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Carrera GT driven to the limit. Image by Robert Farago.

Carrera GT driven to the limit
Imagine you've driven 165mph in a Volkswagen Phaeton W12 on a derestricted German autobahn. Now imagine you're driving a Porsche Carrera GT on a three-lane American highway with no traffic, one mile visibility and perfect weather. Do you put the hammer down?

   



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Imagine you've driven 165mph in a Volkswagen Phaeton W12 on a derestricted German autobahn. Now imagine you're driving a Porsche Carrera GT on a three-lane American highway with no traffic, one mile visibility and perfect weather. Do you put the hammer down and try to better your personal land speed record, despite the obvious risk to life and license? Do ya? Do ya punk?

Well, of course not. That kind of egocentric accelerative exuberance would be criminally irresponsible, regardless of the conditions. But hey, just for fun, let's pursue this fantasy for a while…

In this vision, your right foot rests atop an accelerator hot-wired to a 612bhp, race-bred, V10 engine. The car holstering this brute weighs just 1380kg. It's a Porsche. So what the Hell, you muck about a bit, change gears, play around with the throttle, that kind of thing. I mean why not? It's not like you're headed for work or anything.

You soon learn that the Carrera can accelerate from one 100mph plus speed to another with as much urge as most sports cars muster blasting from zero to sixty. It's a reassuring discovery. Should you go for it, your TED (Time Exposed to Danger) will be a LOT shorter than it was in the uber-Phaeton. You also tap dance on the GT's middle pedal a few times, until you're certain that the brakes could haul you back from the brink in a femto-second.

You take a deep breath, plant your right foot and let loose the dogs of war. With no appreciable delay, you're tear-assing towards the horizon like an amphetamine-crazed greyhound chasing a turbocharged mechanical rabbit. With the engine mounted just behind your head, the Carrera's trademark V10 howl is relatively muted, whipped backwards by a self-generated hurricane.

The first sprint takes you from 80mph to somewhere into the 150s in about ten seconds from launch, in fifth gear. The next charge puts 160 something on the clock, and seems positively uneventful in comparison with your first high speed foray. Could it be true? Is it getting easier to approach the far side of the GT's 911-esque speedometer? Now that is strange.

Cruising at 110, slicing through a knot of traffic, you check the gigantic carbon fibre rear wing in your side mirror and wiggle the steering wheel ever so slightly. The car feels as planted as the Black Forest. In fact, the Porsche feels like she's itching to hightail it down the nearest slip road, sniff out a suitably serpentine country lane, and prove that all this triple digit straight line strutting is nothing but kid's stuff. Which it bloody well isn't.

Oh, I forgot. In this scenario, your wife is in the car. Normally, whenever you attempt to explore a car's outer limits, the mother of your children pushes the "Honey" button, as in "Honey... SLOW DOWN!" Now, for some reason, the marital speed limiter is disengaged. In fact, she's instructing you to feed the engine some revs, urging you to boldly go where police notebooks have never gone before.

Maybe it's the way the Carrera looks. Porsche's top-of-the-line model isn't a self-conscious babe magnet like the Ferrari Enzo or Lamborghini Murcielago, both of which are unabashedly bling in the great Italianate style. The German GT is a supercar scalpel, bereft of needless affectation. An admirer doesn't have to see the car's perfectly formed carbon fibre tub to know, somehow, that it's there. The Carrera's solemnity of purpose and endless, fanatical attention to detail inspire confidence on the subconscious level.

Anyway, in this fantasy, you and yours are ready to rock and roll. You floor it and keep it floored. Into sixth, and off you go, setting the pavement on fire with your determination. Fifteen very long seconds later, the little devil on your shoulder is suddenly agreeing with the tiny angel, whose pleas for you to cease your assault on the double ton have become a single, endless, mindless, scream.

You press on for another five seconds (just to show them who's boss) and then back off. The car slows to a sensible speed. That's it. You're done. Only one question remains: how fast did you go? Damn! You forgot to look at the speedo!

"One seventy-nine," a voice calls out. God bless marriage. And God bless the Sultans of Stuttgart, because the only genuine anxiety involved in this accelerative adventure was generated by your own mind and body, not by the car.

There you have it: a fantastic journey into the outer reaches of time and space, with no relation to the actual time your reporter spent driving the Porsche Carrera GT. How did that go? Oh, about as well as you'd expect. The Carrera is a very nice car, if you like that sort of thing...
Read more of Robert Farago's reviews at www.thetruthaboutcars.com.

Robert Farago - 11 Nov 2004



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2004 Porsche Carrera GT specifications:
Price: Approx. £323,000 depending on exchange rate!
0-62mph: 3.9 seconds
Top speed: 205mph
Combined economy: 16.6mpg
Emissions: 432g/km
Kerb weight: 1380kg

2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.

2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.



2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.
 

2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.
 

2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.
 

2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.
 

2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.
 

2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.
 

2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.
 

2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Image by Robert Farago.
 






 

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