The Porsche Carrera GT is one of life’s happy accidents as its existence came down to a series of last-minute decisions. Interestingly, fans of the Carrera GT have the Porsche Cayenne to thank for the car ever finding its way on to the road.
To understand the domino effect that led to this special car, we have to go back to 1992 when Porsche was secretly developing a V10 Formula 1 engine. For various reasons, that creation didn’t see competition and was shelved, only to be revisited in the late 1990s for Porsche’s new Le Mans racer. Developed into a 5.7-litre fit for a World Endurance Championship winner, this project was also canned at the last minute. Why? Because Porsche needed some talented engineers to design the Cayenne, and with pressure from fellow VW Group brand Audi, which was to enter the WEC, the difficult decision was taken.
Keen not to waste all of the hard work that went into the V10, a 5.5-litre derivative went into the Porsche Carrera GT concept car. Initially intended purely as a show car, this Porsche caused such a stir at the 2000 Paris motor show that a business case was proposed for a production run. Buoyed by the success and increase in profits brought by the Cayenne, the Carrera GT was given the budget to become a reality.
Ultimately the Carrera GT became an all-carbon 5.7-litre V10 supercar packing 604bhp. A 0-62mph time of just 3.3 seconds put it in the same league as the Ferrari Enzo. Costing £330,000 when new in 2003, today a good example is worth double that. A mere 1,270 were produced in total and each car made Porsche a profit – a rarity for something so exotic.
The Porsche Carrera GT, an icon only made possible by one of the most controversial SUVs out there.