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2018 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA T DRIVE REVIEW: THE T IS NOT FOR TRACK

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2018 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA T DRIVE REVIEW: THE T IS NOT FOR TRACK

Porsche adds a smidge more content to the base Carrera to find a lovely balance

The most recent 911s Porsche asked us to drive ended with the letters RS and included bonkers track performance and price tags. But the German sports car maker did slip in a relatively pedestrian model with an also relatively low price tag. Beginning at $103,150, the 911 Carrera T starts with a base Carrera, adds a little aggression, and takes away a bit of weight. It’s for the folks that like the standard car but wish for a little more spring in its step.

Porsche uses the base car’s body and turbocharged flat-six, producing 370 hp, as a starting point, but swaps out the gears of the seven-speed manual’s gearbox with shorter ratio replacements to aid acceleration. Power goes through a locking rear differential before makes it to 20-inch wheels borrowed from the Carrera S wrapped in 305/30R-20 tires that meet the road. Like all 911s, it’s a staggered setup, the fronts are 245/35R-20s. The T also sits 0.8 inch lower than the Carrera and uses a sport exhaust to add a little flair.

Full of fuel, the T weighs around 3,250 pounds, about 44 fewer than the Carrera. Of course, that’s if you check the options box to have the rear seats removed, as well as the Porsche Communication Management system, it’s the central touchscreen that handles infotainment duties. Additional light-weighting comes from less sound absorption material stuffed in the interior and the use of “lightweight glass” for the rear and side windows, which is similar in weight to polycarbonate.

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2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS first drive: Singing soprano from the heavens

Let’s talk sound. Perhaps not the first attribute you think of when considering a car, but definitely one of its most important. Porsche’s latest, seventh-generation 911 GT3 RS emits audio …

The Execution

On the road, the combined adjustments make for a louder, crisper 911. Like bedding with extra starch. With less to block the noise and a touch louder exhaust, winding the motor to its 7,500-rpm max speed is more satisfying and makes ridding yourself of the PCM an easy decision. The T accelerates as hard as anything needs to when bombing down a back stretch. It’s not overwhelming, but appropriately sporting, balanced.

Handling follows suit. Riding almost an inch lower to the ground and the bigger wheels sharpen reactions up just enough to match the character of the car. Steering is direct and as communicative as the rest of the non-RS 911 lineup. Yet ride doesn’t suffer much, making it perfectly pleasant to jump in and grab an espresso in town as it is for a two-hour blitz through a mountain pass.

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As you can imagine, the options list on the T is plenty long. For those who wish for a more track-worthy toy, Porsche will happily sell you rear-axle steering for $2,090, which allows for more aggressive turn-in, more supportive full bucket seats for $5,200, and ceramic brakes for $8,520. If chasing a lap time is important, you can also get a PDK transmission bolted on for $3,730. And while it’s understandable to want to track your Porsche, these modifications drift away from the core purpose of this particular 911.

PHOTO

Gallery: 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T

The Takeaway

The T after 911 stands for Touring, and that fits this configuration perfectly. Travel around from place to place. Explore. Go venture out and see what the day brings. Racetracks bring a lot of wonderful things, but touring is not one of them. The T sharpens the reflexes of the base Carrera enough to add more spirit to the drive. Tacking on too much track car gear will dilute its touring cred and add cost.

On the car driving fun spectrum, the T uses the $11,000 premium over the base Carrera to nudge the experience one step closer to nirvana. Money well spent.

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2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS first drive: Purposeful perfection

The 911 GT2 RS is too loud. At highway speeds, wind noise is quickly overwhelmed by burdensome tire whine, which itself is only outdone by the droning exhaust note. This is a cacophonous car, and if …

 

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