The production version of the 2004 Porsche Carrera GT made
its UK debut at the
2004 Autosport International show
the prototypes having already been shown to some of the lucky "owners-to-be" at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2003.
Without doubt, the new Carrera is one of the finest looking cars ever built, with Porsche style oozing from every part of the vehicle. As anticipated, the show car was Carrera GT Silver, a colour introduced for the Carrera and currently available only on that car and on the 2003 special edition Anniversary Porsche 911 and the 2004 special edition Boxster 550 roadster.
Whilst examining the show car, and again in the line up for
the Ferrari exhibition, we overheard comments decrying the look of this new
Porsche; it appears that there are those who don't think it looks typically
Porsche, and it seems they want their Porsches to look like Porsches. Fair
point, though we expect to see the Carrera GT look carried over into the 911 and
Boxster ranges when they're revised in 2004 and 2005 respectively; not that
we're expecting big changes to either of Porsche's major brands, but those
beautiful Carrera lights are almost certain to make the leap from the Ultracar
onto the Supercar and then the Roadster.
But we like the fact that the GT is, and will remain, substantially different to the rest of the range. When you're paying this much for a car you want it to be different; and if you don't, then RUF will sell you a supercar with a turbo charged 911 engine mounted in the middle of a car that looks a like a Boxster for about half the price of the Carrera GT.
Ignoring the disappointment of the few, we analysed the GT from every conceivable angle and found ourselves unable to criticise a single aspect of it. Just as the shape of the Porsche 928's front window was a masterpiece of design that has been copied over and over, we expect the new features of this great car to set the scene for car styling over the next decade. Just look at these superb details and admire the skill of the designers who brought them together to build the beautiful Porsche Carrera GT:-
The detail of the tail light is such a typically Porsche shape which is emphasised by the fixed rear spoiler emerging from the rear wing.
The speed section above the engine compartment suggest the shape of early Porsche Speedsters, without looking out of place (as it does on the plastic add-ons that Porsche insist on selling for the Boxster).
The 20" alloy wheels are an amazing sight, with sports locking nuts anodized in red on the left hand side of the car, and blue on the right. Wide open alloys show off the PCCB (Porsche Composite Carbon Brakes) which are painted in yellow to denote their superiority over the red calipers of the 911 and Boxster S. (Though PCCBs are now an option on certain 911s).
But whilst the wheels and brakes are impressive, the noteworthy feature of this picture is the way that the arches wrap around the wheels as far as they possibly can. No doubt this has an aerodynamic advantage, but aesthetically it's simply beautiful. As always, the very best of Porsche design has a practical purpose, and is all the more appealing as a result.
One of the masterpieces of the car's details is, as on the 928, the shape of the side window. Bold lines intersect at several of the corners to define the shape which is firmly chopped at the rear, and only slightly rounded at the front top corner. We can't think of any car that's quite the same as this, and you would have thought that in 100+ years of motoring, most possible window shapes would have already been done.
Inside, the car looks as well appointed as one would expect, though the light brown leather might not be to everyone's taste.
0-62 3.9 Seconds
Top Speed - 205 mph
Engine - 5733cc V10
Power - 612bhp @ 8,000 rpm
Torque - 435lb ft @ 5,750 rpm
Height - 1.160 m
Width - 1.920 m
Length - 4.610 m
Price - around 307,000
Rivals Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren
The 2004 NEC Motorshow afforded a further opportunity for pictures of this amazing car.
Note - Manufacturer's specifications can change.
Please check specification carefully with your Porsche dealer prior to purchasing.
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