Porsche Carrera GT

FAST AND FURIOUS actor Paul Walker (circled above) died in a car crash in Santa Clarita, California on Nov 30.

It was reported Walker was a passenger in a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by his friend and business partner Roger Rodas, when they lost control of the vehicle, slammed into a pole, causing it to explode and burst into flames.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station later confirmed that speed was a factor in the crash.

The exotic two-seater 2005 Porsche Carrera GT with three times the horsepower of the average car is considered one of the fastest car in the world, which may also be the reason why it is difficult to drive.

In a CNN investigative report, following the accident, news editor Holly Yan went behind the wheels with correspondent Martin Savidge to test drive the vehicle and feel the speed and fury of the Carrera GT.

Yan's response: "Riding a Porsche Carrera GT is simpy visceral. You are at once exhilarated and car sick. It is like flying on the road and it is terrifying... but strangely fun."

Savidge added: "You have to be afraid of the car with all the power it has. You have to be reserved and restrain yourself. It is like training a wild animal, so you have to be afraid of it to really be safe in the car which is the thin line between the thrill and the real danger.


Even by the standards of supercars, and nearly a decade after it was first introduced, the Porsche Carrera GT is something remarkable. Climb into it and find yourself in a cockpit made of carbonfibre, the high-tech material that F1 cars are built from.

Start the engine and the 5.7-litre V10 engine which sits behind you roars into life, responding instantly to any pressure on the throttle pedal.

So why is the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT so different from other street cars? Here are five reasons:

1 It flies on the road - Its a sports car which has a top speed of 208 mph, a very high-revving V10 engine and more than 600 horsepower. "This is not a car for novices," said editor-in-chief of Car and Driver magazine Eddie Alterman.

Trimble added the Carrera GT is a "very hard car to drive. It's a pure racer's car. You really need to know what you are doing when you drive them. And a lot of people are learning the hard way." 2 It is incredibly expensive - Brand new, the car costs USD$450,000. An oil change alone costs USD$900.

3 The engine is in the middle - Having the engine in the middle of the car means it's more agile and turns more quickly than a car with the engine in the front, or in the rear.

Alterman said the Carrera GT is also able to change direction very quickly, very much like a race car. "It was beyond a super car. It is what we call a hyper car," he added.

4 It has no stability control - The Carrera GT is also unusual because it has no electronic stability control. That means it's unforgiving with mistakes. Alterman said learning to drive a car like this can be extremely tricky.

"Every car is sort of different. And this one, especially since it had such a hair-trigger throttle and changed directions so quickly, there is a lot to learn," added Alterman.

5 There are only 1,300 of them Porsche made only about 1,300 Carreras GTs, and they're disappearing fast. Trimble said they are also getting rarer and rarer. "Most of the time, when they do get wrecked, there is not much left of them," he said.


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