Porsche Carrera GT Safe? Vehicle in Question Since Paul Walker Death

Image: Porsche Carrera GT Safe? Vehicle in Question Since Paul Walker Death

Tuesday, 03 Dec 2013 12:38 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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The Porsche Carrera GT, the same model that actor Paul Walker was riding in Saturday when he died in a fatal crash, left car reviewers "white with fear" during test drives with one even dubbing it the "most dangerous car on the road."

Walker, 40, and driver Roger Rodas, 38, were both killed Saturday when their 2005 Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a pole and caught fire in Valencia, Calif. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office has said that speed may have been a factor in the deadly wreck.

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But old reviews of the sports car reveal that critics always felt the vehicle might be inherently dangerous.

"[It was] the first car in my life that I drive and I feel scared. ... I came back into the pits and I was white," Walter Rohrl, a former world rally champion and Porsche test driver, told Drive magazine in 2002.

"I have never felt anything like that," car critic Jeremy Clarkson said in 2008 on the British BBC motor show Top Gear. "You need to be awake to drive this fast. It really isn't an easy car to control, the clutch is brutal, the power is savage, and the handling ... you really are on a knife edge. … Other cars forgive you, but make a mistake in that and it bites your head off. That v.10 engine is a landmine."

So with more than 600 horsepower, a knack for swerving out of control, and no electronic stability control system, should the Porsche Carrera GT even be allowed on the road?

No, according to former racer Craig McClellan, who told SportsCarMarket.com that the vehicle should be "feared."

"When a 'race car for the streets' is sold to anyone with enough money, regardless of his ability to drive it, and it doesn't even incorporate modern electronic safety devices that correct driver errors, then maybe the manufacturer should accept some responsibility for the foreseeable deaths that will result," he said.

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