Porsche 911 Car­rera T

A spe­cial-edi­tion 911 at a palat­able price ... a fu­ture clas­sic, per­haps?

Car (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

AS fans of the Zuf­fen­hausen brand will know, the T moniker dates back to 1968 when the orig­i­nal 911 T won sev­eral ral­lies, in­clud­ing the Monte Carlo event with Bri­tish driver Vic El­ford be­hind the wheel. The for­mula was sim­ple: re­duce mass; shorten the gear­ing; im­prove trac­tion.

The 2018 ver­sion con­tin­ues this purist ap­proach, with light­weight win­dows and straps for door han­dles that shave some 20 kg off the weight of the Car­rera, plus you can choose to forgo the rear seats and in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem for fur­ther re­duc­tions at no cost. Our press unit was a seven-speed man­ual (along­side a seven-speed PDK at the same price) and its final-drive ra­tio has been short­ened to make the most of the 272 kw de­liv­ered to the rear axle with a lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial.

It’s a dif­fer­en­tial that would have its work cut out given the weather and route we were go­ing to drive. In the heart of one of the big­gest storms to hit the Western Cape in years, lash­ing rain trans­formed roads into rivers and snow-cloaked the sur­round­ing moun­tain peaks. But even in these treach­er­ous con­di­tions, the T al­lowed me to mine its dy­namic abil­i­ties with­out too many skipped heart­beats. I opted for sport mode to ac­ti­vate the rev-match­ing fea­ture while keep­ing the suspension set­ting in com­fort in a bid to max­imise grip on a soak­ing-wet Fran­schhoek Pass. As ever, the joy of man­ual shift­ing brings a smile to your face, although be warned that se­lect­ing the sev­enth (over­drive) cog on your first at­tempt isn’t easy be­cause it re­quires a dog-leg ac­tion.

The bril­liant six-cylin­der turbo en­gine the T shares with the Car­rera has no dis­cernible lag and pro­vides strong shove from low en­gine speeds. That’s not to say it doesn’t love spin­ning to more than 7 000 r/min, send­ing its clas­sic rac­ing sound­track into a cabin that has only the min­i­mum of sound-dead­en­ing, es­pe­cially with the ab­sence of rear pews. Get car­ried away and the rear-end breaks trac­tion in a smooth and pro­gres­sive fash­ion, re­quir­ing only a slight steer­ing cor­rec­tion with sta­bil­ity-con­trol in­ter­ven­tion be­fore the on­slaught can con­tinue.

While most spe­cial ver­sions of the 911 are suit­ably more ex­pen­sive than the stan­dard mod­els, the T of­fers ex­clu­siv­ity with­out the size­able price penalty. For R126 000 more than the stan­dard Car­rera, you’re get­ting a man­ual 911 of­fer­ing a pure, ex­hil­a­rat­ing driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, which may just be a good in­vest­ment as well.

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