Porsche 911 Carrera T.
Looking through the Porsche catalog, the last thing you would think Porsche needs is another 911 variant but that’s exactly what they have given us. The Porsche 911 Carrera T is the 23rd variant of the 911 and it is easily one of the best. But before I tell you why, it is necessary to tell the story behind the name.
The T stands for Touring and this new car pays homage to an obscure 911 from the late Sixties. In 1967, Porsche made a lightweight stripped down version of its 911 and call it the 911T. In truth, that car was a cut-price 911 with most of the niceties taken out. None more so than the engine, which was detuned to produce only 110hp, which, even by Sixties standard, was unimpressive - especially for a 911. Thankfully, the new 911 Carrera T is nothing like the old one.
Essentially, the new 911 Carrera T is a base Carrera with some choice options and weight savings. You get the Sports Chrono package, sports exhaust, PASM adaptive sports suspension, and 20-inch wheels as standard. And weight is saved by having thinner windows, less sound-deadening material, and fabric straps for door handles. And if you are committed, you can also opt to have the air-conditioning, in-car entertainment system, and rear seats removed at no extra charge. Curiously, despite the weight savings, the 911 Carrera T weighs just 5kg less than your base Carrera.
Since the 911 Carrera T features the same 370hp 3-liter turbocharged flat-six as the base Carrera, claimed performance figures of the two are nearly identical. The 911 Carrera T can scoot from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.2 seconds and top speed is 291km/h. Sure, there are faster 911s around but don’t let anyone tell you 370hp is not enough. Unless you intend to take it drag racing, 370hp is plenty - few cars can keep up with it. More important than outright power is the sheer responsiveness of the engine. The small turbo spools quickly and there is no lag to speak of, just plant your foot into the carpet and the 911 Carrera T hooks up and goes.
On paper, it sounds as if not much has changed but as the old adage goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Like all modern 911s, handling is class-leading. Steering is accurate and communicative; the 911 Carrera T goes wherever you point, and it does it in a sure-footed and responsive way. It inspires confidence, making you instantly feel at ease with it. It flatters and coaxes you, giving you the assurance to push harder. As I have said before, modern 911s are so adept that you forget that you are driving a car whose engine is perched over the rear axle.
But most of all, the 911 Carrera T feels more intimate to drive than the base Carrera or even the pricier Carrera S. The lack of sound-deadening material and the lower sports suspension certainly play a big role.
In the 911 Carrera T, you hear the road, engine, and exhaust more clearly - heightening the drama of driving - while the sports suspension lowers the car’s center of gravity and keeps you as close as possible to the road, making the car feel more cart-like.
Still, don’t think for one moment that this is a hardcore 911 that you can’t use every day. 911s pride themselves on everyday usability and the 911 Carrera T upholds this tradition perfectly. The rear seats are perfectly usable, the front trunk can easily stomach one mid- size luggage or groceries, and you have luxuries like electric mirrors, adjustable electric seats, navigation, Apple CarPlay, and even a decent sound system.
And although you can hear more of what’s going on around you, it never ever gets obnoxious or unbearable - it’s just enough to make the whole experience of driving more tantalizing. Ride comfort is good too. Most will find the 911 Carrera T’s ride to be too harsh in Sports mode but set it to Comfort and you will find that the 911 Carrera T is suﬃciently pliant. Thankfully, it is possible to individually customize the powertrain and chassis settings.
Taken as a whole, the 911 Carrera T is an excellent sports car and is perfect for driving enthusiasts who prefer a rawer driving experience but can’t quite stretch their budgets to the awesome, but extremely pricey GT3.
Perfect for enthusiasts whose budgets can’t stretch to the awesome GT3.
The new 911 Carrera T next to the vintage 911T from the Sixties.
20-inch wheels come as standard.
Everything is within easy reach and there’s even two cup holders.
To save weight, the door handles are replaced with these fabric straps.
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