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New Porsche 911 Carrera T introduced at the LA Auto Show

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Article by Rob Sass

Above: 911 Carrera T at the LA Auto Show. Photo by Damon Lowney

Porsche introduced the new Carrera T on Wednesday at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The nomenclature may be reminiscent of the 911T, which was the base 911 in the U.S. from 1969-73, but in reality, the designation is where the similarity ends. 

The original 2.0-liter 911T was the entry-level 911 and it sacrificed a fair amount of equipment (much of it could be added back as options) and about 20 horsepower over the previous 130-hp 2.0-liter base car. While more complexity came with mechanical — and later CIS — fuel-injection, the car wasn’t meant to be a lightweight per se, or a purer statement of the 911 concept, it was just de-contented for the sake of keeping the base price down.

Photo by Rob Sass

The new Carrera T is something altogether different, in some ways more in keeping with what the 911 Carrera Club Sport was in the 1980s. While Porsche may say “less is more” the Carrera T still delivers a healthy 370 hp and is combined with a specially lowered sport chassis with Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), and available rear-axle steering not available on the base Carrera. A sport exhaust system is also standard.

Photo by Rob Sass

Like the old Carrera RS 2.7 and 911 Carrera Club Sport, the T’s door panels are simplified, with cloth loops utilized to close the door. Rear side windows and the rear window itself are made from thinner glass. It saves about 11 pounds or so with the car’s total weight now coming in at approximately 3,142 pounds — though European Carrera Ts are about 45 pounds lighter than a base Carrera with no options due to different standard equipment levels. In Rest of World cars, Porsche Communications Management and rear seats are eliminated as standard, while in North America they are included. Opt for the bucket seats and rear-seat-delete, and the weight reduction will be closer to the RoW car. A 7-speed manual transmission is standard with a 7-speed PDK optional. 0-60 miles-per-hour times are quoted by the factory as 4.3 seconds for both, with a top speed of 183 mph.

Photo by Damon Lowney

I heard a bit of carping from some journalists over the Sport-Tex cloth seat centers that are standard on the T. I rolled my eyes. Cloth is grippier and remains comfortable without resorting to ventilation, and frankly, Porsche has a history of doing very stylish cloth seats. Whether in hounds tooth, Porsche script, pinstripe, tartan, or Pasha, cloth has always been part of the 911’s interior design language, even if US-spec cars seldom saw it.

Above: PCNA Manager of Sports Cars Andrew Lennon introduces the Carrera T at the LA Auto Show Porsche Club Preview Event. Photo by Damon Lowney

As a fan of the original Carrera Club Sport from the early 1980s, I find the Carrera T to be an appealing car that I suspect will be far easier to live with than lightweight 911 variants of the past. The Panorama team is anxious to report further after getting behind the wheel of what Porsche is calling the “unfiltered” version of the 911.

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