Porsche Carrera GT

It's amazing how a shape can make you excited. In one swoop of the stylist's pen, an object can be created that defines speed, power and presence, and can transmit it to your eyes in a way that has you hooked.

The Carrera GT is as good as it looks, with sensational handling and performance. Its V10 has immense power, incredible torque and a fantastic exhaust note. But it's by no means an easy car to drive, nor one that you could live with on a day-to-day basis. This is a machine that will fulfil dreams, and will forever be a legend.

It's amazing how a shape can make you excited. In one swoop of the stylist's pen, an object can be created that defines speed, power and presence, and can transmit it to your eyes in a way that has you hooked.

The Carrera GT is one such design. It lures you in, ensnares you in its beauty and leaves you weak at the knees at the prospect of driving such a striking machine. Porsche knows the car is an object of desire. That's why the firm has left us hanging on for three years, teasing us with the odd sneak preview or leaked technical detail. It all adds to the publicity surrounding the most extreme road car the German firm has ever produced. And now it's here in the carbon fibre flesh. We're about to get behind the wheel of the 612bhp GT for the first time - and we have to pinch ourselves to make sure this is real.

Strapped into the minimalist cabin, with its carbon dash, Kevlar seats and alloy details, you know instantly you're in something special. Fire it up, and this feeling is confirmed by a thunderclap emerging from the car's midriff. Our position just ahead of the 5.7 V10 means we are always aware of the engine's vocal nature. The temptation is to floor the throttle, but that would be unwise. This car requires special treatment, not only in appreciating its power, but also in mechanical sympathy.

Being sure to warm the oil, we drive gently for the first few miles. The gearbox, too, takes a while to reach peak efficiency, with the six-speed shift being stiff and stubborn when cold. It means driving in town can be jerky and difficult. But when the temperature gauge rises, it's time to open up. All hell breaks loose as 590Nm of torque delivers a boot in the back. The performance is exhilarating - this is a true supercar, yet nonetheless a typical Porsche.

That pedigree becomes evident with the handling. The steering feels alive, as though the tyres are welded to the road. The balance is near-perfect, with only the tiniest hint of oversteer if you lift off the throttle in a fast corner.

It means the GT's stability is reassuring. It will crack 200mph, yet thanks to Le Mans racing car-bred aerodynamics, it feels more planted the faster it goes. The rear wing constantly adjusts itself to achieve maximum downforce. Then there are the brakes. Hand-tailored ceramic discs all round aren't cheap, but they're built to stop the car safely from racing speeds. On normal roads, you need only to breathe on them before the car comes to a halt. Brake hard from speed and the GT drags itself to a stop with enough G-force to strain the ligaments in your neck.

There's no doubting this is the most extreme Porsche yet. It's a racer for the road, a true thoroughbred. We doubt the 43 Brits lucky enough to have got their names in the order book will be disappointed with the result.

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition - front
Land Rover Defender

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition

Just 220 examples will be built to honour past Camel Trophy Land Rovers, all of which have been reserved for the North American market
30 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021