The new 911 Carrera T is an old-school lightweight at a more attainable price
Oh yes, there’s another Porsche 911 variant to get your head around. The geeks will be one step ahead already. The new 911 Carrera T riffs unashamedly off the glorious 911 T of the Sixties, and it’s back to add complexity to an already not-simple line-up of cars.
The T stands for Touring, which might suggest this is a 911 that’s gone plush. Cruise, leather, nice auto gearbox… um, nope. None of those.
Instead, it’s an old-school lightweight special. A 911 R for the (relative) masses. It’s based on the bog-standard 911 Carrera, using the same 365bhp 3-litre turbo flat-six engine driving only its rear wheels.
But it does so through sharper componentry. There’s a standard mechanical diff, while the seven-speed manual gearbox not only gets shorter ratios, but a shorter lever. The already delightful shift ought to be mesmerisingly good now.
Porsche has saved 20kg over a standard 911 Carrera by throwing out lots of sound insulation alongside the back seats, fitting thinner glass at the rear, and making the radio, sat nav and phone connectivity optional (albeit at no cost). Perhaps the modern definition of ‘Touring’ is driving round and round in circles under a load of road noise…
Anyhow, it now weighs 1,425kg, and has shaved a tenth from the Carrera’s 0-100kph time, at 4.5sec. You can slice that more dramatically (down to 4.2sec) by speccing the PDK paddleshifter, but you’d be undoing all the hard work that’s gone into its more snickety manual. So don’t.
Either way, you get a 180mph top speed, and there’s a standard sports exhaust to permeate through the lighter rear window. The suspension is 10mm lower than standard and you can – for the first time on a normal Carrera – spec four-wheel steering. It’s great on the GT3, so if you’re buying this for trackdays or big road trips, you probably should.
Spotting one won’t be the work of a moment, once you’ve got past the (presumably optional) decals. Keep an eye out for the little T on the back, otherwise it’ll blend in like it’s any other Carrera. Perhaps that’s the point.
Because otherwise, working out the point of a two-seat 911 with no radio, nav or rear seats but without a GT3 drivetrain beneath might be difficult. It’s on sale now, from £85,576 (about £8,000 up on standard), which at least undercuts every other hardcore 911 by quite a margin.
Are you geeking out over it as we speak? Or has it left you befuddled when the 911 GT3 Touring already exists?