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Archive 2004

Carrera GT

High performance meets technology for the future

The Porsche Carrera GT offers the undiluted qualities of a genuine racing car with exceptional driving experience on the road. The supercar not only demonstrates the technological possibilities available today in sportscar construction, but also gives an insight into Porsche technology that could be deployed in the future.

Consistent use of lightweight technology and the overall construction of the Carrera GT betray its motorsport origins. Its all-new V10 naturally aspirated power unit sits directly behind the cockpit, creating perfect weight distribution for maximum agility. Capacity has been increased to 5.7 litres, since the vehicle was shown as a concept in Paris 2000, achieving maximum output of 612 bhp at 8000rpm, torque of 435lb-ft at 5750 rpm and a top speed of 205mph. Yet despite its power, performance and racing character, the ten-cylinder engine’s refinements make it equally suited to road driving at lower speeds.

Porsche Ceramic Composite Clutch (PCCC) which represents a world-first is among the many innovations in the Carrera GT registered by Porsche for patent.The compact, double-plate dry clutch is designed to meet all the requirements of motorsport. The new ceramic clutch plates have a much longer service life compared with alternative materials, and allow the engine and gearbox to be mounted as low as possible with a clutch disc diameter of only 169 mm.

The Carrera GT is the first production car in the world to feature a monococque chassis and engine/transmission mounts made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFP), another design principle now registered by Porsche for patent. CFP results from an elaborate process of refinement on carbon, a material used in aerospace application, to combine supreme performance and road-driving dynamics with minimum weight and maximum strength.

The use of CFP is not limited to the chassis and subframes. The doors, body panels, wheel-arches, interior components and underfloor are made from the same material to offer the highest standards of dimensional accuracy and stiffness with minimal weight. Despite their enormous strength, CFP components weigh up to 40 per cent less than comparable steel-plate and aluminium. The fully-clad carbon underfloor achieves the aerodynamics of a racing car, and the Carrera GT’s newly designed seats are the first of their kind to be manufactured from composite carbon and aramide fibres, weighing almost half the usual weight of conventional bucket seats.

Magnesium, a material rarely used in production cars, can be found in various components throughout the car’s interior. Fast-action magnesium catches are used to remove the two lightweight carbon roof sections for storage in the front luggage compartment, and the centre console cover, door handles and selected operating switches are all manufactured from pure magnesium which, with its specific gravity of 1.74, is lighter than aluminium. Additionally, the 19 inch front and 20 inch rear wheels are made from forged magnesium, used for the first time in a production car, having a longer service life and weighing 25 per cent less than cast aluminium wheels.

Production of the Carrera GT will begin in Autumn 2003. The V10 engine will be built at Zuffenhausen, whilst the chassis and body will be assembled at the new Porsche production site in Leipzig. Customer deliveries will be from the end of 2003. The Carrera GT will only be available in left-hand drive and consequently it is priced in euros at € 461,058, including VAT, delivery and Porsche assistance.

Report from 10/03/2004