2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T review

14 minutes, 26 seconds Read

The latest limited edition from Porsche starts with the most basic 911 model, and adds some subtle but worthwhile changes to deliver an even sharper driving experience.

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What we love
  • Glorious sound from the sports exhaust
  • Surprising level of suspension comfort
  • Epic Bose premium audio
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What we don’t
  • Tyre roar on coarse road surfaces
  • No speed sign recognition tech
  • Snug fit inside the cabin

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2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

When mass-market car companies introduce a special edition, they usually add black styling highlights inside and out, a sticker or two on the bodywork, and fit a couple of popular options as standard equipment.

But when you’re Porsche, customers expect plenty of substance to go with the sizzle. Which brings us to the Porsche 911 Carrera T.

You could be forgiven for thinking the T refers to ‘turbo’, but all models in the new Porsche 911 Carrera range are already turbocharged – and there is a flagship 911 variant with a bigger engine and bigger turbos called – unsurprisingly – the Porsche 911 Turbo.

In this instance, however, the T refers to ‘touring’, but when you look at the components that have been added to this car, they have been designed to sharpen the already quick reflexes and make the engine sound more raucous.

Whatever it’s called, this semi-permanent limited edition is one of the reasons Porsche keeps 911 sales steady throughout the model cycle of the car.

For some people, a standard Porsche 911 Carrera is never enough. Which is why niche models like this exist.

Based on the cheapest model in the Porsche 911 Carrera range, the ingredients for the 911 T are surprisingly simple – but effective.

Additional or unique features compared to the base-model Porsche 911:

  • 20-inch Carrera S wheels up front, and 21-inch Carrera S wheels at the rear (painted in Titanium Grey)
  • Sports Seats Plus with four-way, electric adjustment and a ‘911’ logo embroidered on the headrest
  • Black trim highlights
  • Grey side-mirror scalps
  • Grey highlights on the rear engine cover
  • Grey ‘Porsche’ badging across the rear of the car
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Sport exhaust system with black tailpipes
  • Sport Chrono Package
  • Porsche Track Precision App
  • Tyre temperature as well as tyre pressure display
  • Lightweight glass
  • Removal of rear seats (No-cost option)
  • Sports suspension (10mm lower)
  • Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with limited-slip rear differential

How much does the Porsche 911 cost in Australia?

The Porsche 911 Carrera T is the third model up in the Porsche 911 range, which comprises more than a dozen variants.

The base-model Porsche 911 Carrera starts from $279,300 plus on-road costs and climbs to the all-wheel-drive Porsche 911 Carrera 4 ($296,700) before we arrive at the Porsche 911 Carrera T priced from $300,700 plus on-road costs and options.

Interestingly, it gets no extra power from the base model’s 3.0-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder engine – but it is quicker and more responsive due to the some weight-saving measures, grippier tyres, and sharper suspension.

Think of it as a base-model Porsche 911 Carrera that’s gone to finishing school. Our test car – in Python Green paintwork and with Lizard Green seatbelts – had a list price of $320,810 plus on-road costs once options were included (see below).

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Key details 2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T
Price $300,700 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Python Green
Options Interior Package with Lizard Green highlights – $4120
Tinted LED matrix headlights – $1540
Active Parking Support – $1640
Lane-keeping assistance and radar cruise control – $250
Adaptive Sports Seats Plus (18-way electric adjustment) – $5510
Light Design Package – $1050
Porsche Logo LED door courtesy lights – $300
Price as tested $320,810 plus on-road costs
Rivals Porsche 911 Carrera | Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD | Ferrari Roma

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How much space does the Porsche 911 have inside?

Porsche maximises available space inside the cabin; however, it is still cosy.

The back seat is a no-cost option, but really only suited to carrying light luggage or small humans.

There is 132 litres of extra storage capacity under the bonnet, for overnight travel bags or a big day of shopping on someone else’s credit card.

The door pockets are surprisingly large and practical, and the glovebox is roomy enough to accommodate a couple of large water bottles if you remove the owner’s manual.

The instrument cluster is clear to read and well laid out, as are the infotainment system controls and steering wheel buttons and thumb wheels.

The sports seats are super comfortable and, oddly, aren’t too much of a chore when climbing in and out, even though the side bolsters are quite large.

The driver’s position – thanks to ample adjustment in the steering and seating – is close to perfection.

All the controls, from the cabin switches to the gear lever, have a precise reassuring feel.

Whether by default or design, there’s not much in the cabin to distract from the primary focus: driving.

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T
Seats Two (rear seats a no-cost option)
Boot volume 132L
Length 4530mm
Width 1852mm
Height 1293mm
Wheelbase 2450mm

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Does the Porsche 911 have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Wired and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as are FM and digital radio.

Sadly, Porsche can be added to the list of car companies that have prematurely deleted AM radio from its vehicles sold in Australia, perhaps without thinking through the consequences of these decisions.

