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Porsche In The Paul Walker Crash Has A Dangerous, Unforgiving Reputation
Investigators are still working to figure out exactly what might have caused the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas were riding in to slam into a tree and a concrete pole this weekend.
Yesterday authorities ruled out reports that the pair were drag-racing before the crash, and today there's more information about the condition of the car. Authorities searched for evidence of a fluid leak at the crash scene, but they didn't find any, Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker told the Los Angeles Times. A fluid leak could have meant that Rodas, the driver, wouldn't have been able to control the 605-horsepower car.
That doesn't mean that that authorities have ruled out some sort of mechanical error. The car had been stalling before Rodas took it out for a joyride, and investigators are hoping to retrieve computerized data from the wreckage that might explain what happened in the moments before impact.
What is known is that this model of car is incredibly powerful and has a dangerous reputation. The model costs about $400,000, and with its V-10 engine, it is able to reach 100 mph in under 7 seconds. It's marketed as a race car that's legal for the streets. It has an extremely low clearance, which makes it hard to drive over potholes or small obstacles in the road.
The car has no electronic stability control, which means it's unforgiving of mistakes, CNN says. Race car driver Randy Pobst told CNN, "Stability control is really good at correcting slides, keeping the car from getting out of shape." The engine is in the middle of the car, which makes it very agile and responsive to the driver.
Porsche sent out a memo obtained by TMZ to dealers in 2004 before it went on sale, warning them about this car, "You need to be aware of what type of road surface you are on (dips; pot holes, seam heights, etc.)" It added: "this vehicle cannot drive over a Foster Beer can that is lying on its side."
Rodas was a trained driver, but even experts say they are afraid of this car. Porsche test driver Walter Rohrl told Drive in 2002 that the Carrera had been "the first car in my life that I drive and I feel scared."
Doug DeMuro, a former manager at Porsche Cars North America, told Jalopnik calls the car "crazy":
I think conservative estimates say something like 70 of these are off the road, and they keep severely injuring and killing people. My favorite car ever, in the whole world, but man are they dangerous. A close friend of mine has one here and I refuse to let him take me for a ride — even the pros at the driving school in Birmingham were really cautious with it. If you're ever offered a ride, definitely think twice about it... and if you ever get the chance to drive, for God's sake be careful!
One non-expert Leno spun out in a similar model at Talladega.Here's a video of Walker before he took his last ride: