Porsche Carrera GT (2003-2006)

Premiere of the concept car: September 28, 2000 at Paris Louvre Museum
Premiere of the production car: March 5, 2003 Geneva Motor Show

© Porsche

Tech specs and comparison

Engine Power Torque Gearbox 0-60 mph 0-100 km/h 0-200 km/h Vmax Weight Power-to-weight Dimen-
sions mm
2004 Carrera GT 5.7V10 450kW 590Nm
435lb-ft
manual
6-speed
3.8 sec. 3.9 sec. 9.9 sec. 330km/h
205mph
1380kg
3042lb
326 W/kg 4613x
1921x
1166
1997 911 996 GT1 street version 3.2B6 bi-turbo 400kW 600Nm
441lb-ft
manual
6-speed
3.7 sec. 3.9 sec. 10.5 sec. 308km/h
191mph
1150kg
2535lb
348 W/kg 4710x
1950x
1170
1996 911 993 GT1 street version 3.2B6 bi-turbo 441kW 653Nm
480lb-ft
manual
6-speed
1125 kg
2480lb
392 W/kg 4683x
1987 959 2.8B6 bi-turbo 331kW 500Nm
368lb-ft
manual
6-speed
3.6 sec. 3.7 sec. 13.0 sec. 317km/h
197mph
1350kg
2976lb
245 W/kg 4260x
1839x
1280

First, the concept car

The creation of the Porsche 980, the Carrera GT concept car started in 1999 at the same time when the Porsche 9R3 Le Mans prototype project was halted. The 5.5V10 engine and the transmission for the prototype came from the 9R3 as well as the concept of full carbon-fibre construction. For financial reasons, coupé and roadster were not separately planned, but built into one car with removable top. This meant some overweight would be gained due to the safety demandings for an open car.

The design was overseen by Harm Lagaay, Head of Design at Porsche AG at that time. Lagaay worked for Porsche from 1971 to 1977 designing the 924 among others and returned to Porsche in 1989 as head of the “Style Porsche” department in Weissach. He oversaw the creation of the 968, 911 993, Boxster 986, 911 996, Cayenne 955 and finally the Carrera GT.

The Carrera GT concept car was unveiled to the press on September 28, 2000, in Paris Louvre Museum. Public saw it two days later at the Paris Motor Show. It was announced that if the car goes into production, at least 500 will be built. The specs were: 5.5-litre V10, 8200 rpm max engine speed, 410 kW, 600 Nm (444 lb-ft), 90-litre tank, 1250 kg / 2756 lb, under 4 seconds to 100 km/h, under 10 seconds to 200 km/h and top speed at least 330 km/h (205 mph).

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Carrera GT concept car. At the first glance, the later production car looks similar, but differences can be found everywhere. © Porsche
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With the 19" wheels at the front and 20" at the rear, the tyres measured 265/30-19 and 335/30-20 © Porsche
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Note the mirror and door opener that are different on the production car© Porsche
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Fuel filler cap© Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT concept car
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Note the engine covers that didn’t make it to production © Porsche
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The engine bay looks completely different from the production car. The engine and transmission are from the Porsche 9R3 racing prototype. © Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT concept car engine
The coil-overs are fixed to the transmission casing like in the 9R3 © Porsche
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Wheel nut wrench © Porsche
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Secret photoshooting in California © Porsche
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These prototype headlamps didn’t make it to production © Porsche
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The fog lamps in the bumper were deleted before the car went into production © Porsche
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Initial design of the mirror housing© Porsche
Porsche Carrera GT concept car and Walter Röhrl
A visible design flaw - Walter Röhrl is not the tallest guy, but even he wouldn’t have the room for a helmet with the roof in position.© Porsche
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Camera for filming your track day driving was a cool idea that didn’t make it to production© Porsche
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For the production car, the side airbag was taken from the Boxster© Porsche
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The prototype steering wheel was replaced by the 911/Boxster-style steering wheel for the production Carrera GT © Porsche
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The prototype digital instrument screen was replaced by an instrument cluster similar to the one in 996 © Porsche
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The center console lost most of its buttons and got a more comfortable gear knob for the production car© Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT concept interior
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5.5-litre prototype engine © Porsche
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5.5-litre prototype engine with rev limitter set on 8200 rpm. The production car got a 5.7-litre unit and 8400 rpm scream.© Porsche

Production car development

On January 8, 2002, at the Detroit Motor Show press conference, Porsche confirmed that the Carrera GT series production car will be made. When the production was confirmed, the initial production plan was raised from 500 to 1000 supercars.

