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Porsche 911 Carrera T: The T stands for ‘Touring’

We take a road trip from Sydney to Canberra and back to find out how good a tourer Porsche's "budget-GT3" is!
Joel Foo
Joel Foo
03 Apr 2024
Compared to the 911 Carrera, the Carrera T feels urgent and eager, and definitely sharper, like a knife that has taken to the whetstone for that bit longer.

In 1967, Porsche introduced the 911T as a replacement for the entry-level, outgoing 912 model. The ’T’ stood for Touring and it occupied a seat behind to the ‘L’ (Luxury) and ’S’ (Sport) models with a 4-speed manual gearbox and a detuned 6-cylinder 2.0 litre flat-six engine.

Fast-forward to 2017, and Porsche reintroduced the ’T’ badge to the 911 range as the Carrera T for the 991-generation. Instead of serving as the starting point to the 911 range, the Carrera T sat between the base Carrera and Carrera S.

The 992-generation Carrera T carries on from the success of its predecessor. Unlike the bare-bones basic version from the 1960s, some have recently dubbed the Carrera T as a mini-GT3 – a lightened, pared down 911 Carrera with subtle performance upgrades that make it just that bit sweeter, sportier and sharper.

But that begs the question – does the 911 Carrera T’s more athletic nature take away any of its ‘Touring’ ability? We had to test this somehow, and Porsche very kindly offered us a go in a striking Lizard Green 911 Carrera T for a short out-and-back road trip between Sydney and Canberra.

Still a tourer?

There are essentially 2 main routes that one can take from Sydney to Canberra – inland via the Remembrance and Federal Highways or along the south-eastern coast of Australia via Wollongong. On the trip out from Sydney, I opted for the inland route which was about 1.5 hours quicker. It was also past 5 in the afternoon by the time I left Porsche Centre Sydney South, and I was inclined to arrive in Canberra by nightfall.

Being the end of the work day, there was some chock-a-block traffic on the way out of Sydney.  At that point, I was thankful that our test car came equipped with Porsche’s fantastic 8-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission (which is a no-cost option on the Carrera T).

Unlike the Carrera which only comes equipped with an 8-speed PDK transmission, being the model that offers a purer and raw driving experience, the Carrera T comes standard with a 7-speed manual transmission. If I was honest, after having read the spec sheet of our test car, I was initially disappointed to not be able to sample its shift action as it is generally an uncommon option for 911s in Singapore.

However, that disappointment immediately faded the moment we hit Sydney peak-hour traffic. An hour of foot-on-clutch action of weaving through Sydney’s streets would have been a tiring ordeal having just gotten off an 8-hour red-eye flight.

As we trundled through the concrete paved city roads, the stiffer PASM active sports suspension definitely made itself known. But considering that this is an out-and-out sports car, it was not too harsh or unbearable and I could picture it being suitable for daily driving.

Being 10 mm lower to the ground, you do have to pay attention to its front lip when exiting steeper ramps. Thankfully there always is the option of equipping the car with a front axle lift system, something that I would personally add to eliminate all worries of scraping its front spoiler.

Once out of the city, it was a straightforward 2 hour blast on the highway in a southwesterly direction towards Canberra. The Federal and Remembrance Highways have a mix of freshly laid, buttery smooth tarmac, worn down rougher sections of asphalt and European-style concrete slabbed segments. It is on these rougher parts of the highway where the absence of most of the regular 992’s sound deadening material is felt.

There is a noticeable increase in road and wind noise from within the Carrera T’s cabin, especially at speeds over 100 kmh, at least more than what I remembered the base Carrera had. I also suspect that the Carrera T’s thinner glass, which was part of the effort to save weight, was a contributing factor.

But let’s be honest, this is unlikely to be viewed as a downside to the typical Carrera T owner since it is a model built with the purist in mind. Given my personal inclination towards classic cars and preference for ‘rawness’ in driving feel, I actually found the Carrera T rather enjoyable to be in, and could envision taking it on long road trips and high speed runs.

Besides, should you wish to drown out some of that road noise, the car’s fantastic sounding Bose Surround Sound System will easily bathe the Carrera T’s cabin with your tune of choice as you chew up the miles. Not before long, and as the sun began to set over the horizon, we neared in on Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Carrera (T) in Canberra

Remember being quizzed on capital cities of the world by your friends back in school? I fondly recall Australia’s capital being one of those that was commonly mistaken. As a capital city, Canberra is pretty compact, with the central district spanning no more than 10km across.

