taut, stretched and sleek shoulder line comes clearly into view. The mid-engine architecture is accented by a cockpit oriented clearly toward the front of the car with a long panel between the door and rear axle. New exterior mirrors have V-shaped bases and match the rake of the car’s A pillar.

Large air intakes and side outlets in front of and behind the doors add to the car’s dramatic and dynamic appearance. But, as is typical with Porsche, with form comes function; these openings are designed to ensure airflow to and from the engine, transmission, brakes and air conditioning systems. Literally “cut into” the basic design of the car, just as on an aircraft, the air intakes are part of a highly functional aerodynamic airflow surface that enhances both the Carrera GT’s athletic abilities and its aesthetic appeal.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

Sources: Porsche press; RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Photogal Enterprises

Gallery: Porsche Carrera GT