We'll take any excuse to talk about this car.
Porsche has sadly been absent from the hypercar game for a while now. The 918 Spyder ceased production in 2015, but the car that it was the spiritual successor to - the Carrera GT - is arguably even more memorable. Production of this car ended in 2006, but enthusiasm for it will never die. It's a true hypercar and debuted stunning technology. In Porsche's revived Top 5 series, the German automaker has shone a light on this iconic machine, and we have to say that even well over a decade on, it's still one of our favorite cars ever. Let's see what makes it so special.
The Porsche Carrera GT was more than just a hypercar built to satisfy the whims of the wealthy. Sure, it had a powerful engine and striking styling, but you need more than just a set of sticky tires and some trick suspension to make a car stable. The so-called "downforce kit" fitted to the car is an "air-conduction" system that sucks the car to the road through the wizardry of science. This gives the car high-speed stability and helps it cut through the air with ease. But while this glues the front of the car to the tarmac, the rear also needs help. Thus, Porsche developed a deployable rear wing that automatically extends from the body at over 74 mph, although it can be manually activated too.
While it's a common thing these days on supercars like the McLaren 765LT, the use of a full carbon fiber monocoque was unheard of back in the mid-2000s. Porsche was the first to bring this tech to a road car, and this made the Carrera GT incredibly stiff while also keeping weight to an absolute minimum. That's especially important in a car that is carrying a big V10 in the back, but more on that later. Carbon also has the added benefit of being strong, not just stiff. As a result, the car is a lot safer in the event of a crash - although there's not much that carbon can do for you if you're on fire.
The Carrera GT was initially planned to be a Le Mans competitor, and as such, its design is one that showcases function over form. It never competed formally in any race series, but its heritage is still clear for all to see. The cab-forward layout is pure race car, while other racing-inspired accents include the color-coded center-lock wheels, various aluminum interior highlights, and the lightweight Recaro racing seats. The Carrera GT also paid tribute to the materials of 917 racers, with the entire cabin centered around a six-speed manual transmission. Although not the prettiest car Porsche has ever made, it's this commitment to honoring true race cars that helps endear the GT to many fans.
The Carrera GT came into the world long before emissions regulations made it all but impossible to produce an engine without electric assistance or forced induction. As a result, you got a 5.7-liter naturally-aspirated V10 that produces 603 horsepower. Even by today's standards, that's a lot of power. 0-62 mph took just 3.9 seconds while getting to 124 mph took just another six ticks of the stopwatch. Top speed arrives at 205 mph, but the GT could stop well too. Thanks to carbon-ceramic brakes, the GT could do 0-124-0 mph in just 14.1 seconds. That's what a stock Nissan 350Z does the standing quarter-mile in, and that car is only doing 101 mph when it crosses the line.
The Lexus LFA is another discontinued supercar that is begging for a successor with a carbon body and a V10 engine, but would it be so widely loved if it had a rumbling V8 under the hood? We think not, and Porsche agrees when it comes to the Carrera GT. The sounds this thing makes are simply orgasmic, and hearing the engine singing at full tilt is enough to make you want to sell your internal organs just to experience it again. What else do you expect from an engine originally developed for Formula One and later intended for use at Le Mans? If any one piece of the GT is responsible for making it an icon, it's the way it sounds. The GT is a masterpiece, and it's a masterpiece we'll probably never see the likes of again.