Sunday, July 27, 2008

Porsche Carrera GT

Porsche Carrera GT

The Porsche Carrera GT, which was introduced as a 2004 model, is a low, sleek, lightweight roadster that is as beautiful to the engineer as it is to the eye. Foul weather protection is also available in the form of two removable panels that can be stored in the front trunk.

Among the car’s unique features are its 5.7-liter, 605-horsepower V10 engine, its monocoque chassis with Porsche-patented engine and transmission mounts made of carbon-reinforced plastic and the first use of a ceramic composite clutch in a production car. The Carrera GT’s aerodynamic and race-bred suspension package provides safe and stable travel at speeds of up to 205 mph (330 km/h). The Carrera GT features the extensive use of lightweight materials, such as magnesium for the car’s substantial wheels and the frames of its special sport seats.

The result of such artistic and athletic equipment is a car that accelerates from a standing start to 62 mph (100 km/h) in only 3.9 seconds, reaches 100 mph (160 km/h) in less than seven seconds, 125 mph (200 km/h) in less than 10 seconds, and can achieve a top test-track speed of 205 mph (330 km/h).

Purebred Racing Engine

Porsche’s development center in Weissach, Germany, built a 5.5-liter, normally aspirated V10 engine for racing, and that engine’s bores have been enlarged to displace 5.7 liters in the Carrera GT. Maximum output is rated at 605 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, with peak torque of 435 lb-ft. The engine has a very low center of gravity, a 68-degree V angle and four valves-per-cylinder heads. The engine block serves as a load-bearing part of the chassis structure, yet is so strong that there is no distortion to the cylinder bores. Using dry-sump lubrication reduces the number of engine components and seals and also helps optimize weight and reliability.

The engine has a closed-deck configuration, a principle carried over from motorsports. This closeddesk architecture enables the cylinders to be cooled by internal water chambers that directly surround the cylinders. Three front-mounted radiators and cross flow cooling ensure optimum heat transfer even under high engine loads.

The engine weighs only 472 pounds (214 kg). The block, crankshaft and camshafts are all made of light alloys. The crankshaft is designed to operate at speeds of up to 8,400 rpm and is both forged and designed for minimum mass inertia and thus offers maximum torsional stiffness.

Race-winning Suspension Design

The chassis and suspension of the Porsche Carrera GT are based on the architecture of the Porsche GT1, the car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1998. For example, as on the GT1, the rear track control arms of the Carrera GT are made of aerodynamically designed steel tubes. However, Porsche engineers did not forget the need for driving comfort on the street when they adapted such racing-bred systems for the road-going supercar.

Like a racecar, the Carrera GT uses pushrod suspension with double-track control arms at all four corners to give the Carrera GT its refined response and behavior, feeding forces smoothly and efficiently into the car’s chassis. Where many cars use MacPherson spring struts, the Carrera GT’s spring and damper elements are operated by stainless steel pushrods and pivot levers, which separate the guidance function from the spring action.

Functional Ambience is Interior Theme

Even with its racing-quality performance, the Porsche Carrera GT has a cockpit characterized by functional ambience and the extensive use of high-tech materials. Carbon, magnesium and leather dominate interior materials, with composite components either in their natural state or painted to match the magnesium pieces.

The car’s center console is made of composite materials covered in galvanized magnesium and features the chassis number imprinted on the surface. The shift lever is positioned about halfway up the console directly next to the steering wheel.

The seats are finished in smooth leather and have manual adjustment (fore, aft and height) because power motors would add unnecessary weight. The seats are made of a composite carbon shell. Each seat weighs only 23.6 pounds (10.7 kg.), compared to 44.1 pounds (20 kg.) for the seats in a typical Porsche 911.

Air conditioning is optimized for weight and the car comes with a standard air filter system. A glass screen is mounted between the supplemental safety bars to help reduce wind buffeting. Even though the Carrera GT is a serious performance car, it can be equipped with many comfort features, including a navigation system and Bose audio. A battery trickle-charger is included as standard equipment


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