It’s funny how fast things change in the automotive world. In fact, they change even faster in its upper echelons, simply because supercar makers can charge whatever they want so they are free from restraints applied to normal companies.
Upcoming models like the McLaren P1, the Ferrari "F70" and the Porsche 918 Spyder are so powerful and technologically advanced that they make their predecessors seem like something from the Stone Age.
Nowadays, hybrid powertrains with an all-electric-only mode and low CO2 emissions, along with double-clutch gearboxes and of course, exclusivity, are in and manual gearboxes with tricky to modulate clutches connected to internal-combustion engines with God-knows how high emission figures are most definitely out.
Less than 10 years ago, Porsche launched Project 980 – or, as it was officially named, the Carrera GT. It wasn’t all that exclusive and its 3.9-second 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time is easily bested by a Nissan GT-R, which costs a fraction of the US$448,000 Porsche was asking back in 2004.
Why, even its 603HP pales in comparison to the 100HP+ more powerful Lamborghini Aventador and the Ferrari F12berlinetta that, in their makers’ hierarchy and pricing, belong to a lower class.
Yet the Carrera GT really was a racecar for the road. That’s because it was initially developed as a successor to the 911 GT1 Le Mans racer but was subsequently shelved because the VW Group made Audi its sole endurance race contender.
The project, though, and its race-derived 5.7-liter V10 lived on and eventually reached production with a carbon fiber body, pushrod-activated suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes and, as a homage to the legendary 917 racer, a wooden gearlever top.
The thing is that, with 1,270 cars produced, it’s not that exclusive; it even fell short of Porsche’s initial target of 1,500 units. So why is it that, in the UK, it commands the same £300,000 today that it did eight years ago?
British publication Autocar editor Vicky Parrot set out to find out if a used Carrera GT is really worth three sparkling new 911 Turbos. You can learn her verdict by watching the video right after the jump.
By Andrew Tsaousis