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Carrera T

24 Variations on a Theme: Picking the Right 911 Derivative

Ford currently produces eleven Mustang derivatives, and Chevrolet makes eight Corvette variants(both of these figures include the coupe and convertible variations of the same trim separately). That’s a lot of choices from a nation known for customizing and individualization. Where variations on a theme are concerned, the Americans cannot be considered in the same breath as Porsche. There are twenty four 911 derivatives currently on sale, and the range of choices is staggering. Two-wheel drive or four? Hardtop, full convertible, or Targa? Even power output nearly doubles from the least to most powerful model in the lineup. Thankfully, Porsche understands that the full 911 lineup can be confusing, and sums it up neatly in under five minutes.

For buyers, some choices are driven by budget. Not every prospective Porsche buyer can put $293k on the masthead for a GT2 RS, nor should they. As the video shows, not every Porsche model is made for the same purpose. A buyer looking for a usable, everyday sports car should probably stay away from the GT range’s glorious odes to speed at all costs. At the same time, buyers who spend every possible moment at the track will not be as well served by a Carrera S as one of the more focused 911 variants.

Picking a 911

Let’s run through the 991.2 decision making process. For the purpose of this exercise, let’s call our hypothetical buyer Andrew. For the sake of not making up a purely theoretical person with absurd needs that cause them to daily drive a GT3 RS in Saskatchewan, I’m going to base this person on my dad. He has has been considering buying a 911 or a Cayman for some time, and his current daily driver is a Golf GTI Autobahn.

Andrew lives in the Northeast, and has an uncanny ability to find studded snow tires in sizes heretofore unknown to mere mortals. He has also been known to have winter and summer brake setups to work around winter wheel clearance issues. To my knowledge he’s never owned a car or truck with four-wheel drive, despite living deep in the land of ice and snow. He’s not a big fan of convertibles.

He has also been racing motorcycles for more than thirty years, and when he goes to a track, he prefers two wheels to four. His preference is for simplicity and usability. He’s a long time hot-hatch fan because of the high smiles-per-dollar ratio, and (until recently) the segment’s lack of driver aids. Ultimate output is not important, but grip and driver-involvement are.

So, in this case we can pretty safely remove the all-wheel drive variants, bringing the total number of choices from 24 to 12. Given his preference for spending track time on two wheels, the GT models can be ruled out as well, removing another three choices. Of the remaining eleven 911s, five are convertibles and can be eliminated. This leaves the Carrera, Carrera S, Carrera T, and Carrera GTS. Based on his disdain for complexity, and attitude of driver involvement before other concerns, the Carrera T then becomes the most logical choice.

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Porsche 911 : la Carrera T devrait perdurer

Les détails concernant la nouvelle génération de Porsche 911 continuent de poindre. La Carrera T devrait toujours figurer au catalogue. La version Carrera T de la Porsche 911 a récemment fait son apparition au catalogue de la marque. Cette version correspond un peu, au niveau des Carrera, à ce qui est proposé avec les GT3, […]

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Porsche 911 T & Carrera T – ROAD TRIP : l’instant T

Ayant un sens aiguisé du commerce, Porsche fait vraiment feu de tout bois. Après les SUV et les moteurs diesels, le passé figure aujourd’hui parmi les combustibles lucratifs de la firme de Zuffenhausen qui, à la moindre occasion, fait ressurgir de prestigieux labels ayant contribué à son indéfectible renommée.

GTS, RS, R, SpeedsterRien n’est trop beau, ni trop vieux pour rehausser l’authenticité, l’exclusivité et par là même, le tarif d’un modèle. Quitte, pourquoi pas, à le décliner dans un nombre limité d’exemplaires.

L’indéboulonnable 911 surfe particulièrement sur cette vague nostalgico-spéculative. Parmi les dernières trouvailles en date : la Carrera T, apparue en concession début 2018, à l’occasion des 50 ans de la 911 Touring, née en 1968.

Le pire dans tout cela ? Tout le monde marche dans la combine, nous y compris. Nous n’aurons pas rechigné longtemps avant de nous précipiter au volant de cette énième version. Direction la Bourgogne.

Promesse d’un retour aux sources de la sportivité, la “T” se targue d’être 20 kg plus légère qu’une Carrera “tout court” dont elle dérive. A condition toutefois de renoncer au GPS et aux places arrière…disponibles sans supplément….See more pictures on Auto moto : magazine auto et moto

 

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R v GT3 v Carrera T: Revival of the manual 991s

What a difference a few short months can make. For a time it looked like the 991 generation was threatening the very existence of a manual gearbox in a Porsche 911 altogether. Unwanted alterations to the new stick shift, twinned with the prominence of PDK, lead some to believe the company was at one point shaping up for a future solely dedicated to auto-shifting sports cars, similar to events at some of its rivals.

While this ‘death of the manual’ movement has raged like a fire through the workshops of other automotive manufacturers, nobody really expected the flames to be fanned as far as the doors of Zuffenhausen. After all, a Porsche has always been about style over outright speed – exemplified by the company’s time-honoured tradition of placing the tachometer and not the speedometer in the centre of the 911’s five dials. It’s how you get there, not how fast.

