In usual reflective mood during the seasonal downtime, I’ve been looking back over some of my GT Porsche magazine columns from the last twelve months and checking where my head was at through the year. My first magazine column for GT considered the launch of the 911 Carrera T and what effect it might have on the Porsche populus.
2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T spec
- 370bhp/330lb ft turbcharged 3.0-litre engine as in base Carrera
- Sports Exhaust and PASM as standard
- 7-speed manual has Limited Slip Diff and shorter final drive
- PDK has no LSD
- Reduced sound deadening
- Thin windows and pull straps in doors
- Rear seat and PCM delete (No Cost Option to put back)
- Weight in standard form circa 1425kg
Many of the old guard treat new 911 models with a degree of suspicion, as it often feels like models are being released just to give magazines something to write about. This is most especially true when Porsche disinters old model designations. The 911 T was a good example.
Just 20 kilos lighter than a standard Carrera with similar equipment, the T didn’t seem to bring much to the party, but it was still likely to get a few writers excited. Most old hands were reserved in their reviews of this subtle run-out upgrade to the standard Carrera.
“Unfortunately, Porsche has somewhat mis-sold the T as a sort of hardcore, purists’ missile rather than embracing its true purpose as a cracking all-rounder in the best tradition of low-level 911s,” said Richard Porter in The Sunday Times. “It gives you a few extra tasty treats such as the trick suspension and diff that make it nicer to drive, without any trinkets you don’t need. It’s not sparse, but there’s a pleasing simplicity to it, right down to the seats that are wrapped not with leather but in cloth, striped like a 1980s banker’s suit. It’s all you need, and nothing you don’t.”
“If you were hoping the Carrera T would be a mini-me GT3, look away now,” wrote Andrew Frankel in Autocar. “But that’s not to say there’s nothing interesting going on. Before Porsche’s T-squad laid a finger on its flanks, the 911 was by some distance already the most desirable and effective performer in its category. The T is a car with just a little more edge.”
Porsche 911 Carrera T investment prospects
The 911 Carrera T rang a bell with buyers: latest UK registration data suggests that 219 Carrera T models were put on the road in 2018, with a 2-to-1 bias towards the manual.
The seven-speed gearbox in the 991 was widely viewed as inferior to the sweet six-speed fitted to Caymans, but as early reviews suggested the car was a 991 GT3 for £30k less and given the spec difference from manual to PDK, most Carrera T buyers/investors were obviously going to pick the manual. The residual premium could take a decade to materialise a la 997 Carrera GTS, but it was the one to have.
Residual values for the 911T (which sold with a cost new some ten percent higher than a standard Carrera) have yet to find their groove, but 219 RHD cars registered year-to-date does not make them super-rare amongst the 2018 911 cohort. That said, in a year-to-date figure of over 11,000 registrations up to the end of November and against a whole-life registration total for RHD 991s, 200 is a fairly small number and should help this model car to build a bit of a following.