2006 Porsche Carrera GT
By Dave Good
Let’s run down a couple of the reasons why you’re not likely to ever even see a Porsche Carrera GT, let alone own one: the sticker price heads the list. Closing in on a half-million dollars ($440,000 MSRP), only a scant few will be able to afford one. Reason number two: all talk of money aside, Porsche committed to building only 1,500 of the supercars. Of that, roughly half of them are slated for delivery to the U.S. Read, and weep, for this is the car that many predicted would eat Enzos and simply devour Lambos. The car’s performance is otherworldly; given enough traction, I’m reasonably certain that this two-seater could climb walls quicker than Spiderman.
My first outing in a Porsche (it was a ‘74 911 SC) began as a disappointment. The suspension felt rough, and the car bottomed out leaving the dealer’s driveway. The handling was tight. It was when I happened to notice that we were freeway cruising effortlessly at around 120mph that I began to take notice. And when we pulled a hard ground sucking 90mph turn with similar ease, I came to appreciate more than just the looks of the car. From some of the test drives of the 2005 Carrera GT that I’ve read, multiply that first ride of mine by a coefficient of, say, 10, even 20, and you begin to approximate what the 2005 GT is all about. Put in the most simple of terms, this Carrera is more than just a car. It is a statement from Porsche to the rest of the lux sports car builders: get a grip, or get gone.
The Carrera GT project actually started out on the drawing board as a proposal for a Le Mans racecar. Somewhere along the line the original plan was scrapped in favor of building a consumer super car approaching racecar capabilities. As it turned out, the production model has more power than did the design version. The expensive power plant is a 68 degree 604hp 5.7 liter V10 that can find 8,000 rpm at the touch of a hair-trigger throttle. Porsche says the GT goes from zero to 62mph in 3.9 seconds and from zero to 124mph in just less than 10 seconds with a top speed of 205mph.
2005 was the second year in production and as such, presented no significant changes. The car remains a low-slung, wide, fat-bottomed ride; at 75.6” wide, the back end is a fraction narrower than some SUVs. It sits on fat tires, has zero body roll and zero body flexion with the help of a pushrod suspension. Brakes are over-sized ceramic composition disc and components include a 6.7 - inch ceramic clutch, titanium connecting rods, and a traditional shifter instead of paddle-shifters.
The car also has an impressively low center of gravity. The crankshaft rests 3.9 inches above the carbon fiber floor, and the six-speed tranny actually sits lower than the differential. The lightweight monocoque chassis is of hand-fabricated carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, and the entire car tips the scales at a shade past 3,000 lbs. The twin carbon fiber roof panels lift off for a topless ride.
In the end, without hope of ever actually touching the real goods, I took something of a virtual test drive by scanning some user reviews posted on Yahoo. Ferdinand from Leipzig speaks for most all of us, I think, with his proclamation that this is the “best car ever made on earth.” His main beef? “I can’t get one. This car is the perfect car,” he laments, “if money is not considered.” But for the eternally optimistic, I did poke around on the Internet and located a handy Porsche payments calculator. The monthly nut on a Carrera GT, depending on your financing package? Just under ten grand.
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Pictures of the Porsche Carrera GT
Posted March 31, 2006
Photos courtesy of