2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T Pros
– The Carrera T is the best-driving 911.
– This is the only 911 that you can keep your foot against the firewall for more than two seconds.
– It is the 911 for true passionate Porsche enthusiasts.
2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T Cons
– If you harbor a fragile ego, getting beat in a straight line by a Ford Mustang GT might hurt…
Performance is not horsepower or torque, it’s driving and being part of the drive. Too often, and I’ve said this before, raw power and straight-line speed are mistaken for performance. They are, in fact and in my humble opinion, two of the least important aspects when it comes to an immersive spirited driving experience. Beyond all doubt, the new 2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T is one of the best.
That the Carrera T starts out as a base 911 Carrera certainly gives it an undeniable advantage over any other momentum car. There’s also a price to pay but if you must ask or complain, best to pick up an excellent Toyota GR86 or Subaru BRZ, or a Mazda MX-5. Starting at over $140,000, the “T” is the only Carrera (non-S) that can be fitted with the delicious 7-speed manual transmission. This fact alone is worth the price of admission. As is the “standard” turbocharged 3.0L flat-6-cylinder engine good for 379 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque.
Everything you really need
The “T”, which stands for Touring, embodies the famous credo that states “simplify then add lightness.” For the most part, the 911 Carrera T is delivered with only the elements that you need. And some are exceptionally important. To start, Porsche Active Suspension Management, with firmer springs and a 10mm drop, is included and is largely responsible for the car’s stance and incredible agility. Then come the sport exhaust, the GT sport steering wheel, the sport seats plus, and no back seats.
Mechanically speaking, the T is the least powerful 911 however the upside is that the driver can stand on the throttle for more than three seconds without fearing a weekend’s stay in the slammer. Try 10 seconds with a Turbo or a GT3… Even so, speed builds and in the most linear and sustained fashion imaginable. It is, in fact, manageable power that does not overwhelm the driver, keeping he or she fully in control so long as they obey the laws of physics.
Grip and responsiveness
Said laws are put to the test by the massive tires mounted on the standard 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels, PASM chassis, and an unflappable structure on which all is assembled. The 992 Porsche 911 is perhaps the most agile modern 911 with immense mechanical grip, sharp and responsive steering coupled to a chassis that always seems one step ahead. Partially explaining this is the tested 911 Carrera T’s optional rear axle steering which further shrinks steering reaction times while increasing responsiveness. As I like to note, whenever a four-wheels steering system is offered, tick the box. As always, breaking power is phenomenal and never shows signs of fatigue.
All of these elements combine to make the 2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T an absolute delight to work with. I say that the car isn’t all that quick, but it’ll still cover the 0-100km/h sprint in only 4.5 seconds on the way to a 291 km/h top speed. Quite honestly, these two figures are unimportant. Aboard the T, it’s the journey that matters, the switchbacks, holding the go pedal a little longer while aiming for an apex and getting back on it sooner once the point is past. Few cars are more rewarding dance partners than the T. Truth be told, the 911 Carrera T, begin more substantial but far from heavy at 3,235 lbs, is more entertaining than the 718 Cayman T.
As a 992.2, the Carrera T is also achingly attractive. Those who spec’d the test car over at Porsche Canada somehow as, with a sole exception, I would have configured my car in almost the same way starting with Racing yellow. Included on the tester were the necessary front axle lift system and the lesser important cooled adaptive sport seats and cost-free rear seats for a grand total of about $155,000. The 992-generation 911 grown on me to a point where it has surpassed all previous water-cooled iteration of the legend – quite a feat as the 997 long stood as the most appealing of the group.
The 911’s cabin remains a place to do business in relative comfort while being surrounded with plenty of tech and upscale materials. The most important aspect to note here is the shifter’s perfect position and positive action. Same goes for the pedals which look and feel tailored to my legs and feet. Also, the touchscreen’s good and the optional seats are quite supportive.
Hands down, when it comes to unincumbered driving pleasure, the T is the best 911. The GT3 is outstanding however the incredible power poses a severe threat to one’s driving permit, not that the T isn’t something of a threat also. The balance with which the Carrera T operates provides the driver with options other than slamming on the brakes because a reasonably skilled person will react adequately to the speed without panicking. The 2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T is about control which is the essence of performance.