I need to get a few things straight before I actually delve into this post:
- If you are a Porsche Carrera GT owner, you MUST take me for a spin in it!
- If you are a Porsche Carrera GT owner, you a probably familiar with the words “OH NO!,” followed by some expletives, as your priceless supercar goes into a spin.
- If you are a Porsche Carrera GT owner, you probably cannot wait to buy the new 918 Spyder coming on sale on September 18.
Now, I will give you some history on the Porsche Carrera GT. Way, way back in 1998, the FIA rules changed, outlawing certain designs that the factory-backed racing teams were designing. Porsche’s new design was originally intended to race at Le Mans in 1999, but the rules were changed. Porsche, understandably, was livid. The car was packed with technology – they had a twin-turbocharged flat-six borrowed from the 911, but decided it wasn’t powerful enough. So, they took the 5.5L V10 from a scrapped 1992 project, and pushed the planned competition season back to 2000. The V10 needed more power. So, they bored and stroked it out to 5.7 liters. After just two days of testing, Porsche cancelled the project. Mainly due to interest in the Cayenne SUV that was to be co-developed with Volkswagen, Porsche cancelled the program, due to the need of engineering expertise in the motorsports program.
Porsche did keep the project alive, but barely. They took the 5.5L V10 and shoved it into a concept car that was shown at the 2000 Paris Motor Show, but it was intended to be used as a display to attract people to their stand. Interest and a surprising influx of revenue allowed Porsche to make the decision to build the car. Development was started on a road-legal version that would be produced in small numbers at the new Leipzig, Germany plant.
Production was started in January, 2004. The cost: $448,000 USD. When production ended in May, 2006, 1,270 cars had been produced.
What I want to talk about is the new tires that Porsche has developed for the car. Porsche and Michelin developed a tire with NO on it. The tire will be used on the new 918 hypercar, as well as being a replacement for the Pirellis currently on many Carrera GT’s. The NO refers to the new tread compound, which promises higher stability at top speed, better lateral grip, and a longer life. Even while being thrashed at the track, tire life will be extended by up to 20%, and on the road, up to 10%. I’m assuming that also refers to your life, as well! Justin Bell, a revered race car driver, said that driving a Carrera GT at top speed will turn a 40-year-old into a 75-year-old. It’s that scary at speed!