Porsche 911 Carrera T first drive: Simplify, then add the precise choices

the front half of a yellow porsche 911 T
Enlarge / Lighter and fewer highly effective, the 911 T advantages from some fascinating choices that are not accessible on different 911s.

Tim Stevens

Getting greater and heavier as you age is one thing that many people can relate to. Even the sportiest of automobiles will not be resistant to this unlucky growth. The Porsche 911 weighed simply 2,400 lbs (1,089 kg) when new within the early Sixties and was solely 165 inches (4,191 mm) lengthy. Since then, it has grown by over a foot (300 mm) and has packed on over 800 kilos (363 kg).

Thoughts you, the 911 continues to be a stellar automotive, elegant actually, however that expanded girth has modified the Carrera from a correct sports activities automotive to one thing that sits on the sporty aspect of a cushty touring machine. Now, although, with the return of the Carrera T, the 911 goes again to its roots—once more. After spending a beautiful night carving canyons in California, I am completely happy to say that the result’s outstanding.

As 911s go, this one is aimed squarely at driving enthusiasts.
Enlarge / As 911s go, this one is aimed squarely at driving fanatics.

Tim Stevens

The T in Carrera T really stands for “touring,” however that is a little bit of a misnomer. Right here it is a designation for a lighter-weight, edgier, extra partaking taste of Carrera. The primary Carrera T premiered means again in 1968, an easier 911 that almost all famously conquered the Monte Carlo Rally by the hands of Vic Elford.

After 1973, that mannequin was retired and was resurrected in 2017 for the then-current 991.2. Since then, Porsche has slapped a T onto the 718 Cayman, 718 Boxster, and even the Macan, all the time signifying one thing a bit pared again and performance-forward.

What did Porsche do to craft the brand new 911 Carrera T? Nicely, it begins with a base Carrera, with rear-wheel-drive, 379 hp (283 kW), and 331 lb-ft of torque coming from a 3.0 L, twin-turbocharged flat-six engine. That is nicely lower than the 443 ponies (330 kW) the Carrera S provides and far beneath the GTS’s 473 (352 kW), however belief me after I say it is greater than sufficient. Extra on that in a second.

Porsche's bucket seats can be hard to get in and out of, but once you're in they're wonderful. There's no back seat in this version, though.
Enlarge / Porsche’s bucket seats may be exhausting to get out and in of, however when you’re in they’re great. There isn’t any again seat on this model, although.

Tim Stevens

Porsche then paired that with a seven-speed handbook transmission, augmented by a delicate short-shift equipment, although an eight-speed PDK transmission is out there as a no-cost choice when you’d quite not row your personal. Porsche’s torque-vectoring, limited-slip rear differential is out there when you go for that transmission, and no matter pedal rely you possibly can optionally outfit a rear-steering system.

Curiously, these two choices aren’t accessible on the bottom Carrera. That alone makes the T an attractive alternative, however the exclusivity does not cease there. Porsche additionally outfitted light-weight glass and a slinkier battery, whittled out a number of the sound-deadening materials, and even deleted the rear seat. The web result’s a 911 with many fascinating efficiency choices priced at $116,600. That is $10,500 greater than a base Carrera however 100 kilos (45 kg) lighter.

Thoughts you, it nonetheless weighs 3,254 lbs (1,472 kg). Not precisely Spyder territory, however that decreased weight, plus the ten mm-lower adaptive suspension and all the opposite sporty choices, lead to a Carrera that sounds and feels considerably completely different from the bottom machine. And, with grey staggered wheels—20 inches on the entrance and 21 on the rear—plus some delicate graphics on the door, it appears to be like the half, too.

The door graphics let other Porschephiles know you're in something interesting.
Enlarge / The door graphics let different Porschephiles know you are in one thing attention-grabbing.

Tim Stevens

I truthfully did not know what to anticipate as I drove via LA visitors on my technique to the Angeles Crest exterior Pasadena. As I cruised down the freeway, apart from somewhat extra highway noise and somewhat further squeeze from the elegant Full Bucket Seats (a $5,900 choice), all of it felt just about like every other Carrera. In different phrases: no actual compromises.

Off the freeway, because the highway started to climb and double again on itself, my perspective modified. The Carrera T actually got here alive. A fast spin of the mode selector on the steering wheel introduced me into Sport Plus and, with the game exhaust open and the throttle sharpened, I started to understand simply how good this automotive was.

The T sliced via to each apex, rear-steering not solely angling the rear wheels however bending the foundations of physics that govern our lives. That shortened shifter bolstered that feeling. Shifts are abbreviated and agency, over earlier than your arm has absolutely dedicated to the movement. Grabbing the subsequent gear was such a pleasure that I hopped between ratios way more typically than was strictly vital.

Less power plus manual transmission equals winning 911.
Enlarge / Much less energy plus handbook transmission equals profitable 911.

Tim Stevens

And what concerning the 3.0 L flat-six engine that drove all of it? It is loads. Certain, varied different variations of 911 provide way more energy, however this 911 is not about outright thrust. The Carrera T is concerning the expertise. Similar to a handbook transmission boosts engagement at the price of outright pace in comparison with a PDK, extra energy does not essentially make a automotive extra enjoyable.

In my e book, the Carrera T is the one to purchase. At the least, it’s if you wish to actually preserve the style of what the 911 was initially meant to be. Certain, Porsche’s iconic coupe has grown loads since 1964, however the pure really feel of the Carrera T exhibits that its roots are nonetheless firmly planted.

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