A lot of our clients keep asking us, what’s the best car ever made? That’s a very tough question because every collector has their own specific criteria for their collection such as era (e.g. some Ferrari collectors differentiate between Enzo-Era and Past-Enzo-Era), country and of course brand. When we speak to our clients about the German premium brand Porsche, there is always the question: Is the Carrera GT the best Porsche ever made?
Let’s take a step back. The history of the Porsche Carrera GT has its roots in Formula One and in the Porsche 911 GT1. In the early ’90s, Porsche signed a 4-year deal with former Japanese F1 team, Footwork Arrows, to develop their Formula One engines. The cooperation between the German car manufacturer and the Japanese racing team did not last long as they terminated their partnership the same year. At the time of Porsche’s withdrawal, a newly designed V10 replacement of the previously used engine was already in development. Instead of throwing its hard work in the trash can, Porsche decided to keep the design of the engine for future project.
The perfect project was found after the great success of the Porsche 911 GT1 at the 24h of Le Mans race in 1996. The German car manufacturer focused on a successor for its GT1 supercar and the new prototype was planned to use a naturally aspirated V-10 engine, developed for the Footwork Arrows F1 team, instead of the GT1’s familiar 911-based flat-six turbo. But after the FIA canceled the Le Mans prototype class in 1999, Porsche was again left with no reward for its hard work.
Subsequently, the engineers from Weissach decided to design a steet-legal supercar for their best clients. And at that moment, the engine finally found a home in the Porsche Carrera GT Concept which was revealed in the Paris Motor Show 2000 – almost a decade after its initial development. It didn’t take very long before the Porsche stand was surrounded by car enthusiasts, journalists and photographers. What many people didn’t know at that time is that the Carrera GT would be a pioneer for many other supercars and brands as it was the first ever production car to use a carbon fiber reinforced monocoque chassis.
It took Porsche almost four years to re-engineer the concept car to the final production Carrera GT. The supercar was then manufactured from 2004-2007 in a small production batch of only 1.270 units at Porsche’s new manufacturing facility in Leipzig, Germany. (In these pictures, you see the second last Porsche Carrera ever made No 1.269 /1.270.)
The engine in the production car ended up being a modified version of the initial 5.7L (5’733 cc) V10 power machine, delivering a stunning 612 PS and accelerating the car from 0-100 km/h in only 3.5 seconds. The top speed of the Porsche Carrera GT is officially 330 km/h. Similar to other Porsche models of the 911 family, the Carrera GT includes an electronically operated rear wing which deploys at speeds north of 120 km/h.
Porsche decided to offer the Carrera GT with a six-speed manual transmission to provide the driver a race-like experience, resulting into – what I would consider as my personal favorite detail – a stylish beech wood gear knob, paying homage to the wooden gear knob used in the 917 Le Mans race cars. In the first year of production, all Porsche Carrera GTs had the eye-catching wooden gear knob but then in the second year, Porsche decided to offer a carbon fiber knob as well. Other highlights include the uniquely designed 5-spoke alloy rims (19 inch in the front and 20 inch in the rear) and the Porsche Carrera GT’s carbon-ceramic (silicon carbide) disc brakes.
The price tag for Porsche’s iconic model was initially around USD 450,000 while today the market price is somewhere between USD 650,000 and USD 850,000 (depending on the condition, year of production, etc.) Originally, Porsche offered the Carrera GT in five colors (Fayence Yellow, Guards Red, Basalt Black, Seal Grey and GT Silver) but decided to add custom colors later during production.
Soon the supercar will celebrate its 20th birthday. Porsche’s history is full of brilliant cars like the 993 GT2 (click here to read more) or the 356 Speedster (click here to read more) but the Carrera GT definitively belongs in the top-notch supercars ever made – not only for Porsche collectors.
Original selling price was around USD 450,000 but current market price is around USD 650,000 to USD 850,000
Small production batch of only 1’270 cars
When to drive:
Is the Carrera GT the best Porsche ever made? We can’t answer this question easily. There is no doubt that the Porsche Carrera GT is one of the greatest sports cars ever offered to the public. A true icon for car collectors that stirs up emotions. I would drive this brilliant masterpiece on a beautiful road along the sea side in California, enjoying the sunny streets.
What we love about the car:
We love the stylish beech wood gear knob that pays homage to the wooden gear knob used in the 917 Le Mans race car. Sometimes it’s the details that matters.
Photography: Keno Zache IG: @kenozache