Having linked up with our entourage in ACT, it was good time to test out the Carrera T’s family car-capabilities around the city. Being the lightened version of the Carrera, rear seats are a no-cost option which have to be selected when speccing-up your Carrera T.

With rear seats, the Carrera T was more than able to accommodate our little family, which consisted of 3 of us and a little furry, four-legged friend, whom immediately found home in the rear quarters of the 911.

Apart from the array of government establishments that you’d expect to find in Australia’s capital, Canberra has a great selection of hiking trails and nature spots that are just a stone’s throw away from the central area which the 4 of us were eager to check out.

The curves and bends that surround the Black Mountain Nature reserve, National Arboretum and (if you’re willing to take a bit of a drive out) Cotter Dam offer a good opportunity to sample the handling prowess of the Carrera T.

Scaling and descending those peaks, you do have that sense that the Carrera T is just that bit sharper than the base Carrera. The PASM adaptive sports suspension comes to the fore here, and the car remains balanced and poised when pointed into each corner.

The Carrera T might have the same 3.0-litre flat-six turbocharged engine as the base Carrera, but the difference lies in the sum of its parts.

Inputs at the wheel feel more direct and sportier thanks to a smaller radius ‘GT’ sports steering wheel. Together with Porsche’s Torque Vectoring system (PTV) and mechanical limited slip differential, the Carrera T has a bit more of that ‘point-and-shoot capability’ which enables it to stand out against the Carrera.

With the lightweight glass and reduced sound deadening material, hitting the sports exhaust button on the dash makes for a great aural experience as the exhaust note from that flat-six block reverberates within the cabin and throughout the hills. You’ll definitely hear its roar from afar.

Perfect for a short getaway

Being a small city doesn’t mean that Canberra lacks interesting places to visit. Once up Dairy Farmers Hill, the National Arboretum provides shelter for Australia’s most prized and endangered species of flora and fauna. The standout amongst this stunning landscape of forestry is the National Bonsai Collection which houses Bonsai plants that date back to the late 1800s!

Starting out as a small village that was once inhabited by Aboriginal Australians, Canberra was selected as the capital city in 1901 after a long dispute over whether Sydney or Melbourne should be the national capital. City planners were hence given free reign in the design of the city’s layout. You’ll notice that Central Canberra’s layout resembles  the shape of a letter ‘Y’.

I was particularly intrigued by the layout of the city, where important buildings like the old and existing Parliament Houses, Australian War Memorial and National Gallery are arranged on an axis. That being said, I think Canberra is an ideal destination for a 1 or 2 day getaway from Sydney.


Not before long, it was once again time to hit the road. Our journey back to Sydney would take us once again on the Remembrance highway before skirting the southeastern coast of Australia – Starting just north of Wollongong, this coastal route passes through the famed Sea Cliff Bridge, the iconic Stanwell Tops (which my colleague James once explored in an Aston Martin) and ends at the lookout point atop Bald Hill before a dash into town.

The views from Sea Cliff Bridge were particularly stunning, and the experience of driving across a small bit of the ocean was made more special at the wheel of the Carrera T.

The ocean breeze made good company for a moment of introspection, and as we closed in on Porsche Centre Sydney South, I felt a tinge of sadness that our time with the Carrera T was coming to an end.

The 992-generation Carrera T adds an element of rawness that will appeal to the purists out there. It still possesses all the traits that make the 911 such a good tourer, and boasts what I think is excellent fuel economy for a sports car. With a 50-50 mix of highway and city driving, the Carrera T managed an impressive consumption figure of 9.6 litres of fuel per 100 km, well below the quoted 10.9 litres/ 100 km figure!

The Carrera T also never once felt uncomfortable throughout our 800 km journey with it. I would think that even our canine friend would testify to its practicality and versatility.

From a driver’s point of view, I think it is worthy of being known as a budget/mini-GT3. Compared to the 911 Carrera, it feels urgent and eager, and definitely sharper, like a knife that has taken to the whetstone for that bit longer. When pointed into a corner at the right angle, it will bring immense satisfaction and a grin that will be tough to wipe off your face.

And as previously shared in our time with the base 911 Carrera, the gap between the base models of the 911 range has been brought closer with the introduction of turbocharging in Porsche’s fabled flat-six engines. With 380 bhp and 450 Nm of torque that is available from just 1950 rpm, it is plentiful for modern day street use and more than enough for any public road.

Personally, the Carrera T is my pick of the current 992-generation as an everyday sports car and was a perfect travel companion. And if you’re craving for purity and directness in road feel, yet don’t feel the need for the fire breathing power of the Turbos or GT cars on the daily drive, this 911 should suit you to a T.

Photos by Joel Foo


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