Porsche 911 Carrera T: Why It’s the Driver’s 911 | Edmunds

Porsche 911 Carrera T: Why It’s the Driver’s 911 | Edmunds

take you back to 1973. The Vietnam War is ending. The Watergate scandal
is gathering pace. The world’s first
cell phone call is being made in New York City. And Porsche is selling
this, the 911T. Back then, the T was
the entry level 911, complete with a
2.4 liter engine, developing 140 horsepower. Now, in modern terms, that’s
roughly equivalent of a Honda Fit. Quick, this is not,
but there’s a reason it’s for sale for $149,000. You can feel the gearbox
mesh from cog to cog. The steering is unassisted. The engine sings
sweetly behind my ears. This is an entirely different
experience to the complication and electronics of today. This is automotive vinyl. And just as vinyl has staged a
Renaissance, so has the 911T. Billed as the
driver’s choice, it seeks to fuse the spirits
of the early 911’s with the sophistication
of today, and a price tag that’s
just north of $100,000. So is this a better,
more emotive version of what is already Edmunds’
favorite sports car, or just a poor pastiche of an icon? We’ll find out on
Road and Track. Choosing a modern 911 is a
bit like picking a pizza. There are over 20 different
ones to choose from, all working from the same base. The T takes a standard
Carrera, the Margarita, if you like, and adds
a few choice toppings. The rear window glass is
thinner to save weight. The 20-inch wheels are pinched
from the Carrera S, their sport suspension, a limited slip
differential, a sports exhaust, and of course, some
go faster stripes. Our car also has these optional
carbon fiber seats, which I detest for three reasons. One, they cost $5,200, and
I’d rather have a nice watch. Two, choosing than
means depriving yourself of the rear seats,
which for me, at least, have always been a key
part of the 911’s appeal. And thirdly, you look
like an absolute numpty getting in and out. [GRUNTS] [MUSIC PLAYING] This car really grew out of the
success of the special edition 911R, a car that proved to
Porsche that its customers are willing to sacrifice absolute
speed for driving pleasure. I remember being on a
press event for the 911 and talking to Walter Rohrl,
the German double world rally champion turned ace
Porsche test driver. I asked him whether there was a
place for a driver-focused 911 in the mainstream
range, and he gave me this kind of knowing look,
and well, here we are For a man who built
his reputation in the crazy, super-powered
[INAUDIBLE] era of rallying back in the 1980s, it’s
ironic that Rohrl has always been an opponent of
the horsepower war. He reckons anything more than
350 horsepower on a road car is, frankly, unnecessary. And you know what? I think he’s got a point. This T takes a standard
engine from a Carrera. So it’s a 3-liter
with small turbos developing, 370 horsepower,
and 331 pounds feet of torque. Now, when you think
that the Ford Mustang GT has 460 horsepower, that
doesn’t sound like a lot. But only the most
tedious bar bore would describe this
car as underpowered. On the road, it just feels
beautifully considered. As you might have
noticed, our test car has a PDK flappy paddle
gearbox, a $3,700 option. It might make sense
in city traffic, but it undermines the Carrera
T’s purity of purpose. Me, I’ll stick with the stick. [ENGINE ROARS] This engine doesn’t sound as
good as the old air-cooled 911s that died in the late 1990s,
nor did it sound quite as good as the naturally
aspirated engine in the previous generation 911. But to say that somehow it’s
lacking in sonorous appeal is, frankly, a nonsense. And it’s helped in
this car by the sports exhaust and the
thinner rear glass, and the loss of sound deadening. So it’s all a lot more
immediate, a lot more emotive. I mean, it just sounds like
nothing else on the road. [ENGINE ROARS] This car has standard
sport suspension, which lowers the whole thing by
0.39 of an inch or about that. What I like about it is it
offers some flexibility. So you can use this switch
on the steering wheel to pull the throttle and
gearbox into multi-mode, then you can use another button
here to detune the damping, and give yourself a
bit of compliance, which on a road like
this, is what you need. If you have [INAUDIBLE]
that’s too stiff, you’re going to feel like
the car is going to pitch you off the road at any moment. This is wonderfully
compliant, and that helps add to that kind of
fluency that has always been a 911 trademark. Rivals like the Jaguar F-type
and the Mercedes AMG GT have more power, and a kind of
brutish front engine appeal, but they lack the subtlety,
the nuance of the 911. It really is a
experience like no other, and that’s why it’s been
around for as long as it has. Even the steering,
which was criticized on early versions of
this generation 911 for its electric assistance,
has been honed over time. So it now offers a
superb combination of a feel and waiting. Porsche, more than
any other mark, is great at just subtly
