Do all the minor changes suit this Carrera to a T?
Compared to the Carrera coupe, this is a more expensive choice, by about 10 per cent. At first glance it might be hard to see what it is exactly, let alone why you should pay a premium for it. But first glances can be deceiving.
Letâ€™s look deeper. So thereâ€™s the engine, the 3.0-litre turbocharged flat six we know and love, working wondrously away through a seven-speed manual gearbox. It runs through a Carrera S final drive which lowers the gearing noticeably. Then thereâ€™s the standard-fit limited-slip diff, which is joined by the PASM adaptive damping system that in turn drops the ride height by 20mm.
Then Porsche fitted the Sport Chrono pack as standard, which in part gives you the steering-wheel mounted mode switch. You can add sports exhausts to the stock list as well, so you can see where quite a lot of the money went straight away. And you can option four-wheel steering, which is more than you can do with the straight Carrera. With all these things added, other things have been taken away.
Porsche 911 Carrera T
Engine: 3.0-litre, flat six,Â turbocharged petrol
Power: 365bhp at 6500rpm
Torque: 332lb ft at 1700rpm
Gearbox: 7-spd manual
Kerb weight: 1500kg
Top speed: 182mph
Fuel economy: 29.7mpg
CO2/tax band: 215g/km, 37%
To counter the extra weight of all those goodies, the infotainment system has disappeared, as have the rear seats, and thereâ€™s the addition of some lightweight glass and the loss of some sound deadening. Some of the leather has disappeared from the cabin, meaning the seats â€“ aside from side bolsters â€“ are now a Sport-Tex material. So what do all those pluses and minuses add up to?
They add up to the mantra of â€˜less is moreâ€™. On wet British roads, albeit in a car fitted with Pirelli Sotto Zero winter tyres that were perfect for the conditions, the Carrera T could be driven with even more zest than usual. With 365bhp going to the rear wheels, thereâ€™s simply no reason to have more power. The balance of the beast is uncanny, allowing for absolutely blistering performance in really quite tough conditions.
The limited-slip diff and rear-mounted engine, along with rear-wheel drive, combine to offer a sublime balance and connection that this slightly stripped-back version seems to bring into even sharper focus. It feels so pure, itâ€™s really quite extraordinary.
Naturally, there is the odd jarring note in this pure voice. The seven-speed manual box just isnâ€™t that great, certainly not as good as the six-speeder youâ€™d find in a Boxster or Cayman. And somewhere along the line fuel consumption and emission figures have gone entirely in the wrong direction, to the detriment of your wallet everywhere from taxation to the fuel pumps. Perhaps itâ€™s that final drive ratio, but whateverâ€™s to blame, itâ€™s not a welcome addition to the mix.
However, overall, this seems to be yet another way for Porsche to slice the deeply appealing 911 cake. This is like a more finely honed 911 yet one which stays this side of a GT3 and its more extreme take on life. Have your cake and eat it, if you will.