Showpiece of the Week: Porsche Carrera GT

There isn't a car fan left that doesn't know what a Porsche Carrera GT is by now. For some they may have had the misfortune to discover it through the death of Paul Walker, but nobody with a passing interest in four wheels will be in any doubt when you say 'Carrera GT'. Unless they think that model name should have an 'S' on the end and be affixed to a Macan. Then you should end the conversation.

For those who knew about the car from its 2003 launch, the CGT represents something extremely special - even by the exalted standards of Porsche supercars. Born out of an abandoned Le Mans project - the LMP2000 car of course famously donated its V10 engine - the Carrera GT arrived at a memorable time for supercars. Ferrari had just launched the Enzo, McLaren and Mercedes were collaborating on the SLR, Pagani was making huge strides with the Zonda and, while the Lamborghini Murcielago was operating on a lower plane, a 640hp version wasn't far off.

So what could the Carrera GT bring to the party? Plenty. Not only was there the Le Mans connection - and therefore a tangible motorsport link - the CGT was carbon tubbed (and so hundreds of kilos lighter than the McMerc), fantastically good looking and, perhaps most importantly of all, boasted a manual transmission. Manual only, too, which looks like an astute decision just 15 years later.

Because while the Porsche's six-speed was (and remains) precise, rewarding and a joy to use - once rolling off the ceramic clutch, that is - the Mercedes is lumbered with a five-speed torque converter and the Enzo an automated F1 manual. Neither of those will feel great in 2018, which is the very opposite of the Carrera GT's gearbox. Porsche is known for great manuals, and the GTs is no different; combine its direct, satisfying action with spot on pedal weights plus the complete lack of inertia in the V10, and you can hopefully see the appeal.

This particular GT intrigues as a Showpiece this week thanks to its late production status - it is chassis number 1224 of 1270 made - and rare colour combo of black with red leather. Plus the fact it's a UK supplied example. Moreover, while its £700k asking price is a fair climb from the £250k nadir once enjoyed by the Porsche, it still looks acceptable given the market's state.

Think of it this way: the Carrera GT has an engine destined for a Le Mans car and a manual gearbox in one of the most beautiful supercar shapes ever made, while this 2.7 RS is £555,000. Sure, it's an important homologation Porsche. But it's still just a 911. This Enzo is rare, with just 400 produced, but is for sale at £2.2m with another 3,000 miles. And while a Murcielago SV is cool, its underpinnings are more ordinary than the Porsche. And it's half a million.

So there's a very compelling case for the Carrera GT to be in the Euromillions garage. That it's also a fabulous car to drive - assisted now by the new Michelin tyres - almost seems immaterial given the styling, the mystique and that engine. It's up there with the very best of the analogue hypercars, the F1s and F50s of this world; as that period slips ever further away, expect its allure to grow further still.

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Comments (43) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Cupra92 21 May 2018

    RIP Paul Walker

  • STiG911 21 May 2018

    Yep, Breaks the Want-o-meter every time.

  • anniesdad 21 May 2018

    Aye dream garage material alright.

    BTW the McMerc was also carbon tubbed.

  • JohnGoodridge 21 May 2018

    Had much want for these, but the prices...

    have transferred the want to the other great, and rarer, V10 experience - the Lexus LFA, like this one. A useful GT 911 or two cheaper as well.

  • flatso 21 May 2018

    The soundtrack alone is worth it.....was obliterated on the autobahn by one of these around 2007, the sound is imprinted on my brain to this day still. A work of art in every aspect!

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