In Germany (where such decisions are made) there is vast mobile phone coverage and few remote areas or technology ‘black holes’.

In Australia (which must contend with decisions made in Germany), AM radio is used to alert people in remote and regional areas when there are natural disaster emergencies such as floods and bushfires.

AM radio signals can travel significantly further than FM and digital radio transmissions, and work in areas where there is no mobile phone or internet coverage.

While it could be argued few Porsche 911s are going to venture into the outback, we ran out of AM signal in dense bushland on the fringes of Sydney, just 45 minutes from the CBD. Hardly a remote area, but nevertheless a fire risk zone. Please, Porsche (and others) reverse this decision and bring AM radio back with future updated models.

The absence of AM radio on Porsches (and other cars) is a deal-breaker for some of us in the Drive office, but not a concern at all for others. We merely point out the absence of AM radio in case it could be a concern for you, depending on where you live – or travel to regularly.

The AM radio faux pas is almost forgiven with the epic Bose stereo. For as long as I have been reviewing cars (more than 25 years), the Bose systems in Porsche vehicles (the sports cars, sedans, and SUVs) are by far the best in the automotive world for volume, bass, and absence of distortion.

It is evident there is an audio expert (or expert team) inside Porsche’s engineering department. And it is evident Porsche takes sound seriously (not just via the exhaust pipe).

Here’s hoping the audio boffins responsible for the past 20 or so years of Bose systems in Porsche cars pass on their infinite wisdom to a new generation of audio specialists.

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Is the Porsche 911 a safe car?

There is no independent safety score for the Porsche 911 – and other cars in this price range – because the cost to buy and crash-test each car is prohibitively expensive. And the vehicles are sold in (relatively) small numbers.

The independent crash-test bodies prioritise mass-market vehicles so the test results are relevant to as many consumers as possible.

Despite the Porsche 911’s impressive speed and handling, for now buyers have no idea how cars like this will perform in a crash.

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T
ANCAP rating Untested

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What safety technology does the Porsche 911 have?

Standard safety equipment includes six airbags (two front, and two in the seats and two in the doors), autonomous emergency braking, radar cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, tyre temperature sensors, tyre pressure sensors (valve type) and a 360-degree camera.

Conspicuous by their absence: there is no speed-sign-recognition technology and no centre airbag to prevent head clash among front-seat occupants in a severe side impact.

How much does the Porsche 911 cost to maintain?

Service intervals are 12 months/15,000km (whichever comes first). Porsche prepaid service plans are available over four-year or five-year terms. There appears to be no annual capped-price service program available via Porsche, and no prepaid service plan for two- or three-year coverage.

A number of leading insurers declined to quote on this car online, so be sure to shop around and make sure you’re able to get insurance before you sign on the dotted line.

At a glance 2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T
Warranty Three years, unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs $4495 (4 years/60,000km)
$5495 (5 years/75,000km)

Is the Porsche 911 fuel-efficient?

The fuel consumption average of 10.8 litres per 100 kilometres is no longer regarded as efficient.

However, as a performance car in this price range, Porsche can probably get away with high-ish consumption because, the argument is, if you can afford the car you can afford to fuel it.

Premium 98-octane unleaded petrol is mandated.

We recorded an average consumption of 12.6L/100km on our 130km test loop driven ‘normally’, which is on the high side.

For example, we can achieve a fuel consumption average of 11 to 12L/100km on the same 130km test loop in a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol Ford Ranger Raptor that weighs close to 2.5 tonnes.

Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 10.8L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 12.6L/100km
Fuel type 98-octane premium unleaded
Fuel tank size 64L

What is the Porsche 911 like to drive?

Although the Porsche 911 Carrera T is one of only three 911 models available with the option of manual transmission, the test vehicle was equipped with the ‘PDK’ twin-clutch automatic.

Fans of the manual gearbox may not like to hear this, but the automatic is quicker by at least half a second from 0 to 100km/h according to Porsche’s claims (from 4.5 to 4.0 seconds).

To test the claim, we ran a series of 0 to 100km/h tests using precision VBox timing equipment and recorded a string of four 3.8-second times in a row (to check there was not an error, we always aim for at least two matching times to ensure there isn’t an outlier).

Using the vehicle’s ‘Launch Control’ mode sits the engine revs at 4000rpm. Take your foot off the brake and it accelerates in a surprisingly controlled manner, with the sophisticated traction-control system metering out the power perfectly so the rear tyres don’t break traction with the road. Remarkable.

The result is properly quick, especially for one of the lower-end models in the Porsche 911 range. It wasn’t that long ago this sort of performance would have cost half-a-million dollars in the form of a Porsche 911 Turbo (which, today, is now a 3.0-second car).

Braking performance was equally impressive, pulling up in an emergency stop from 100km/h in an impressive 33.3m.