evolving its cars, just refining them
over time, just adding those little nuances
that, taken together, make a huge difference
to the experience. Our car has the optional
rear axle steering, which cost $2090. In simple terms, what it does
is to encourage the rear wheels to steer, and in doing
so, make the wheelbase feel shorter than
it actually is, and that enhances the car’s
agility on twisting roads like this. I’m not a big fan of going deep
into Porsche’s option range, but this is one that
I would add to my car. As a road car, I can’t think
of another sports car that has this depth of
ability, and is better suited to everyday driving
on roads like these. I’m really worried
that this review is starting to sound like a
eulogy, but this car really is that good. Now, part of the
appeal of the 911 has always been its
ability to take you to the shops on a
Friday, then let you dabble in some racetrack
shenanigans on a Saturday. So I think it’s
about time we leave the beauty of Mulholland
Drive in Malibu, and head to the
Edmunds test track. [MUSIC PLAYING] Now our test team have
just crunched the numbers and sent me over
the acceleration figures for this car. Now, Porsche claims a Carrera
T with a PDK gearbox to 0 to 60 in four seconds dead. Our test team, 3.6 seconds. That’s extraordinary. That’s just 2/10 of a second
slower than a Carrera S, and it’s not far behind over
the quarter mile either– 11.8 seconds versus
11.4 for the S. So don’t tell me this
car needs more power. Let’s hit the track. [MUSIC PLAYING] Now, Porsche doesn’t
claim that the Carrera T is a circuit special. T stands for touring, not track. It’s not as hardcore as a
motor sport derived GT3 or GT2, but don’t think for a moment
that it’s not fun out here. In some ways, less is more. To get the best out
of a GT3 or a GT2, you need loads of talent
and loads of commitment, but this car, it’s so
much more accessible. You don’t have to
have divine talent to start to have some fun with
this car and start to play with its limits, really
start to feel it move around. There’s less air or less
grip than you’d get in a GT3, so ultimately, it
will be slower. But you know what? That’s not what having
fun is all about. It’s not all about lap time. It’s about how the
car makes you feel. A little lift into this
corner, turn it back on the power, hard on the
brakes, turning a little as we brake. Couldn’t do that
in an early 911. Turn in, feed the throttle,
feel the under steer power out to counter that. It’s just fabulous. Give a little into the
corner here, sacrifice a bit to get the power on the exit. Breaking now and turn in. Little bit of brakes
on the turning, it just helps the nose in. [MUSIC PLAYING] Our test track also has a low
friction handling circuit, which simulates driving on ice. So here we go onto
this low-grip surface. Now, this is kind
of a bit of fun, but it also gives
you a real sense of where the car’s basic
handling balance is. I mean, can you imagine
doing this in an old 911? You’re basically just
steering it on the throttle. Flick it one way at
left, get the weight distribution going, a
little bit of power, try and get the pendulum going. [GIGGLES] I’m getting paid for this. Just tease the throttle,
work the steering, flick it back the other way. Porsche have done
such an incredible job over the years of
basically honing what is a physical imperfection. If you were designing
a sports car today, there’s no way that you
would hang the engine out behind the rear axle. [MUSIC PLAYING] Even though it’s a turbo
engine, the throttle response is pretty good, which allows
you to play with it like this. It’s hard work. We’ve been debating in
the Edmunds office which of these we’d buy if we
found $100,000 hiding under the mattress. It’s a fun sport,
but to be honest, it’s not really the point. These plastic air-cooled 911s
are an investment piece, a toy, an alternative to a boat or
maybe even an oil painting. They’re not really a car in
a traditional sense, this is. The 911T is about Porsche
rediscovering its roots. Yes, they sell more SUVs
and sports cars these days, but it’s still with 911
that defines Porsche, and it’s variants like
the T that define the 911. If you’ve got oodles of cash
and you’re a track day warrior, then buy a GT3 and
don’t regret it, but if you want a fun, fast,
surprisingly practical road car, then buy the Carrera
T. It’s not only the best all-around 911 on
sale today, it’s also the world’s finest sports car. [MUSIC PLAYING] For more information on the
Porsche 911T, head to Edmunds. And for more videos
like this, be sure to subscribe to
our YouTube channel.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Of course you guys never mentioned that you lose the torque vectoring limited slip differential with your as tested spec PDK car. Only manual cars get the LSD. Seriously, please do your research when you test cars otherwise you just end up sounding like advertisement like this reviewer. Edmunds you used to be so good. Carlos probably would have known this.

