The last ten years have brought tremendous automotive developments, in both conventional cars and performance cars. Manual transmissions and naturally-aspirated engines are increasingly rare, while hybridization and automation have become the norm. Consequently, cars from just 10 or 15 years ago offer a significantly different experience from today’s cars, something which enthusiasts are now very much keyed into.
The Carrera GT is quickly emerging as one of the pinnacle automobiles from this less digitalized era, a noteworthy characteristic given its heritage. The closest commercial predecessor to the Carrera GT is the 959. Both are technically sophisticated, costly, limited production halo cars, but they are remarkably divergent philosophically. While the 959 is an exercise in the most cutting edge-technology available when it debuted (specifically computer controlled AWD and twin-turbochargers), the Carrera GT is a love letter to the naturally aspirated exotic, eschewing a paddle shifted gearbox and turbos for manually shifted 6-speed and an 8,400 RPM V10 developed from Porsche’s stillborn 3.5 liter Formula 1 V10.
The resulting car is an absolute sensation to drive. With over 600 HP in its carbon chassis and an absolutely bonkers soundtrack, the Carrera GT is an experience in a way that already feels worlds away from today’s exotics, which is doubtless contributing to the explosive rise in their values. There is an engaging, involving character to the car which demands the driver’s participation and rewards thoughtful, skilled operation and makes this one of the greatest Porsche road cars of all time.