The numbers demonstrate the 911 Carrera T is a real-deal Porsche, not a sticker pack.

Even though it’s a performance car, Porsche still has most mod cons covered with two large digital widescreens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system.

Our main gripes: the lack of speed-sign recognition technology and the absence of AM radio (the latter documented in detail in the infotainment section earlier in this review).

The sports seats are comfortable. Despite the slightly bulkier side bolsters, it’s not a struggle to get in and out yet still keeps you pinned in tight turns. As mentioned earlier, the back seats are just for show – or light luggage. Even kids would struggle with the tight knee room.

Even though the Porsche 911 Carrera T is based on the most basic version of the 911, you don’t feel short-changed on equipment – or the driving experience.

It sounds like a cliché to talk about how connected you feel when you drive a Porsche 911. But it really is true. The car feels like an extension of your body.

The steering is really precise. The brake pedal is really precise, and you’ve got really good modulation, so you know exactly how much pressure you’re applying.

The optional torque-vectoring limited-slip differential (standard on the Carrera T) adds more rear-end bite in tight turns, and there is the slightest hint of the gears meshing when it’s hard at work. But it never feels unwieldy.

The acceleration and braking are next level, the handling is sure-footed, but the biggest surprise is the comfort over bumps.

Despite the low-profile tyres and the lowered suspension on this model, the bump absorption is profound.

To be clear, it’s no Rolls-Royce and this is not a magic-carpet ride. You can feel the ripples in the road underneath, but it’s taut rather than bone-jarring – and the suspension is initially excellent at dealing with sharp joins in the road.

Hit a decent bump, though, and you will know it. One other observation is this department: the tyres are noisy on coarse road surfaces. That’s in part due to the wide grippy tyres and the thinner glass to save weight.

There’s a solution to that: press the button that makes the (optional) sports exhaust louder.

Of course, Porsche 911s are not daily drive cars, but aside from the road roar, the Carrera T is comfortable enough to live with day to day if you really had to.

As with most 911s, this model has a really broad bandwidth of capability and comfort. You can coast along lazily if you want to, if you’re feeling like a relaxing drive.

But when you want to turn it into a sports car, it’s only a pedal movement away.

We know not everyone is a fan of twin-clutch automatic transmissions. And to be fair, I’m not a fan of them in small hatchbacks, but in this car a twin-clutch gearbox makes perfect sense.

The gear shifts are faster, smoother, and the acceleration is a lot quicker because you’re not losing momentum by pressing a clutch pedal.

On balance, there’s not a lot to dislike about this car. But is the Porsche 911 Carrera T worth the price premium over the regular model? Probably not. 

For me, the standard Porsche 911 has plenty of performance and, once equipped with the optional sports exhaust, ample appeal.

After all, how fast can you really go?

Key details 2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T
Engine 3.0-litre six-cylinder twin-turbo petrol
Power 283kW @ 6500rpm
Torque 450Nm @ 1950–5000rpm
Maximum engine revs 7500rpm
Drive type Rear-wheel drive
Transmission 8-speed twin-clutch automatic
Power-to-weight ratio 192.5kW/t
Weight 1470kg
Spare tyre type Tyre repair kit
Turning circle 11.2m
0–100km/h (claimed) 4.0 seconds
0–100km/h (as tested) 3.8 seconds (with Launch Control)
100–0km/h (as tested) 33.3m

Should I buy a Porsche 911?

This is a tough call. Driving the Porsche 911 Carrera T was a great opportunity to reconnect with the 911.

It sounds like a cliché, but it truly is an engineering marvel – and a car that rewards finesse.

The question here is do you really need the Porsche 911 Carrera T, or would a regular Porsche 911 Carrera do the job?

If you’re on a budget, a base-model Porsche 911 Carrera – equipped with an optional sports exhaust – in most cases will deliver just as much driver enjoyment. And make just as much noise.

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How do I buy a Porsche 911 – next steps?

New Porsche 911 sports cars tend not to be sitting in showrooms waiting for a buyer.

Most customers prefer to select and then option a vehicle to suit their tastes and needs.

Porsche showroom representatives say this usually equates to a three- to six-month wait time (pending any astronomical delays for truly limited-edition variants, which could take 12 months or longer to arrive).

We strongly recommend taking a test drive at a dealership before signing on the dotted line, because personal needs and tastes can differ.

Find your nearest Porsche dealer via this link. We’d also recommend test-driving a regular version of the Porsche 911 Carrera, as most buyers may not need or appreciate the extra features included on the Porsche 911 Carrera T.

If you want to stay updated with everything that’s happened to this car since our review, you’ll find all the latest news here.

Ratings Breakdown

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T Coupe

7.7/ 10

Performance

Safety Technology

Ride Quality

Infotainment & Connectivity

Handling & Dynamics

Energy Efficiency

Driver Technology

Value for Money

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Fit for Purpose

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years, spending most of that time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018, and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.

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