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The initial dimensions were 4556 x 1915 x 1192 mm meaning the production car came out longer, wider, and lower© Porsche
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© Porsche

The monocoque and the rolling chassis

The Carrera GT was the first car in the world, whether on the road or in racing, to apply a brand-new design and construction concept - both the monocoque and the entire frame carrying all the car’s modules and components were made of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP).

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Carbon-fibre chassis part made at the ATR company in Italy. In addition to Porsche, ATR has produced parts for Ferrari F50, 575 SuperAmerica, Enzo, FXX, Lamborghini Murcielago, Alfa Romeo 8C, Mercedes-McLaren SLR, Bugatti Veyron, Maserati MC12, Lexus LFA and others. © Porsche
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For even greater strength and safety, the A-pillars in the monocoque were further reinforced by high-strength steel tubes© Porsche

Carrera GT's rolling chassis consists of structural elements (chassis and engine frame), mechanical units (powertrain, suspension, cooling system) and electrical components. In its torsional stiffness, the Carrera GT sets a new record for open cars. The car is operative even without the body panels which have merely aerodynamic and esthetic functions and are without importance for the structural integrity of the rolling chassis.

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Double-wishbones with pushrod links© Porsche
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The rear axle shows the same conceptual features as the front axle. The lower wishbone consists of welded H400 steel and is a bit longer. The aerodynamic wishbone profile is obtained by internal high-pressure metal forming. It is arranged in the diffuser air flow.© Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT carbon chassis
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Porsche Carrera GT rolling chassis
Rolling chassis© Porsche

With the exception of PUR front and rear bumpers, all the other body panels were made of carbon-fibre composite material with wall thickness of approximately 1.2 mm.

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Porsche Carrera GT body panels
Front fenders form a 1-piece construction© Porsche
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Expensive underpanelling© Porsche
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Ultra-strong CFRP body panels keep their form in a crash test © Porsche

The initially set 1250 kg / 2756 lb weight goal couldn’t be reached with safe open top car even though carbon-fibre was extensively used. Other frequently used materials were aluminium, magnesium, H400 high-grade steel and titanium. The car came out 10% heavier than initially planned.

The engine

The 5.7V10 engine of the Carrera GT production car was the descendant of the 5.5V10 racing engine developed for the Porsche 9R3 prototype endurance racer and used in the Carrera GT concept car. As the production Carrera GT came out 10% heavier than the concept car, 10% more power was needed in order to keep the initial power-to-weight ratio. The bore diameter was increased by 2 mm to 98 mm to obtain a displacement of 5,733 cm³ and the engine block was increased by 7 mm in order to provide space for the installation of an additional piston ring. The engine features a sophisticated crankcase-integrated lubrication system fitted with 10 oil pumps, i.e. 1 pressure pump and 9 evacuation pumps to allow oil evacuation of the individual crank chambers as well as the cylinder heads and the timing chain case. The lubricating system has been laid out for lateral accelerations of up to 2.5 g to ensure safe engine operation also under motorsport conditions.

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5.7V10 © Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT engine
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5.7-litre V10 engine of the Carrera GT © Margus Holland / Stuttcars.com

Ceramic clutch

The Carrera GT was the first car in the world equipped with a ceramic clutch. It is called PCCC or Porsche Ceramic Composite Clutch. The diameter of the two-plate clutch is only 6.65"/169 mm, but it can stand 1000 Nm (735 lb-ft) of torque. The clutch weighs just 3.5 kg/7.7 lb which is 1/3 of the mass of the 996 Turbo clutch, for example.

