The Porsche Carrera range has grown once again with the recent addition of the Carrera T. Fans of the marque may remember the Carrera Ts of the ‘60s, they were the entry level variants that offered driving purity through a lighter bodyshell and the removal of all non-essential luxuries.
The modern iteration follows much the same philosophy and is based on the base Carrera although in this case it receives some performance enhancing tweaks and a slightly higher price tag.
The interior is little different to the rest of the Carrera range, there is now lighter and thinner glass for the side and rear windows although this is not something you would notice. What you may notice are the fabric straps that have replaced the door handles and the fabric inserts on the front sport seats. There is also a standard sport steering wheel and optional carbon-fiber bucket seats can be specified although you lose the two rear seats if you do so.
Quality levels remain high and the full range of customization options are still on offer. The rear seats are still best left for children although they do make for a useful space to pack extra shopping bags. The front trunk is deeper than you might think and can fit golf bags or luggage for a weekend trip.
The Carrera T is the lightest in the range and the addition of lowered suspension and PASM (active suspension management) and sports exhaust give it a bit more dynamic ability over the base Carrera. Like the GTS models which feature a choice selection of sporty options, the Carrera T feels that bit sharper to drive although as it is equipped with the base engine and rear-wheel drive only the limits are more easily accessible but still best explored on a track.
Standard 20-inch Carrera S alloys do aid grip levels though although the reduced sound deadening and wider tires can make for a louder cabin than you would find in the base Carrera.
The Carrera T is fitted with the base 911 engine which means you get 370 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque from the twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-six. A 7-speed manual is standard although you can opt for the PDK dual-clutch transmission which will get you to 60mph in 4.0-seconds.
The manual option adds 0.3-seconds to that time which is still extremely rapid and perhaps suits this particular Carreras nature better.
Overall performance levels fall somewhere between the Carrera and Carrera S, in terms of competitors outside the Porsche stable, a similarly priced Jaguar F-Type requires a supercharged V8 to achieve similar results.
Porsche have long been experts at splitting their model ranges to cover every possible price and performance point. The Carrera T is based on the standard Carrera but costs a few thousand dollars more thanks to a selection of extras aimed at enhancing its performance and exclusivity.
These are 20-inch Carrera S alloys, PASM adaptive suspension, sports exhaust, sport seats with cloth inserts and a sport steering wheel. All are available as options on the standard car but you also get unique changes such as lighter side and rear window glass, reduced sound deadening, fabric door pulls, a front spoiler lip and some minor Carrera T design touches.
You can also option rear-axle steering which is not available on the Carrera as well as carbon-fiber bucket seats which were exclusive to the GT3 and GT2RS until now.
The rest of the package includes the usual Carrera features such as an 8-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and an 11 GB hard drive, cruise control, park assist with reversing camera, Bi-Xenon headlights and 2-zone climate control.
The options list is vast and leather, Alcantara and aluminum interior trim as well as a whole host of exterior colors are available. Dynamic LED headlights, adaptive 18-way power front seats, Bose and Burmester audio systems, adaptive cruise control and a front axle lift system are other notable options.
Priced just below the more powerful Carrera S but fitted with the base Carrera engine and some choice options generally found in pricier GTS models, the Carrera T is a niche offering that focuses on driver involvement rather than all-out performance.
Some unique Carrera T equipment also adds a touch of exclusivity, although ticking too many options will soon push prices uncomfortably high. The good news is that this 911 is just right straight out of the box.