The Mirage GT is Porsche's naturally aspirated supercar on tuner steroids.
You’d think that a car discontinued some 13 years ago would not be of interest to tuners anymore, but the Carrera GT is no ordinary car. Porsche built 1,270 examples of its naturally aspirated masterpiece, with the final example rolling off the assembly line at the factory in Leipzig, Germany back in May 2006. Years later, owners of the 918 Spyder’s precursor are still handing over their cars to aftermarket specialists to upgrade what some refer to as being the very last analogue supercar.
Gemballa is known for tinkering with the V10 machine by installing its famous Mirage GT package, which we actually reviewed during the good ol’ WorldCarFans days. In 2019, the upgrade kit is still as relevant as ever, with the German tuner still pumping out modified versions of what was known internally at Porsche as the type 980.
The latest project is this beautiful example recently delivered to its rightful owner after more than 1,000 hours of work. Gemballa doesn’t go into any details about the project, other than saying it now offers a “dream combination” of carbon fibre, leather, and Alcantara. Although not mentioned, the most important upgrade is in the engine bay where the 5.7-litre engine has been massaged to deliver 661 bhp or a healthy 58 bhp over the standard model. Torque has also been bumped from the series 435 pound-feet to 465 lb-ft.
The power gains might not be all that impressive, but let’s keep in mind we’re dealing with an engine lacking forced induction. Gemballa obtained the extra power after installing a custom air intake, a new stainless steel exhaust system, and catalytic converters. They’ve also remapped the ECU of Porsche’s glorious high-revving V10 engine.
With the updates in place, the Carrera GT from Gemballa runs to 62 mph from a standstill in only 3.7 seconds or two tenths of a second quicker than the stock car. Top speed exceeds 208 mph or a little bit higher than Porsche’s quoted 205 mph – not too shabby for a supercar launched in 2003, right?
The interior has also been subjected to a few changes, with the car’s owner deciding to go with Alcantara for nearly all of the visible surfaces. There’s also a generous use of carbon fibre, along with contrasting yellow stitching and a modified rev counter with the same vibrant hue shared with the gear shift pattern on the centre console. The yellow accents have a correspondent on the outside where the brake callipers are finished in the same shade, much like the “Mirage GT” lettering, the headlights, and the engine cover.
Needless to say, the most visible change is represented by the more aggressive body kit encompassing a massive fixed rear wing replacing the standard retractable spoiler. Other modifications worth mentioning include the front spoiler lip, roof scoop, beefy side skirts, and the quad exhausts further denoting this isn’t your “plain” Carrera GT.
So many changes to such a legendary and relatively rare car likely have a negative impact on its value, but the Carrera GT’s owner probably doesn’t plan to sell it anytime soon.