And yet, as is well documented, it was the 991 generation which began to change the 911’s relationship with the manual gearbox from the get-go. Upon launch at the tail end of 2011, enthusiasts found the six-speed stick shift in the 997.2 replaced by an all-new gearbox for the 991.1, which featured an additional seventh ratio. Conceptually something of a modern-day overdrive gear, this seventh ratio was exceedingly tall, intended for cruising on motorways or the Autobahn, all the while keeping engine revs low and thus improving the new 911’s MPG return.

On paper these changes made sense, but in reality enthusiasts struggled to adapt to the feel of the seven-speed shifter, it unnecessarily clunky and lacking a directness through each gate which the 997’s unit had mastered so wonderfully. Somewhere beneath that protracted H-pattern, Porsche’s slick stick shift had seemingly been lost.

Then the arrival of Porsche’s first 991-generation GT car in 2013 gave rise to another revelation. The GT3 was presented for the first time with a PDK-only transmission, Porsche telling Total 911 in issue 99 at the time: “There’s no chance of a manual gearbox in the future.” The PDK-only GT3 RS that followed went some way to hammering home the point, which left many enthusiasts wondering what future lay ahead for the manual gearbox in a Porsche.

Alas, we know how the script developed from there. A wave of appreciation for manual gearboxes (some might even have called it a public outcry) brought about the Carrera S-engined Cayman GT4 in 2015, before the emphatic arrival of the 991 R in 2016 as the 911’s saviour of the stick shift.

The R proved Porsche’s GT department was prepared to listen to its customers, yet the car’s exclusivity (just 991 were produced worldwide)
meant only a few could benefit from this significant U-turn in company policy. Porsche again listened, unveiling the 991.2 GT3 last year with PDK but, crucially, a six-speed manual gearbox was available as a no-cost option.

The company went further still. For those who couldn’t get their hands on this latest prize GT car, Porsche presented the Carrera T: essentially a pared back and driver-honed version of its base Carrera 911. The line-up was thus complete, with stick shift available, at last, throughout the entire contemporary model range.

So, these are the crusaders; reviving the spirit and flair of the manual gearbox, this the crucial ingredient in any sports car that wishes to be associated with any notion of an analogue, purist drive. The big question, of course, is what is the driving experience on offer from all three?

For the full article, including expert buying tips for each 911 Cabriolet model, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 168 in shops now or get it delivered directly to your door via here. Alternatively you can download the issue to any Apple or Android device. 

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991.2 Carrera v Carrera T: how does the T improve on the base car?

Lighter, more focused and simple. We like the sound of that here at Total 911, particularly when it comes to cars. We first heard about the Carrera T some months ago and, frankly, we could barely contain our excitement. On first details, it sounded exactly like the Carrera should be, even if the ‘T’ moniker seems a little bit contrived. The specification sounds more like a Clubsport, the T’s Touring badge wrapped up in the contradictions of the car’s lighter, more focussed specification. Still, it fits with the Touring ethos of the GT3 at the other extreme, Porsche’s naming strategy somewhat haphazard presently.

Nomenclature be damned though. The Carrera T’s specification makes for interesting reading. The changes, in typically Porsche fashion, are moderate in isolation, though add them up and they’re convincing enough to make for a differing whole. Like the GTS above the S, then, the Carrera T is a box-ticking exercise in specification that enhances and improves, while cleverly adding a few unique elements that mark it out as distinct.

Porsche’s message with it is ‘Less is more’ and that it’s all about the driving. Certainly its specification addresses concern in some quarters that the 911 leans more towards the GT spectrum in 991.2 guise than ever before. Using the Carrera as its basis, the 3.0-litre turbocharged flat-six develops the same 370hp as the entry-level 911. There’s less weight, the quoted unladen weight being 1,425kg, Porsche saying that’s 20kg less than a similarly specified Carrera.

There is some smoke and mirrors going on here though, the Carrera T’s specification has the Miami Blue car here listed at that 1,425kg, while the specification for the silver Carrera Coupe we’ve brought along to test against it reads 1,430kg. There’s 5kg in it here, then, and even that’s open to debate, as the Carrera T comes equipped here with a PCM module. It does without rear seats though, has the reduced sound deadening too, while the windows from the driver and passenger side ones back are lightweight glass – it, like the rear seat and PCM delete a no-cost option to have as standard.

Spend an hour or two on the configurator, as I have, and you’ll find all the slight differences, specifying a standard Carrera, as much as is possible to the specification of a standard Carrera T will see it surpass the Carrera T’s price tag. Throw in the Carrera T’s unique ‘lightweight’ bits and pieces and it all makes a bit more sense, the German-plated car weighing in at £89,994. That is a creep of £4,368 over its £85,576 list price – thank paint and a few other non-essential niceties like the Carrera T interior pack that adds contrasting silver stitching and door straps, but even then the closest I could get the Carrera specification saw it rise to around £89,000 in comparison.

The car silver Carrera here is close enough, being £84,891, visually, externally it takes a keen-eyed spotter to notice the differences. Twenty-inch wheels are standard, while there’s a painted grey finish to the rear engine slats.

For the full feature, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 163 in shops now or get it delivered via via myfavouritemagazines.co.uk.

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