New Porsche 911 Carrera T loses weight, adds racing purity

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Porsche's new 911 Carrera T drops some pounds, making it more nimble and recalling the sports car's early days.

The Porsche 911 has been an icon of the sports-car world for literally decades, having first debuted back in 1965. Today there are many flavors of 911, in many price ranges.

But a new variation stands out. The 911 Carrera T is what you might call the enthusiast's 911.

No, what makes it special isn't the power, though 370 horsepower from the twin-turbo flat six-cylinder is nothing to sneeze at.

Where the T version picks up its performance chops is from dropping weight. It's a 911 on a fitness regimen.

For example, the rear and side rear window glass is thinner. There's also less sound insulation inside. And the interior door handles are nylon straps instead of metal handles, in order to save a few pounds.

It all adds up...to less. The Carrera T is the lightest 911 you can buy. And that lack of heft can be felt in the corners, and when accelerating or braking. It might not seem like a big deal, but the svelte curb weight of 3,142 pounds brings back a purity to Porsche's legendary sports car.

Thanks also to a revised suspension, the Carrera T model is nimble and balanced.

The steering is perfectly light, and a gentle touch on the wheel lets it rotate perfectly through tight turns. The classic 911 feel. If you choose the standard 7-speed manual transmission, the gear stick is shorter for quicker throws between gears.

And here's an example of an option that speaks to driving enthusiasts, who may take the car to a racetrack: The "Full Bucket" seat package.

They set the driver and front passenger deep down into them, much like a racing seat. They're made of carbon fiber, don't have any recline adjustment, and choosing them eliminates the standard 911's rear seat. Oh, the price for the option is $5,200.

All part of the purposeful nature of this car.

Yes, you can get a 911 with more horsepower. And one with more luxury, for sure. But this model recalls the car's early days. Back when Porsche only made pure sports cars.

At a base price of $102,100 it's obviously not cheap, as it's $11,000 more than the base 911. And this special car is not for everyone, even those in the market for a 911 who may want more comfort.

But for the true enthusiast, the 911 Carrera T could be thought of as the perfect Porsche.
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