Braking on all four corners is executed by the capable Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system and for the first time on fifteen inch rotors. Consisting of ceramic discs and composite pads, the system is lightweight and resistant to corrosion. PCCB reduces the unsprung weight of the braking system by fifty percent.
Four channel ABS comes standard. Attached to the braking system are forged magnesium wheels which weigh less than the tires wrapped around them. Michelin makes the only tire approved for the Carerra GT. They feature a soft compound rubber on the outer one third of the tread. It is suggested by Porsche that these tires need replacement every 15000 miles.
A large rear wing provides down force at the rear of the car. As the car reaches 75 mph (120 km/h) it electro-hydraulically raises an additional 6 inches (16 cm) for increased stability. At top speed the combined down force of the front and rear wheels total 639 pounds (290 kgs). Apart from the wing, most of the Carrera GT's down force comes from its under tray.
The entire tray is manufactured from carbon fiber and is attached to the chassis, engine mounts and crash structure. Creating down force with such a device is efficient as it does not impair the car's drag coefficient. A diffuser and air flow ducts provide additional ground effect. Further aerodynamic attention is applied to the lower wishbones. They are made of efficiently shaped steel tubes which do not interfere with the aerodynamics underneath the car.
To ensure control under all situations, the Carrera GT has a four channel anti-lock braking system and anti-spin control (ASC) to prevent excessive wheel spin. Traction control is standard. 'Should he/she wish to enjoy the thrill of dynamic driving of the highest racing standard the driver can switch off the complete traction control function by pressing a button in the centre console.' says Porsche.
Porsche describe the Carrera's clean interior as a function-oriented ambience and a cockpit free of all extraneous detail. Only high-tech materials such as carbon, magnesium and leather adorn most surfaces. Information is clearly presented in a classic Porsche instrument cluster which replaces the LCD screen featured on the concept car. The car also uses the 911 steering wheel which doesn't follow the F1 trend to stick as many functions on the wheel as possible.
This old-school approach is a refreshing change, contributing to the GT's ambiance and ensuring it will remain a timeless design. Extending into the dash is a centre console covered in magnesium. Attached sits a birch/ash shifter which is the only piece of wood found in this carbon-laden car. It specifically pays homage to Porsche's 917 which sported a balsa-wood gear lever. Balsa was the optimum material for the job, it was extremely light, but most importantly added to the character of the 917.
Amenities such a Bose stereo system and air conditioning are optionally offered. For closed top driving, two carbon fiber panels can be attached to the roof. At a low weight of just 6.4 lbs (2.4 kgs) each, these panels are easily removable and can be stored in the front luggage compartment.
Enzo vs Carrera
Comparison between the Carrera GT and Ferrari Enzo is inevitable. Both entered the market at the top of the product range and both place heavy emphasis on driver-oriented driving, but each executes this philosophy in a different way. Where the Enzo has three driving modes, and a huge bevy of electronic systems, the Carrera is stripped down to basic performance.
This is largely due to the fact that the Carrera only has a 6-Speed Manual whereas the Enzo is equipped with a paddle-shift, computer controlled, 6-speed sequential. Getting back to basics is somewhat cheaper, since the Carrera GT was $444,400 when new compared to the $660 000 USD Enzo. With regards to pure performance, the Enzo does have 48 more horsepower (35.8 kW), and weighs 33 lbs (15 kgs) less which would make it win on any straight.
The Carrera GT on the other hand, offers much more down force and might possibly catch up in the turns. In any case, if either car is superior, the margin is so narrow that it's more a question of driver skill.
Despite announcing a total production of 1500 units, only 1270 came from the factory in Saxony. Porsche stopped after airbag regulations changed in the US. It is also important to mention that the Carrera GT wasn't meant to become the fastest road legal supercar. Had Porsche tried to chase the McLaren's performance figures, production (planned at 1500 cars), profitability and comfort would have suffered. Most cars came in the standard colors of Guards Red, Fayence Yellow, Basalt Black, GT Silver or Seal Grey, but custom colors were available.