New & Used Porsche Carrera GT : In Depth
2004 Porsche Carrera GTEnlarge Photo
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Tracing its lineage back to Le Mans race cars like the 911 GT1 and Porsche's LMP1-98 prototype, as well as classic Porsche race cars like the 718 RSK Spyder, the Carrera GT is almost completely unlike any other sports car Porsche has ever offered to the public, despite the familiar name.
Powered by a potent 5.7-liter V-10 engine rated at 605 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque, the Carrera GT delivered fearsome performance when it made its debut in 2004. A six-speed manual transmission (with a beechwood shift knob as a nod to the famed 917 race cars) running through a ceramic composite clutch, dry-sump engine, pushrod front suspension, carbon ceramic brakes, and other race-inspired touches helped the Carrera GT live up to its track-bred heritage.
Inside the cabin, the Carrera GT offers a mix of luxury and race-inspired touches. The air conditioning system, for example is standard, and comes with an air filtering system, but is optimized for weight. Optional satellite navigation and Bose audio systems add to the luxury item list, while the seats are made of a carbon composite shell and weigh just 23.6 pounds each. This mixture of features and minimalism resulted in a curb weight of just 3,053 pounds.
A five-piece custom-fitted luggage set was standard with each car, offering a clothes bag designed to fit behind the passenger seat; an attache case for the passenger footwell; a shoulder bag placed between the passenger's seat and door; a center console bag; and a travel bag in the luggage compartment.
Despite the Carrera GT's supercar status, a four-year/80,000-mile warranty was standard when new.
Official performance stats for the Carrera GT claim a 0-62 mph time of just 3.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 6.9 seconds, and 0-125 mph in 9.9 seconds. Top speed is a claimed 205 mph.
Helping the Carrera GT put its mid-engined power to the ground is a set of 335/30 rear tires on 20-inch wheels, while direction changes are handled by 265/35 tires on 19-inch wheels up front. All four wheels are center-locking forged magnesium.
The Carrera GT's construction and technology is also highly advanced considering its launch date of nearly a decade ago: the body is a carbon fiber monocoque arrangement, with a two-piece panel roof, and a retractable rear wing.
All of this high technology and high performance came at a high price, however: $448,000 in 2004.
While a production run of 1,500 Carrera GTs had been planned, only about 1,270 were built, with just over 600 of those being sold to U.S. buyers. Production of the Carrera GT was discontinued in late 2005 due to new airbag regulations in the U.S., though cars were sold through 2007.