Ah, the 911T. The oxymoron of 911s. While most folks are out speccing their 911 to the gills, some of us enjoyed when the Carerra was a bare bones drivers car. Thankful Porsche is never one to shy away from the popular opinion and has brought back the beloved ‘base’ model.
Now, there are two really important distinctions between today’s 911T and the models of years past, and that is the options list and price. Hilariously the T is not the ‘cheap’ Porsche anymore. When the T was released in 1968, Porsche offered it at 10% less than the more desirable 911S, setting a clear distinction between the two. Fast forward almost 50-years and we once again have a T, but one that costs just a bit more. At $102,100 USD the T is $10,000 over the base Carrera, even eclipsing the Carrera 4 by 3-grand.
Options have also changed quite a bit over the last 50-years. The original T was such a bare-bones rebel it originally came equipped with carbs, in spite of the S models fuel injection. It had roll-up windows, manual locks, and of course, it lacked power steering. There was no SAT Nav, and it barely had a stereo. It was the lack of all these features that made the T such a gem. There were no distractions, you just got in and drove, letting that 2-liter six-cylinder become your entertainment. Now? Well, let’s just say it’s a different world now.
The 2018 911T checks the boxes of almost every option the original T didn’t have, and then some. Like all new cars, it comes equipped with your basic power package, leaving crank windows for the dark ages. But what is interesting is that the T comes equipped with both Porsche’s PASM and PCM, something I wouldn’t consider ‘base’ features. PASM is Porsche’s Active Suspension Management system, a way for Porsche to further manipulate the 911’s handling. The PCM is Porsche’s Communication Management system. Basically a fancy way of saying ‘radio.’ Unlike other markets around the world, the 911T cannot be configured without the PCM, leaving you with no choice but luxury.
So what makes the 911T, well, a T? The one thing it does actually have in common with its distant relatives, it’s lighter. See, the 1968 T wasn’t just a moppet that was under-equipped. It was a ‘touring’ model and was designed to be lighter than the rest of the lineup. While the new T dwarfs the original in size, it manages to be the lightest Carrera in the lineup. So what is a light Carrera nowadays? Oh, just 3,142lbs. That’s an alarming 900lbs more than the original but thankfully it’s only 26lbs heavier than the GT3.
Porsche managed this with clever tricks like lighter glass panels and less overall sound deadening. Even more than that they equipped the T with cloth loops instead of traditional handles, and even custom seats. The unaltered T comes stock with Sport-Tex seats, with the option of upgrading to full buckets.
If When you elect for the full buckets, Porsche senses your commitment to weight savings, and takes it upon themselves to remove the backseats in the process. #WorthIt.
Powering the T is the same 3-liter flat-six that comes in the real base Carrera. The twin-turbo mill cranks out 370hp and 339lb-ft of torque, thrusting the hefty T to 60 in just 4.3-seconds. But even more fun than the zippy six-cylinder is the fact that it comes standard with a 7-speed manual transmission, restoring balance in the universe. It was not that long ago that we were looking at a world of only PDK 911s, that was until Porsche heard all of our collective bitching. Now, the manual isn’t just an option, it comes standard. Don’t get me wrong, you can still get a PDK, but the real question is why would you?
Other than that the new 911T is just that, a 911. It’s an absolutely incredible machine regardless of what it is called, but now with a slightly different vibe. I’m a little bummed they didn’t go the full 9-yard to make this a true base model, but I can’t really blame them either. Having a lighter, more focused 911 is never a bad thing, even if it isn’t the absolute cheapest. The T is no longer the ‘poor man’s’ Porsche, but instead the ‘poor man’s’ GT3.