The race car that never was: this is the opening line for Porsche’s flagship car of the mid-2000’s, and one of the most legendary road-going Porsches ever built, the Carrera GT.
The ‘Project Code 980’, as it was called, was rooted in the prior GT1 and LMP1-98 models, with its signature V10 being developed in secret in the early 1990’s. The focus on the profitable Cayenne SUV halted the development efforts on the Carrera GT, but its subsequent revenue helped bring the Carrera GT to life: a prototype was first shown at the 2000 Paris Motor Show, and the first production car hit the dealerships in early 2004.
The car’s 603hp V10 engine was only the beginning of a series of technological wonders in the Carrera GT, with a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis and ceramic brakes and clutch optimizing the driving experience. With a 0-to-100kph in little over 3.5 second, the Carrera GT was only offered with a traditional manual transmission crowned by a birch knob, a retro tribute to the Porsche 917 Le Mans racer (1969-1971).
From an original forecast to produce 1,500 cars, only 1,270 ended up leaving the assembly line, with 644 of these being offered in the United States.
This Japanese-specification Carrera GT has only covered 15,000 kilometres from new and it is remarkably original.