By now you've likely already heard that actor Paul Walker perished in a car
accident over the holiday weekend. On the off chance this is the first you're hearing about it, a quick recap is that Walker went on a joyride with his friend and financial adviser, Roger Rodas, while attending a charity event for Walker's organization Reach Out Worldwide. The 'Fast And Furious
' star was a passenger in his red Porsche Carrera GT, while Rodas, a former race car driver, manned the wheel.
Speed was obviously a factor, as pictures from the scene show the car was nearly ripped in half by a tree before a fire reduced the vehicle to a smoldering pile of ash. Both Walker and Rodas died, though it's unclear if the cause of death was from the impact of the crash or the ensuing fire.
Image Source: mirror.co.uk
The reason we're posting this here is because some are calling into question the overall safety of the Porsche Carrera GT, somewhat of a technical wonder in the world of automobiles. It has a V10 engine, 610 BHP, and a 205 MPH top speed, but speed alone isn't why critics are calling the car out -- it's the handling.
"You need to be awake to drive this fast. It really isn't an easy car to control," Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson told Mirror
. "The clutch is brutal, the power is savage, and the handling...you really are on a knife edge. But if you put in the effort, boy-oh-boy do you get the rewards."
Image Source: Twitter (Victor Mosqueda)
Clarkson added that the Carrera GT is the "most exciting" and also the "fastest road-going Porsche ever made." At higher speeds, there's very little room for error, if any. Part of the reason for that is because of the way it was built
"This was not a car for novices," Eddie Alterman, Editor-in-Chief of Car and Driver magazine, told CNN
. Actually, the Carrera GT program began as a racing program."
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
One of the things that makes the Carrera GT tricky to control is that the engine is placed in the middle. This makes it much more nimble with quicker turning capabilities, but there's a learning curve involved. On top of that, there's no electronic stability control to correct slides or help prevent losing control. If you make a mistake, you're going to pay for it in some fashion.
It was a challenge Walker happily accepted, and given enough time, he may have been up for it. Race car driver Randy Pobst coached the actors in the second "Fast & Furious" movie, the franchise Walker is best known for, and according to him, "Paul was by far the best driver -- a natural car guy."