Car­rera adds spice to 911 lineup

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Editorial - BY RICHARD RUS­SELL WHEELS

Porsche has cre­ated deriva­tives of the 911 to fit any taste and budget — pro­vided you are shop­ping in the $100,000+ range.

You can per­son­al­ize your 911 with ev­ery­thing from the colour of the belts and slats on the air vents, to the ex­haust sound or abil­ity to ad­just the sus­pen­sion.

Porsche did not get to be the most prof­itable com­pany in the business by giv­ing away these op­tions. It has be­come fa­mous for not only the va­ri­ety of ex­tras, but their prices.

There are lit­er­ally hun­dreds of con­fig­u­ra­tions with ex­tras rang­ing from hun­dreds of dolars, to $10,000. You can al­most dou­ble the base price by playng with the op­tions list.

In case that wasn’t enough per­son­al­iza­tion, Porsche has added a 24th dis­tinct model to the 911 line — the 2018 Car­rera T. The T (Tour­ing) is the re­sult of Porsche play­ing with ts own op­tions list, se­lect­ing tems that add to per­for­mance by re­duc­ing weight, and in the process cre­at­ing an­other route to ex­clu­siv­ity.

It has been 50 years since the first 911 T, the base six-cylin­der model. The 2018 ver­sion is one step up from the base Car­rera.

While it re­tains all the crea­ture com­forts and fea­tures, t looses weight, rides lower and has a bevy of special fea­tures that em­pha­size the car’s al­ready-im­pres­sive dy­namic ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

The 2018 Car­rera 911 T is the light­est of all 911 Car­reras. Steps taken to achieve this nclude: Pull straps in­stead of in­te­rior door han­dles, and thin­ner “Go­rilla” glass like that used for the GT2 RS. There is no rear seat and the fronts are made from car­bon fi­bre.

The 911 T has the same de­light­ful twin-turbo, flat-six en­gine as the base Car­rera. It sends 370 horse­power and 330 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels through your choice of seven-speed trans­mis­sions — man­ual or au­to­matic.

But, the fi­nal drive ra­tio has been low­ered for ad­di­tional ac­cel­er­a­tion. Other per­for­mance en­hance­ments in­clude: a torque vec­tor­ing, lim­ited slip dif­fer­en­tial, sport ex­haust sys­tem, and a unique sus­pen­sion, with a 20 mm lower ride height.

Vis­ually, the 911 T is dif­fer­en­ti­ated by “Agate Gray” trim on the 20-inch wheels, mir­ror cas­ings, rear air vent, unique front spoiler and badg­ing. There is also a graphic stripe along the lower edge of the doors.

I got to drive two ver­sions of the Car­rera T on mostl­y­sec­ondary roads from here to Montreal with a stop along the way in Mt. Trem­blant. It is al­ways a good day when you can drive a Porsche on back roads — or a race track.

The 911 T re­tains what makes this mar­que so suc­cess­ful — as­tound­ing engi­neer­ing. From the built-as-from-a-brick struc­ture, to the tele­pathic steer­ing, the 911 is one of the most re­ward­ing and pleas­ant ve­hi­cles an en­thu­si­ast can en­joy.

The T adds a bit of spice to the mix, enough so that all but the most ar­dent Porsche ad­dict would not con­sider it as a daily driver.

The mon­strous and sticky (305/30-20) rear tires cre­ate a lot of noise and a rather harsh ride on all but bil­liard-ta­ble smooth sur­faces.

But bend this car into a cor­ner at speed, and they be­come your best friend, pro­vid­ing un­be­liev­able lev­els of grip, and direct and ac­cu­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the driver through the steer­ing wheel.

The T has the least pow­er­ful en­gine in the Car­rera line. But that is hardly a sac­ri­fice. Thanks to light weight, the gear­ing and 370 horses in the cor­ral, this sports car will scoot from rest to 100 km/hr. in 4.3 sec­onds, 4.0 with the PDK (au­to­matic).

You may give up some straight-line ac­cel­er­a­tion, and fuel ef­fi­ciency with the man­ual box, but it is such a de­light.

In­cred­i­bly short throws al­low you to use your wrist when se­lect­ing gears, and clutch take-up is pro­gres­sive and con­sis­tent. It is also $4,250 less ex­pen­sive.

A note here for po­ten­tial T buy­ers larger than a size 38, or about 150 pounds. Be­fore spring­ing the ex­tra $6,000 for the car­bon fi­bre seats, try them out.

Only if you are a small, slim and ath­letic young­ster will you be able to get in and out grace­fully.

The Car­rera 911 T may be a lit­tle too in­tense for most in their daily com­mute.

But, as the least ex­pen­sive of the per­for­mance mod­els, it is prob­a­bly the most pure 911 Car­rera.

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