2019 Porsche 911 Carrera T PDK 991.2 sometimes less can be more as a drive in one of the least powerful Porsche 911 variants prove.
It is hard to think of a £500k car as an ‘entry model’ but in many ways, that is exactly what this car is. The current 991.2 Porsche 911 family can more or less be split into two main categories; on one hand, models such as the Carrera, Carrera S and Targa, seem to be cantered more towards a luxury and touring direction where refinement and comfort may be more of a priority for a certain group of customers.
The other branch on the Porsche 911 family tree is where you’ll find a burgeoning range of models headed by the GT2 RS, GT3 RS, GT3 and up-coming speedster. It is at the starting point of this range where you will find the 2019 Carrera T 991.2 – driven here.
The 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera T 991.2 may not have a race-bred engine like the GT models, in fact, its 370hp power unit is shared with the entry 911 Carrera model. However, the GT spirit comes by way of a weight reduction programme where some 20kg is shed and the chassis is optimised for sportier handling. For a more emotional driving experience, the t gets a sport exhaust system fitted as standard. other weight reducing measures include lighter rear side and back windscreen shared with the GT2 RS while noise insulation has been reduced to a minimum.
In the styling department, you’ll identify a t by its slightly more aggressive front splitter, the grey 20-inch Carrera s wheels and grey mirrors, plus the special script on the doors and at the rear. Inside there are some ‘sporttex’ fabric centres for the seats and if you go for the ‘T interior package’, then coloured stitching and further coloured elements can be brought into the interior design.
Perhaps the most obvious sporty add-on in the cabin is the interior door handles that are replaced with nylon loops that are somewhat polarising in their useability. On more than one occasion, the feedback from some who have driven this car seems to be about the tricky door loops. Personally, I have found that there’s a little technique that involves using your elbow as a fulcrum to pull the loop that helps.
Still, traditionalists will point to the Porsche 911T 991.2 of the early 1970s that served as this car’s inspiration and the loop door pulls are an ode to the classic.
From the turn of the starter fob (the test car was fitted with the optional Porsche Enter and drive option so the key stays in the driver’s pocket or bag), the Carrera t’s engine barks with a rise of revs and a crispness that makes for a passable impression of a classic air-cooled flat-six. Set the PDK gear lever in d and the t takes with off an immediacy that the base Carrera could never hope to match. there’s a quickness to the steering as well that borders on the verge of nervousness and makes you realise that this is a car that demands your full attention or else…
Although the Carrera t is set up to be more reactive to the driver’s inputs than the standard 911, it doesn’t feel as intimidating as the GT3 or models above it. The more you drive this car, the easier it is to see why Porsche chose to fit it with its lowest powered engine. At 370 horsepower, there’s enough differentiation between this and the full-on 500hp GT3 991.2 to make the choice clear for customers. Actually, the Porsche 911 GTS 991.2 splits the pair with a 450hp output but in comparison, it feels too similar to the 420hp Carrera S 991.2 to bother.
The 911 Carrera T 991.2 on the other hand feels like Porsche made more of an effort to bring us a car with a slightly raw edge. On the road, the reduced sound insulation is apparent whenever the rear tyres kick up gravel or grit from the road surface. It also lets in more sound than the standard 911s.
While I appreciate the effort of the Sport Tec fabric seats as a departure from traditional leather, I found myself missing sitting on soft cow hide as the high tech fabric felt hardwearing but a little too scratchy for my liking, and especially when you’re in a car costing over half a million dollars.
The 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera T PDK 991.2 is just about the perfect sports car and for me the pick of the range because it is as fast as anyone reasonably needs a car to be, yet not so powerful that it intimidates. With this car, it is easier to lean on the throttle and use more of the rev band to savour the exhaust notes without getting into too much trouble. The option of having a pair of rear seats also adds to its practicality as an everyday sports car.
The only thing I would add to mine would be the option of the 18-way adjustable front seats with leather upholstery that would add £32,738 to the price. On this note, it would also be worth ticking the box for the sport design package that entails a front bumper that is also found on the 911 Gt3 and a more pronounced lip on the retractable rear wing for more attitude.
By the time the car is spec’d to look like the test car here from the extensive options list, you’re looking at a car that’s well over £120k after all that’s said and done. somehow, it still feels like good value when you consider that nothing else in this price range comes close to the appeal of the 911 Carrera T 991.2.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE SPECIFICATIONS 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera T PDK 991.2
Engine horizontally-opposed 6-cylinder, 2,981cc bi-turbo
Max Power 370hp @ 6,500rpm / DIN
Max Torque 450nm @ 1,700-5,000rpm / DIN
Transmission 7-speed twin-clutch automated, RWD
0-62mph (0-100km/h) 4.2 seconds
Top Speed 181MPH (291km/h)
Weight 1,445kg VES banding C2 (+£10,000)
Basic price 100,888 without COE Contact Stuttgart Auto
+ accessibly fun
– fabric seats
Drive-My rating 4.6
Above: original 911 t faces off against its bright yellow sibling. Nothing’s changed much at the rear…