Porsche 911 Carrera T: a stripped down sports car for the enthusiast

By Nick Hodgson

T is the key here and it marks the return of a historic badge with a racing heritage as long as my arm. Lightened, stripped out, focused. That was the motto behind the original Carrera T and one that carries through today.

Take a look from the back, that rear glass is extra thin, not only aiding the T on its weight watchers program, but also helps to lower the centre of gravity, making the car more nimble on the roads. Changes, tweaks and refinements are all subtle, small things that at the end of the day add up to making the T a completely different beast, setting itself apart from the rest of the 911 range.

Back seats, entertainment system, air conditioning. All rather standard pieces of kit found in any modern vehicle. All optional in the 911 Carrera T. Surprising on the face of it, but when we consider the goal, lighter, nimbler, focused, it makes a lot of sense. As a Porsche customer you can customize to create the kind of driving experience you most desire.

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The big question is this, do you get the manual or auto? Well to answer this I spent a whole day down in the cape comparing the two. Unfortunately Porsche hasn’t made my job particularly easy as both boxes are works of art in themselves. The 7 speed PDK changes effortlessly and smoothly, whether you’re stuck in bumper to bumper traffic or blasting up a mountain pass. It really allows you to concentrate on the task at hand, keeping all four wheels on the black stuff and the biggest smile on your dial. Where I discovered the genius lies to the PDK is through taking away that need for a manual shift it allows the driver access to so much of the cars performance within a very short space of time that it will probably get the biggest smile from most people.

So if the PDK is so good, why does the 7 speed manual even exist? Well for a kick off its a fantastic box. With the short shifter installed its crisp, direct and thoroughly enjoyable through the whole range. While seven manual gears feels odd to start with, it’s something you get used to very quickly and soon becomes second nature. Put the car in sport plus and you get access to the auto blip on downshift, a truly satisfying feature as I have to admit my heel and toe skills are rather rusty at this stage. The advantage a manual has over an auto, particularly in a vehicle such as the 911 Carrera T, is that it provides the ultimate driving experience for those who wish to spend the time perfecting their craft behind the wheel. Is it going to be faster? For sure not, however the satisfaction gained from such a pure driving experience for some will be so much greater than the desire to be a couple of tenths quicker up the mountain.

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Tough choice and which you go for will largely depend on what you’re wanting to use the vehicle for. Those out for the ultimate thrill, who aren’t going to be using the vehicle for their daily commute should undoubtedly get the manual variant and in fact I would go further than that and say you should make it the most stripped out, focused driving machine possible. Get it in a bold colour like racing yellow and you’ll also be in possession of a unicorn that will undoubtedly rise hugely in value in the years to come. For those of us who need to be more practical, PDK with all the modern creature comforts will most likely be the best combination. One of the easiest sports car to live with on a day to day basis, the 911 Carrera T also comes in at a very attractive price point in comparison to the existing 911 Carrera S, making it the best of both worlds.

A personal choice at the end of the day, my lean would always be towards the driver focused manual, however what is most gratifying is the knowledge that no matter which Porsche 911 piques your interest, it will be phenomenal. Once again Porsche has proved to me with this 911 Carrera T that the 911 is the most complete sports car out there today.

Pricing & Specifications

Price: R1 536 000
Power: 272kW
Torque: 450Nm
Acceleration (0-100km/h): 4.5 s