Driven - October 2018

Porsche 911 Carrera T Driven Review

The new Porsche 911 Carrera T is a car you shouldn’t drive…  

 Why would you not want to drive a semi-stripped version of the current generation turbocharged 911? Let me explain. The purpose of the original Porsche 911 Carrera T was meant to provide an authentic entry level experience for the enthusiastic driver. The “T” stands for “Touring”, which invites you to make like Rihanna and simply “shut up and drive”. This formula is one that worked then and hopefully will work now. During the inception of the original 911 T, the drivers of that time were hairy chested individuals who enjoyed teetering with death. Now, however, we enjoy our creature comforts. So much so, a standard 911 is so good at hiding the fact that it’s a sports car, you can easily forget that it is, when you’re stuck in traffic. Your rear-end stays comfortable after the long drive and your back doesn’t complain whatsoever. If specified with the PDK gearbox, the changes happen so smoothly, your white dress shirt will remain stain free.

Porsche 911 Carrera T

These are all good things, as the purpose of a 911 is a car that’s meant to be used every day. And you can. Merely turning a knob, however, can change the characteristics of your “daily drive”, to become a proper sports car that makes all the right noises and gives you “all the feels”. What Porsche has done from an engineering perspective is phenomenal. You can feel that there’s a lot happening behind the scenes to ensure that you feel like a hero, all the time. Add 305 section rear tires to the mix and you’ve got a grippy, chicane ready weapon – ready to pounce.

Porsche 911 Carrera T

The 911 Carrera T is less. But is it more?

On paper, a 911 with less power, less sound deadening and thinner glass may not sound too appealing. Yes, it’s more affordable, but in a relative sense. Once you’re spending over R1m on a car, it becomes less about price and more about what you want. What does a 911 T driver want? In the Porsche 911 Carrera T, you don’t get rear seats, unless you ask for them. You get 272kW and a manual gearbox as standard. This “basic” setup is what makes it stand out. Once you get going, you notice that It’s louder inside and the 7-speed manual gearbox with close ratios means that you’ll miss a gear occasionally until you get used to the shifts. As silly as you feel when it happens, it reminds you that you’re driving.  You’re in control. It’s the relationship between car and driver that makes it special. It’s a rawer experience compared to other cars in its league, including other 911 variants which can sometimes feel “too perfect”. Once you acclimatize to the vehicle and you start pushing it more, you start bonding with it in a way you don’t in a more “polished” competitor. It encourages you to do what any enthusiast wants to do, drive it like you’re not allowed to.

For that reason, you shouldn’t drive the 911 T…not unless you have the ability to go back to the people of Porsche and say, “when can I pick mine up?” It’s a car that you’ll want to own, which is most journalist’s nightmare – because many of us don’t have the budget to add a 911 in our garage. It’s that good.

Porsche 911 Carrera T

Sports cars tend to become tiresome after some time because the mindset you have whilst driving one is that of mischief. Hence why they make for the perfect weekend toys. After spending a week in a 911 GTS not too long ago, I was not tired. I could jump in the next day and brave peak hour Sandton traffic in it. After a day in the manual 911 T, I was ready for bed. Having a flat 6 screaming at me all day and making sure my coordination is on top form took a lot out of me. That being said, I couldn’t be happier.

My advice to anyone looking to buy a car like this would be to consider how often they want to drive it. If you want a daily companion, get a well-specified 911 S or GTS. If you’ve got another car that you’ll use daily, get a 911 T in manual guise. You’ll be salivating every Friday because you’ll know that once you start up that Porker, it’s going to be lit.

Porsche 911 Carrera T Pricing in South Africa

3-year Driveplan : R 1,536,000

5-year Driveplan: R 1,586,000


Also published on Medium.