World Debut at the Geneva auto show
Power and performance
The ten-cylinder power unit right behind the cockpit of the Carrera GT is based on a 5.5-litre normal-aspiration engine which might well have appeared in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as an all-out racing unit. Capacity has been increased slightly to 5.7 litres for maximum output of 450 kW (612 PS)at 8000 rpm and maximum torque of 590 Newton-metres or 435 lb-ft at 5750 rpm. Top speed is 330 km/h or 205 mph. Despite this kind of power, performance and racing character, the ten-cylinder is perfectly suited for everyday motoring thanks to its refined, superior driving qualities also at low engine speeds.
Close interaction of the chassis and engine mounts
The Porsche Carrera GT is the first production car to feature a monocoque chassis and engine/transmission mounts made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFP),a design principle now registered by Porsche for a patent.Only carbon,a material carried over from aerospace applications,is able through an elaborate process of refinement to combine supreme performance and driving dynamics on the road with minimum weight and maximum strength.
So here again,Porsche's engineers and designers have carried over the great demands made on the race track to a road-going sports car,in the process giving the Carrera GT not only optimum performance but also a high standard of safety all round.
Same underfloor as a racing car
Aerodynamics is obviously a decisive factor in a car capable of reaching 330 km/h or 205 bmph. To achieve maximum downforce, the Carrera GT comes with the underfloor geometry of a racing car,the fully clad carbon underfloor providing an additional ground effect together with the rear diffuser and air flow ducts.
Forged magnesium wheels
The 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels in five-spoke design clearly reveal the motorsport character of the Carrera GT at very first sight. And at the same time they bear testimony to the exclusivity of this high-performance sports car: The wheels are made in a magnesium forging process used for the first time in a production car. Forged magnesium wheels are more than 25 per cent lighter than cast aluminium wheels and have a very long service life.
Refined chassis and suspension set-up
Reaching very high speeds on the road, the Carrera GT obviously requires a special spring and damper set-up in order to maintain its driving stability and good grip especially at the rear in all speed ranges. So again, the solution applied for this purpose comes from motorsport: Smooth response and refined behaviour is ensured by spring/damper elements fastened to the inside of the chassis structure and operated by stainless-steel pushrods and pivot levers. Firm connection of the springs and dampers to the chassis helps to provide an exact, smooth response, again in the interest of added safety on the road.
A world-first achievement: the ceramic clutch
Apart from Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) already well known, Porsche uses ceramics, a particularly light and resistant material, also in the power transmission and driveline of this super-sports car: The Carrera GT is the first car in the world to feature the PCCC Porsche Ceramic Composite Clutch, a double-plate dry clutch in compact design to meet all the requirements of motorsport. Clutch disc diameter is a mere 169 millimetres or 6.7",again helping to give the engine and gearbox a very low centre of gravity. A further advantage of the new ceramic clutch plates is their much longer service life compared with other, alternative materials.
Seats weighing only half the usual figure
Within the refined interior of the Carrera GT characterised above all by smooth and supple leather, magnesium and carbon-fibre structures, the newly designed seats in elegant, sporting style are a particular eye-catcher. These are the first-ever seats in a production car made of composite carbon and aramide fibres. And compared with conventional seats, the seat buckets in the Carrera GT weigh only 10.7 kg or 23.6 lb, that is roughly half the usual figure.
(March 4, 2003)