In essence, the Carrera T is a lightweight 911, based off the Carrera, or C2 for the enthusiasts. You can think of it as a basic 911 with clubsport treatment. But at 370hp, it is no where near the pedigree of 420hp Carrera S even, let alone the GTS or GT3.
Entering the cockpit, its weight shaving theme is made obvious with the fabric door straps for door handles and fabric seat centers which Porsche calls the Sport-Tex. There’s no mistaking the Carrera T for a regular 911 and I really like the simplicity of it all. Also, thinner glass are used for its rear side windows and rear windscreen for further weight saving, a feature reserved only for the GT models. It feels different, the lack of luxe and the injection of motorsport detail adds to the novel-T.
I have to say though, the first few KMs in the 911 T wasn’t exactly what I expected. It didn’t feel particularly more able than a normal 911. However, it is the enhanced ambiance of the T that is most apparent. Just about everything is amplified. The sound, sensation of the road surface, the driving experience is a lot more dramatic, intimate and closer to the ground.
The Carerra T rides 10mm lower compared to its more road-going siblings and the results show, both physically as well as aesthetically. It’s also worth noting the lowered sport chassis has been developed specifically for the Carrera T and is not an off the shelf option. In fact, a number of these juicy options are either Carrera T specific or are available for higher 911 variants. So one thing’s for sure, it’s not possible to turn a base 911 Carrera into a T.
It’s got a more pronounced front splitter to go with the entire motorsport cause, so it pays to be wary, when going through humps and ramps. No worries though, its front axle lift feature, activated via a button on the centre console solves everything. There weren’t any issues with rubbing or scraping while driving through the south half of Thailand despite the lower stance.
The Carerra T looks good. I find its minimalism alluring, there are no big scoops or rear wings here. It is a 911-next-door. Simple, pure and has real track car vibe to it. Come to think of it, T’s likely the naughtiest 911 for the least commitment a man can have.
The T sounds very mechanical too. I hear and feel the engine resonate though the cockpit more than a normal 911. In fact, there is less sound insulation used at the rear end, then a revised muffler amplifies exhaust sound further. A factory feature of the Carerra T.
I sense the road surface more as the T ever so gently, track the contours of the tarmac like a track car would. Driving from KL – Penang – Songkhla – Chumpon – Hua Hin – Bangkok allowed me to get to know it better.
The very direct steering comes alive at speed and demands attention as it relates road information back to both my hands, more passionately so than its classier counterparts. Has the lower ride height got anything to do with it? Did Porsche fiddle with spring rates, links of bushes? Maybe.
Occasional jolts from the chassis on sharp dips and bumps is a common affair in the T on Thai roads. I felt every bit of the road, anything from splits, cracks to patches which had me thinking if it were running on aftermarket coilovers.
In this aspect, I think the T felt somewhat like a baby GT3 – yielding, not yielding, sorry, not sorry type. But that’s the kind of attitude many driving enthusiasts secretly want from a 911 Porsche anyways, the relentless pursuit of driving enjoyment from its characteristic rear engined attitude.
What’s significant was how down to earth the Carerra T felt. It is plain and simple the purest 911 in its range. There is more sound, there is more feel, there is more driving experience oozing through the result of adding lightness, even if it meant only 5kg in truth, as compared to the claimed 20kg savings
The T is perfect for new 911 adopters who want their cake and eat it too. If I was in the market for a 911, looking not only to own an iconic rear engined coupe, but to drive one enthusiastically, the Carrera T would check all these boxes:
– Fast daily driver
– Pure / Raw / Manly
– Hardcore enough to be a track car
– Weekend hillrun warrior
– Motorsport themed cockpit like a GT3
– Pure 911 driving experience
– More special than a luxury oriented 911
– Don’t need a GT3 for taste of pure 911
However if it were my spec, the only things I would change or have on the Carrera T are:
- 7 Speed manual
- Front bucket seats
- No rear seats
There isn’t anything like it before this. It was either main course, super luxurious 911 or top shelf supercar-grade GT 911 and nothing in between. But now you can with the Carrera T, positioned just below its Carerra S brother.
It’s not the quickest Porsche out there at 370hp, but the purity it exudes, plus the fabric door pull strap should convince most skeptics the T is more than just a lightened 911. Furthermore, these days with power supplied from Porsche’s superb turbo flat sixes, it’s really hard to fault even the base C2 engine. It’s that good and truthfully, I don’t miss the NA engines much.