2018 Porsche Carrera 911 T: Lighter, quicker, sportier
Despite its proliferation of vehicle types, including SUVs, Porsche’s core product has long been the rear-engined 911 sports car. Over the course of seven generations (10 if you count the extensive updates to the 996, 997, and current 991) and 54 years the 911 has been one of the most iconic of all sports car brands. It’s no exaggeration to say that to hard core faithful, the 911 is the only true Porsche.
In addition to major makeovers, Porsche also institutes regular tweaks to the series, keeping 911 sales vigorous and the series evergreen. The Carrera 911 T is the latest. Carrera is another hallowed Porsche label, pre-dating the 911 and commemorating Porsche’s success in the Mexican road race of the early 1950s, the Carrera Panamericana.
Scheduled for January on-sale in Germany, the new Carrera revives the concept behind the 1968 Carrera 911 T—reduced mass and shorter gearing for livelier acceleration.
T for Touring
The T stands for Touring, a designation Porsche reserves for models that are a little sportier than the regular 911 Carrera. In this iteration, the weight reduction is modest. Key elements of the Touring diet include lightweight window glass, substitution of pull loops for the door handles, and optional removal of the rear seat.
The sum of the Porsche’s weight parings is about 44 pounds, for a curb weight of 3,142 pounds, lightest in the 911 model range. More significant, the Carrera T is equipped with a shorter rear end gear ratio, as well as a locking rear differential, enhancing getaway when the light turns green. Power is supplied by the same turbocharged 3.0-liter flat six that propels the standard Carrera: 370 horsepower, 339 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a 7-speed manual transaxle. Porsche’s 7-speed PDK dual clutch automated manual is an available option.
With the manual gearbox Porsche claims the Carrera T will sprint to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds, a tenth of a second quicker than the standard Carrera. Opting for the PDK transaxle trims three tenths of a second off that time, according to Porsche. Top speed is listed at 182 mph.
While acceleration gains are just this side of academic, the Carrera T promises to give a more impressive account of itself at track days, thanks to its sports chassis and rear steering. The sports chassis (PASM, in Porsche order books) lowers static ride height 0.39 inch, reducing body roll. Both dynamic enhancements are standard Carrera T features, and neither is available on the standard Carrera.
Cosmetic distinctions include an “aerodynamically optimized” front spoiler, agate gray metallic side mirrors, Titan gray 20-inch Carrera S alloy wheels, and of course Carrera T badging. Inside the Carrera T gets a leather-rimmed GT steering wheel, a shortened shift lever, and power adjustable black leather sports seats. Full racing-style buckets are available, an option that deletes the rear seat, and the T interior package includes a choice of contrasting color trim.
The 2018 Carrera T will reach U.S. showrooms next March as a 2018 model, with an MSRP of $103,150. Current 911 Carrera pricing opens at $90,450.