Meet Smokey Nagata

The man behind the legendary twin-turbo V12 Toyota Supra build.

First sprint in Merc's ferocious C 63 S

'You can feel how taut the steering is, how sensitive the accelerator is to inputs', writes Charlen Raymond.

New Porsche Carrera 911 T in SA: 'Driving the Carrera T will make you feel alive'

2018-07-17 09:50

Janine Van der Post

Image: Janine Van der Post / Wheels24

Porsche reckons the 911 T was designed to highlight the emotion and sportiness of the car. To be honest, this car could look like a bland cardboard box and still stir unbelievable emotions from whoever is seated behind the wheel.

We drove the new model through Franschhoek and Villiersdorp round to Gaansbaai recently and someone asked on our social media account: "What new Porsche is this? Where does it slot in the range?" Well, this latest Porsche is based on the Carrera of 1968, built as an entry-level version for the purists, with the same philosophy it was created to decades ago – less is more. The 'T' moniker? It stands for Touring.

50 years ago, the 911 T featured superior traction of the rear engine sports car, incredible reliability and phenomenal weight-to-power ratio. Naturally, those same attributes reign supreme in today’s lightweight version, only better.

READ: Intense driving pleasure: The new 911 Carrera T in SA is a "purist" for the ages

Situated at the rear lies a twin turbocharged six-cylinder flat engine good for 272kW/450Nm. 

I sampled the 7-speed automatic version with PDK first, saving the best for last. And while the auto Carrera T sounds delectable and drives a dream at the speeds you are meant to drive a Porsche on quiet open roads, it sticks to asphalt the same way Prince Harry will hold the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s hand. But nothing, and I mean nothing, can prepare you for the drive of your life in the 7-speed manual version.

Yes, I said 7-speed manual version and it was as if the petrolhead in me had received new life. I can’t remember the last time a car had made me feel that alive, and appreciate the world of automation as much as the 911 T. 

From the moment you start it up, its symphonic roar sounds even more ferocious than its auto sibling. The short-shifter makes you feel invincible and gives even the most novice driver the ability to snap-change rapidly from one gear to the next. The gear ratios are glorious, while quick-changing is splendid, so can you ride out the gear to the red line with the same enthusiasm. 

I was giggling like a schoolgirl while driving this car, both behind the wheel and when I reluctantly switched seats with my driving partner. It's almost unthinkable how Porsche manages to keep its strong heritage and make it so much better at the same time. It's ridiculously good to drive. 

The manual version is definitely the version to go for if you're looking for a daily drive that will stick a permanent sheepish grin on your face for the rest of your life. With a price tage of R1.5-million odd, it's worth every silly cent.   

So what makes the new Carerra T stand out? 

Porsche says the rear window and rear side windows are made from lightweight glass. Sound absorption has been reduced to a minimum. And if you don’t find the rear seats and Porsche Communication Management (PCM) necessary, you can ask the automaker to remove them upon request. 

The PASM sports chassis lowers the vehicle by 20mm while the weight-optimised Sports Chrono Package, optional rear-axle steering, shorter transmission ratios from the manual gearbox and a mechanical rear differential lock are all standard in the rear-wheel drive vehicle – items not available for the standard Carrera.

Other goodies exclusive to the 911 T include the new 20” Carrera S wheels and a sports exhaust system which helps reduce another 20kg in the vehicle. There’s also a shortened shift lever with red shift pattern and Sport-Tex seat centres.

Check out the video below:


There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.