The Secrets of the Porsche 911 Carrera T
The 911 Carrera T is one of the best cars in the world. Here's why.
Simple pleasures rule and very few cars provide them as comprehensively as does the back-to-basics 911 Carrera T. One of the final twists on the outgoing 991.2 generation as it gives way to the 992, the T will almost surely get a sequel based on the new 911, but we recently had a go in the car at our L.A. HQ and reveled in its near perfection.
Indeed, the T is basically the ideal sports car. It's direct, mechanical, and engaging, with incredible steering feel and a holistic approach to all primary controls—whatever pedal, lever, or other device you interact with, it's all perfectly calibrated with a linearity rare in pretty much anything else on the road. Oh, and it sounds really neat, too. In sum, it satisfies with a depth and totality that took even us a little by surprise.
Optional rear-wheel steering provides extra agility at lower speeds and increases stability at higher ones, and the standard torque-vectoring functionality means it turns in with a vengeance. Mid-corner speed is ferocious, and every input is tuned for tactility. The brakes are stellar, and the active dampers both imbue an otherworldly level of handling but also deliver daily-driver ride quality. While all this tech may be anathema to purists—and an ideal world would see the 911 be as simple as possible—Porsche integrates them in a totally natural way that not only makes you a better driver, but also one that can more safely approach the car's limits.
With all of that said, here are a few ingredients that make the T formula so successful:
The T is for Touring. But you could also go with Terrific looks, Twin-turbo flat-six, or True driver's car.
It has the same engine as a base Carrera. The Carrera T packs a 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six that pumps out 370 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque—plenty of power for anyone not addicted to extraterrestrial-level speeds. Our test car had a seven-speed manual transmission, and all Ts are rear-drive only.
It's a lower rider. The Carrera T rides 0.4 inch lower than a base Carrera compliments of the standard two-mode Porsche Active Suspension Management.
The seven-speed manual transmission has top speed of 180 mph. The optional dual-clutch PDK automatic adds additional mph, topping out at 182 mph, and also shaves 0.3 second from Porsche's stated zero-to-60-mph time. The automatic can do the deed in 4.0 ticks of the stopwatch. It's up to you, of course, but we wouldn't give up the visceral control of a manual in exchange.
The 911 T comes with a few choice goodies as standard. In addition to PASM, the T sports as standard a mechanical locking differential, Porsche Torque Vectoring, the delicious-sounding sport exhaust, a Sport Design steering wheel, and rotary drive-mode selector.
There are no inside door handles. Instead, the T gets Porsche-GT-car-inspired nylon pull straps. They save a little weight, sure, but also look incredibly sweet.
Want options? You bet, but maybe be judicious. You can of course outfit the T with plenty of Porsche's famously plentiful options, but we'd prefer our personal example to come as lightly spec'd as did our press car. Above its base price of $103,150, it carried just $10K in options—a like load in Porsche land—ringing in at $113,760. Of course, there were just two extras on our car: the rear-wheel steering for $2,090 and a set of ceramic-composite brakes for $8,520.
|2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T Manual Specifications|
|ENGINE||3.0L turbocharged 24-valve flat-6; 370 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 331 lb-ft @ 1,100 rpm|
|LAYOUT||2-door, 4-passenger, rear-engine, RWD coupe|
|EPA MILEAGE||16/25 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||178.2 x 71.2 x 50.6 in|
|0-60 MPH||4.3 sec|
|TOP SPEED||182 mph|