What is it?
First, let’s deal with the name. Believe the marketing hype and you’ll think the original 1968 Porsche 911T (standing for Touring) was conceived as a stripped-back lightweight driver’s car fine-tuned for the open road, and that this modern 911T pays homage to that legend. It does nothing of the sort.
Fifty years ago, the 911T was a cut-price, poverty-spec 911 designed to boost sales. Porsche took money out of it wherever it could – none more so than in its engine, which was so detuned that, at 110bhp, it was and remains the least powerful 911 ever offered for sale. Regardless of name, this new 911 Carrera T takes a completely different approach, not least because, at £85,576, it’s almost 10% more expensive than the Carrera coupé on which it’s based. The original T was well over 10% cheaper than the standard 911 of the time. In fact, today’s T is a far more carefully honed road warrior than its ancestor ever was.
Even so, there’s been no revolution here. So if you were hoping the Carrera T would be a mini-me GT3, look away now. But that’s not to say there’s nothing interesting going on. The motor is the stock 3.0-litre turbocharged Carrera unit, as is its seven-speed manual gearbox. But the shifter has been made a little shorter and the whole thing runs through the final drive from the Carrera S, dropping the gearing more than a touch. More significant still is the standard limited-slip differential, Porsche’s highly effective PASM adaptive damping system (and the 20mm suspension drop that comes with it), 20in rims and standard fitment of the Sport Chrono pack, with its steering wheel-mounted mode switch. It has sports exhausts, too. These items alone would amount to almost the additional cost asked by Porsche were it possible to fit them all as options to a Carrera. Four-wheel steering, unavailable on the Carrera, becomes an option here. So far, so good.
To negate the additional weight of these systems, Porsche sells the car as standard with no rear seats and no infotainment system. But since both are no-cost options that I bet a statistically negligible number of customers will pass up, a cynic might conclude that the Carrera T had been configured this way just to enable Porsche to give the perception – rather than the reality – of a car made lighter. In truth, despite lightweight glass being fitted to the side and rear windows and the removal of some sound deadening, even without rear seats and sat-nav the car is just 5kg lighter than a standard Carrera. However, Porsche points out that were the cars in comparable specs – ie if you fitted the Carrera with the diff, dampers, big wheels and so on – that figure would be 20kg.