From the Jay Leno interview in AutoWeek:Ara said:The clutch is absolute crap at launch. You WILL stall it the first and most subsequent times you attempt to launch it. Eventually, you learn to just drop the clutch slowly with NO, and I mean, NO throttle. Even the slightest hint of throttle and it stalls. Instantly. The other option would be to do a big 4-5K RPM drop. But, you go ahead and do that in YOUR $450K car...
Q: You still have the Carrera GT loaner, how do you like that?
A: I put 500 miles on it. I bought it because of the clutch. What is it, a 60,000-mile clutch? The McLaren clutch [Leno also owns a McLaren F1] is 3000 or 4000 miles...
Q: Wasn’t the Carrera GT clutch difficult to get used to?
A: I didn’t have any problems. I read one road test that said, "Oh, it’ll really build up your thigh muscles." Well, how lazy are we getting? I have a Hispano-Suiza and that thing has a clutch—you operate that for a few blocks and you’re sweating. But this car, it’s like, "Oh shut up, are you really mentally and physically exhausted from shifting?"
The real trick to driving the car is you put it in gear, don’t give it any gas, release the clutch and it goes. I find it’s one of those things that gives a car character. Just as it was mastering the earlier 911’s handling characteristics.
I have a number of W.O. Bentleys and that is a hard car to shift. You grind gears. I called the guy I bought the first one from and he says, "You’ll get the hang of it," and he was right. You just feel a great amount of satisfaction from learning and performing the mechanical process of shifting.
Q: You really love that carbon clutch, don’t you?
A: It doesn’t smoke, it doesn’t smell. Any other car, you do a burnout and, "Sniff, sniff, uh oh." Let’s face it, if you’ve got a Countach and some kid comes up to you in a ’57 Chevy, you say, "Yeah, I could beat this kid but it’ll cost me $4,700 in clutch repairs." With the Porsche it’s not like that.