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Cutting the ceramic clutch disc with a water jet at 3000 bar (43500 PSI) pressure© Porsche
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Double-plate ceramic clutch © Porsche
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The very small diameter clutch allows very low engine placement and therefore lowest possible center of gravity © Porsche

Transmission

The extremely severe requirements with regard to the overall concept of the car excluded the installation of a standard transmission. In order to cope with the specific boundary conditions in terms of input torque, wheelbase, aerodynamics and center-of-gravity level, a completely new transmission was developed for the Carrera GT. It was decided to use a transverse transmission with integrated engine oil tank and cyclone separator for oil foam suppression. With this concept, the masses are concentrated at the center of gravity while providing space enough for the installation of a aerodynamic diffusor across the entire width of the car. Due to the need to use a clutch as compact as possible, the Carrera GT does not come with a two-mass flywheel – but the function of such a flywheel is provided nevertheless by the special design of the input shafts: the first main shaft is hollow, with a long and thin full shaft running inside as a spring rod. Together with the mass weight of the angle drive the two shafts acting as a torsion spring serve to absorb possible jolts coming from the engine, reducing transmission noise in the process.

Porsche Carrera GT transmission shafts
The compact 6-speed gearbox is transversally in the car © Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT transmission
Transmission with integrated tank for engine oil!© Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT phantom image, chassis
The fuel tank is located in the safest place, in the center of the car between the seats and the engine. With its location at the center of gravity, the fuel level does not affect the wheel load distribution. The tank is made of plasmatron-welded aluminum deep-drawn sheet metal and is protected by the surrounding structural CFRP panels. The fuel supply system is fully operable at lateral accelerations of up to 1.7 g. © Porsche
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Computer-simulated crash test © Porsche
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Testing of air conditioning in the climatic wind tunnel which can provide -40 and lower temperatures. A turbine can operate in relation to the roller speed and can simulate the wind blast up to 100 mph/160 km/h.© Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT
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Engine production in Stuttgart


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V10 block upside-down© Porsche
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Power plants were produced at the Stuttgart factory © Porsche
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Porsche factory in Stuttgart: Carrera GT transmission mated to the engine and then shipped to Leipzig© Porsche

Car assembly in Leipzig


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Carrera GT assembly at the Porsche Leipzig factory © Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT production
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The Carrera GT production car was unveiled in March 2003 at the Geneva motor show in Switzerland.

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Le Mans race track is the natural environment for the Carrera GT, which was built on the know-how of the cancelled Le Mans project, the Porsche 9R3.© Porsche
Walter Röhrl© Porsche
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A tiny 76-litre luggage compartment can be found under the front hood, in the case you do not decide to place the roof panels there© Porsche
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The simple-operation roof system consists of two individual carbon-fibre shells (2.4 kg / 5.3 lb each), which can be accommodated in the front luggage compartment. © Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT headlamp
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At its top speed of 330 km/h / 205 mph, the Carrera GT develops a downforce of approximately 400 kg / 880 lb on the rear axle© Porsche
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Central locking magnesium wheels. Fronts 9.5x19" with 265/35-19 tyres (265/30 on concept car) and rears 12.5x20" with 335/30-20 tyres© Porsche
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PCCB Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, 380 mm discs front and rear, 34 mm in thickness, about 50 per cent lighter than the grey-cast-iron discs of the same size© Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT centre wheel lock
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Walter Röhrl in a Carrera GT, in front of the Porsche Leipzig factory customer welcome center© Porsche
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Carrera GT comes with the RDK tyre pressure monitor (Reifendruck-Kontrolle in German)© Porsche
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In 2003, LED lamps were not so common yet, but here they are © Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT rear view
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Flat underbody ends with the diffusor© Porsche
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The numberplate shows the horsepower figure© Porsche
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Beauty in details© Porsche
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This is art.© Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT engine
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Many Porsches have had “Carrera GT” in their model name: 356A Carrera GT, 356B Carrera GT, 356B Carrera GTL, 904 Carrera GTS, 924 Carrera GT, 924 Carrera GTS and 924 Carrera GTR.© Porsche
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3-piece rear window© Porsche
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Nürburgring Nordschleife. In 2004 Horst von Saurma managed to lap the Ring in 7:32,44 with the Carrera GT which was the street legal car record at the time. The best lap set with the Carrera GT is 7:28.71 - in 2008 by Marc Basseng in a black Carrera GT.© Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT side view
It takes 20.0 seconds to cover a kilometre from a standing-start© Porsche
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The ground clearance is only 86 mm / 3.4"© Porsche
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The production version had 6-piston brake callipers front and rear (the concept car had 8-piston callipers in front and 4-piston at the rear)© Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT top view
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Porsche Leipzig test track is next to the factory where the GT was built. The cone-shaped building on the background is for welcoming visitors and for handing over the new cars to customers who have specified to receive their Leipzig-built Porsche at the factory.© Porsche
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Porsche 935-style side panel opening between the front and rear of the car© Porsche
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Satisfaction can be seen © Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT door panel, side airbag
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Porsche Carrera GT balsa gear knob
Wooden gear knob tries to bring in the Porsche 917 feeling© Porsche
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Positioned far up on the centre console, the shift lever is close to the steering wheel in the interest of superior sporting ergonomics© Porsche
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Becker Porsche Online Pro radio with integrated phone and simple navigation system. The sound system was developed by Bose.© Porsche
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Traction Control Off, a button for the bravehearts© Porsche
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You could order the car without air conditioning system in order to save some weight and if you did that, a smaller battery was installed (60 Ah instead of 80 Ah).© Porsche
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The centre console sweeping upwards is also made of carbon-fibre and firmly connected to the chassis in the interest of extra safety. On top of the centre console is an extra-light, galvanised magnesium element housing buttons and switches. The gearshift lever with its ball-shaped knob made of laminated birchwood, in turn, bears testimony to the culture of motor racing in the old days. © Porsche
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Porsche Carrera GT bucket seat
The composite carbon and aramide (kevlar) fibre seat© Porsche
Porsche Carrera GT 2004 Automotive Division of Society of Plastics Engineers award
In 2004 Automotive Division of Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) awarded Porsche with engineering excellence award for Most Innovative Use of Plastics© Porsche

Following great sales success, the target was raised from 1000 to 1500 cars, but finally 1270 Carrera GT supercars were produced. The cars were made between September 2003 and April 2006. In 2 years and 7 months approximately 2 cars were made each day. Carrera GT was one of the very few supercar projects in the world that was economically successful.


Racing car

One of the cars, chassis number WP0ZZZ98Z4L000145, was after the delivery rebuilt as a racing car by GPR (Garage Pino Racing).

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Porsche Carrera GT racing car
Here at the 2007 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show on the BBS stand© James Herne
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Porsche Carrera GT racing car
© James Herne
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Porsche Carrera GT racing car
Ceramic brakes discarded, steel ones installed © James Herne
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Porsche Carrera GT racing car
FIA-approved fuel system © James Herne
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Porsche Carrera GT racing car
Sorry for the bad quality, but this photo is to show the car really has a stripped-out interior and a roll cage © James Herne

Modifications included a Motec engine management system, Stack instruments, Moton suspension, custom made wishbones and track rods, AP Racing braking system with steel discs, pedal box, air jacks, special heavy-duty clutch, Thiebaut roll cage, BBS custom made racing wheels, automatic fire extinguishing system and a competition fuel system. It is not known if this car ever raced.


© James Herne / Stuttcars.com


Coloring pages

Carrera GT

2003

  • Vector drawing 594 mm x 420 mm (A2), B/W
  • Format: PDF
  • Author: Margus Holland

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More coloring pages
Continue to 918 Spyder
Anniversaries
Sep, 2832nd birthday of the 964 (1988)
Oct, 11 – 33rd birthday of the 2708 (1987)
Oct, 29 – 80th birthday of Hans-Peter Porsche (1940)
Nov, 15 – 45th birthday of the 924 (1975)
Nov, 19 – 12th birthday of the Boxster 987.2 (2008)