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Porsche Carrera GT: The Last Great 3 Pedal Supercar

header Ironically, it was at a Porsche 918 release event (The 918 is Porsche’s latest and greatest hybrid supercar) that the historical significance of the Carrera GT was brought up during a casual lunch. Surrounded by potential 918 owners (and current Carrera GT owners) the conversation went as follows: “For the price of the 918, I’d rather have 2 Carrera GT’s” I asked – “Really? The tech is great, granted it’s all new…” “3rd pedal, V10 – nuff said” it was then that I realized, the Carrera GT was probably the last great 3 pedal Supercar. porsche-carrera-gt-supercar-21 With a production run of only 1270 units world-wide over 2 years (2004-2005) the Carrera GT arrived just as e-gear and F1 transmissions were making their way to Lamborghini and Ferrari respectively.  Transmission technology was moving to a point where these “Automatic” gearboxes could shift substantially faster than any human. Not that the Carrera GT was without cutting edge technology. Carbon fiber was used for the monocoque chassis to keep weight to a bare minimum – later used for the Ferrari Enzo as well. The clutch was a first of its kind in a production car = the Porsche Ceramic Carbon Clutch. Race derived, it utilized dual ceramic plates in a compact housing to keep the center of gravity low. Speaking of low, the cars suspension is pushrod – attached directly to the chassis. Wheels are magnesium…What you’re basically driving is a GT1 racecar…on the street. The rumor around the release was that one of the reasons Porsche developed the Carrera GT was that they had amazing left-over LMP engines just sitting in the factory. porsche-carrera-gt-supercar-22 I personally can attest to how aggressive the setup was on the Carrera GT, knowing of 3 owners/friends that were in accidents due to the car biting back. All were seasoned drivers, but the car itself was so well engineered for the track that it was extremely temperamental on the street. Cold tires, wet asphalt were all forces to be reckoned with. porsche-carrera-gt-supercar-24 Aside from the amazing F1 sound of the V10 motor, purists loved that the Carrera GT was a true 3 pedal car. Porsche had not yet developed its PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) system and felt that a 6-speed manual was the way to go. An ode to the 917, the shifter on the Carrera GT is topped off with a wooden ball – a little throwback amongst all the technology splendor. porsche-carrera-gt-supercar-23 The looks of the car itself are like nothing we’ve seen till this day.  Wide and long, with cutouts right past the front fenders, the Carrera GT evokes the spirit of the 917. Porsche doesn’t consider the 918 a replacement for the Carrera GT, rather an updated hybrid version taking the flagship to the next level. Perhaps it’s better said that the Porsche Carrera GT is the last great analog supercar – where the driver is connected by rowing thru the gears rather than flipping 2 paddles. -Albert Roxas
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