  2. There is no point of a PDK Carrera T… or reviewing one… you're missing two important changes to a normal 911, the shorter geared LSD and short throw manual transmission.

  3. Porches are so nice but so overpriced!! It makes no sense to spend that much money just for a brand…. however sweet.

    Most new cars now days are overpriced beyond belief. This is true for both imports and domestics but more so for the imports.

    As long people pay up…not me though. I want an old BMW or Audi.

  4. Great as they are I could care less. I'll never have one or know anyone who does. It's cool that rich guys have awesome toys but I quit wanting to be a superhero years ago

  5. Drove the 2018 RS5, 2018 M3, 911 Carrera T. RS5 felt faster, more luxurious and better interior. M3 was my second pic.

  6. 20mm is almost .8 of an inch, not .3. Also, why does the rear seat matter to you? You got some lollipop kids you shaving back there? PDK takes nothing away except extra work. As for you comparing the sound to the air cooled days of the 90s, I have a feeling you were riding a tricycle back then.

  7. I've always thought about 300 hp in a 3000 lb daily driver was the point where anything more is basically dick waving. The number of retards driving into oncoming traffic while trying to do a burnout seems to go up exponentially from that point.

  8. I’m a fan of Carlos too but I thought this was a fine review by Alistair. I’m guessing a MT model was just not available for the review. Because they were all sold out no doubt. These things happen. But despite that, this review got the point across. Well done.

  9. Reading comments below, I bet Carlos Lago didn’t realize so many men were sweet on him.

    There are reasons to get the PDK, and reasons to get the manual. The manual is funner (most of the time), but the PDK makes the car much quicker and better in traffic. Get whichever one you like…who cares what snobs think.

  10. this video has been made 100 times…. its like edmunds turn.. we have seen this car for a year or 2 even we know already

  11. Hot damn. I have to say that this was pretty much best Edmunds review up-to-date.

    They presenter was natural in his delivery, there was enough info, with some subjective stuff and pacing was excellent. Great work. I don't need the visual trickery, but keep the newfound groove!

  12. By the time you add up all the options, you're better off with a 2-yr old 911 Turbo which goes for around $120-130k these days. Much better value for your money.

  13. ja it's a real pity the pdk on a T …. anyway are also available the folding carbon buckets to keep rear seats …. just like mine , kids thank

  14. This is such a perfect review. Contains some old 911, new 911, a great analogy (pizza), and a preference for a nice watch. I'd seen a few of this channels reviews before but now I'm subscribed! Thank you and looking forward to more great reviews by Mr. Weaver.

  15. lol leave it to Edmunds to get a PDK one. Clearly Porsche doesn't respect them enough to give them a manual and most likely for good reason.

  16. I have to disagree with your conclusion – GTS is a far better buy and a far better performer too. The T feels like an underpowered S and isn't as well braked. It handles well because it has SPASM which is available on the S and GTS and both have these, PTV plus and access to PDCC. The T is still a very good 911 but the S and GTS just offer that bit more and lot more in GTS form.

  17. Walter Röhrl is abundantly correct. Thanx for the reference……………………. Oh, slap a STP sticker on the rear window!

  18. As he drifts left then right, then left again around the test track… "I'm getting paid for this." Hahaha 👍

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