Surprise, surprise - you can get a satisfying 911 without having to pay GT3 money
Photos by Azfar Hashim
When you buy a Porsche 911, you definitely want it to be special. But of course a brand new, special 911 would cost you something beyond logic, which at the same time, could also buy you something else.
You see, the problem with the 911 is there's a variety to choose from; on top of that, you have to choose whether you want it in coupe or cabriolet form. Then you need to pick, do you want it in four-wheel drive or rear wheel drive. Lastly you need to select the equipment list you want: Should I get the Sport Chrono pack? What rims do I want? How do I specify the interior?
So it seems Porsche knew this issue and probably were given a dozen feedbacks from the brand’s fan who simply want to buy something without having to waste too much heart and mind: Say hello to the 911 Carrera T.
50 years ago, the first 911 T was introduced as an affordable entry-level 911 for drivers who want (a) a Porsche and (b) is in no hurry to go places as it only had 110 bhp. Oh how the plot has changed when this new one turned up...
To begin with, the 2018 911 Carrera T (the ‘T’ here is for Touring) is priced between the 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S. So for potential 911 customers who are very price-sensitive, you may want to read on.
The USP of the T here is perhaps the fact that it is a lightened 911. Thinner glass are used for the rear windscreen and rear side windows, sound insulation throughout the car has been reduced and inside, pull straps instead of door handles; all in the name of weight loss. And if you want to go the whole nine yards, you can even ask the local dealer to remove the rear seat and audio head-unit to shed a further, approximately, 20 kg. Oh, speaking of which at 1,425 kg it is the lightest in the Carrera range already (base 911 weighs 1,450 kg while the 911 Carrera 4S at 1,510 kg).
It hasn’t ended quite yet. Sport exhaust comes standard, together with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), suspension system that has been lowered by 20 mm and mechanically locking rear differential. Sport Chrono package also comes at no extra cost.
And with that, the 911 T is sensational to drive. It gives you all the right noises - courtesy of the 365 bhp/450 Nm 3.0-litre turbocharged 6-cylinder unit and exhaust - making high revs a truly addictive act.
This could be a genuine case of personal preference but I’ve found the best way to truly enjoy what this car has to offer: Select Sport, activate the sport suspension and exhaust, and lastly, shift your own gears via the paddle-shifter. It gives you that sense of engagement as the car catapults from point to point, outrunning traffic and outgunning your sense of sanity; thankfully, it’s mated with brilliant anchors so you should be able to slow down efficiently before speed cameras along the MCE/KPE, and get you to come to a complete halt at camera-filled traffic junctions.
You truly are driving a true sports car here. While the ‘regular’ 911 may give you that level of classiness, this T here is all about athleticism. And because sound insulation was lessened, you hear all that road and tyre noise along with anything else brushing against the undercarriage; for the purist, this makes the car even more sensational from behind the wheel.
At the same time, the T felt properly balanced and sticky as you take corners at speeds; you can give it a lot more before reaching the handling limit. Feedback to the steering wheel is spot-on, and you will never second-guess what the car’s up to as you change directions. My word Porsche, this is it.
So here you have it, the most driver-focused and satisfying non-GT 911 your money can buy. Obviously Porsche covered so much thoughts and rationales while producing this car, as ticks in the boxes vary from driver to driver; its sheer brilliance and completeness will certainly impress many and I’m sure we’ll be seeing quite a number of them on our roads very, very soon.
Standard semi leather/fabric seats for the Carrera T