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05 Aug 2020

Photos by Rich Pearce

Celebrating 20 years of the Carrera GT

Two decades after the debut of the astonishing Carrera GT Matt Master assesses its significance

At 8am on 28 September 2000, the first morning of the Paris Motor Show, a small group of international journalists gathered on the chilly concourse outside the Louvre at the invitation of Porsche’s PR department. Well away from the hustle and bustle of the Porte de Versailles’ main stands, a secretive new project was about to enjoy its first public outing.
Inside, the lights went down and a film began, revealing a hitherto unseen concept car being hammered through the Nevada desert by development driver Walter Röhrl. It was a design absolutely without precedent from Porsche that dumbfounded the assembled media. But they were awakened rapidly from their collective inertia by an intoxicating if unfamiliar sound – a rich, hollering engine note that reverberated between the trees on the nearby Champs-Elysées. Emerging from the autumnal darkness, headlights slicing through heavy rain, was the Carrera GT, Herr Röhrl beaming from the low-lit cockpit.

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