Imagine you've driven 165mph in a Volkswagen Phaeton W12 on a derestricted German autobahn. Now imagine you're driving a Porsche Carrera GT (CGT) on a three-lane American highway with no traffic, one mile visibility and perfect weather. Do you put the hammer down and try to better your personal land speed record, despite the obvious risk to life and license? Do ya? Do ya punk?
Well, of course not. That kind of egocentric accelerative exuberance would be criminally irresponsible, regardless of the conditions. Anyway, your [imaginary] right foot rests atop an accelerator hot wired to a 605hp, race-bred, V10 engine. The car holstering this brute weighs just 3043lbs. It's a Porsche. So what the Hell, you muck about a bit, change gears, play around with the throttle, that kind of thing. I mean why not? It's not like you're headed for work or anything.
You soon discover that the CGT can accelerate from one 100-plus speed to another with as much urge as most sports cars muster blasting from zero to sixty. It's very reassuring. Should you go for it, your TED (Time Exposed to Danger) will be a LOT shorter than it was in the uber-Phaeton. You also tap the CGT's middle pedal a few times, until you're certain the brakes could haul you back from the brink in a Femto-second.
You take a deep breath, plant your right foot and let loose the dogs of war. With no appreciable delay, you're tear-assing towards the horizon like an amphetamine-crazed greyhound chasing a turbo-charged mechanical rabbit. With the engine mounted just behind your head, the CGT's trademark V10 howl is relatively muted, whipped backwards by a self-generated hurricane.
The first sprint takes you from 80mph to somewhere into the 150's in about ten seconds from launch, in fifth gear. The next charge puts 160 something on the clock, and seems positively uneventful in comparison with your first high speed foray, or the Phaeton's autobahn storming. Could it be true? Is it getting easier to approach the far side of the CGT's 911-esque speedometer? Now that is strange.
Cruising at 110, slicing through a knot of traffic, you check the gigantic carbon fiber rear wing in your side mirror and wiggle the steering wheel ever-so-slightly. The car is as planted as a Kings Canyon Sequoia. In fact, the CGT feels like she's itching to high tail it down the nearest off-ramp, sniff out a suitably serpentine country road, and prove that all this triple digit straight line strutting is nothing but kid's stuff. Which it bloody well isn't.
Oh, I forgot. Your wife is in the car. Normally, whenever you attempt to explore a car's outer limits, the mother/step-mother of your children pushes the "Honey button"– as in "Honey… SLOW DOWN!" Now, for some reason, the marital speed limiter is disengaged. In fact, she's instructing you to feed the engine some revs, urging you to boldly go where police citation pads have never gone before.
Maybe it's the way the CGT looks. Porsche's top-of-the-line model isn't a self-conscious babe magnet like the Ferrari Enzo or Lamborghini Murcielago, both of which are unabashedly bling in the great Italianate style. The German CGT is a supercar scalpel, bereft of needless affectation. An admirer doesn't have to see the car's perfectly formed carbon fiber tub to know, somehow, that it's there. The CGT's solemnity of purpose and endless, fanatical attention to detail inspire confidence on the subconscious level.
Anyway, in this fantasy, you and yours are ready to rock and roll. You floor it and keep it floored. Into sixth, and off you go, setting the pavement on fire with your determination. Fifteen very long seconds later, the little devil on your shoulder is suddenly agreeing with the tiny angel, whose pleas for you to cease your assault on the double ton have become a single, endless, mindless, scream.
You press on for another five seconds (just to show them who's boss) and then back off. The car slows to a sensible speed. That's it. You're done. Only one question remains: how fast did you go? Damn! You forgot to look at the speedo! "One seventy nine," a voice calls out. God bless marriage. And God bless the Sultans of Stuttgart, because the only genuine anxiety involved in this accelerative adventure was generated by your own mind and body– not the CGT.
And there you have it: a fantastic journey into the outer reaches of time and space, with no relation to your reporter's actual experience of the Porsche Carrera GT. How did that go? Oh, about as well as you'd expect. The CGT's a very nice car, if you like that sort of thing.