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2018 Porsche 911 T curbs weight, boosts handling prowess

The name is a throwback to the 911T of yore, even if the price isn't.

Porsche

Porsche introduced the 911T in 1968. This "Touring" model acted as a base model, more or less replacing the four-cylinder 912. Now, Porsche has brought the name back, but not as a base model.

The 2018 Porsche 911 T revives the "Touring" trim, but instead of a base model, it's meant more as a mid-level performance offering. Its twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter H6 puts out 370 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. The owner gets a choice of a seven-speed manual or Porsche's PDK dual-clutch.

The 911 T strikes a good middle ground between price and performance.

Porsche

With the manual, it'll hit 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, 0.1 second quicker than a standard 911 Carrera, thanks to shorter gear ratios in the transmission. That time drops to 4.0 seconds with the PDK.

In addition to the shorter gearing, the 911 T gets a few performance baubles that aren't available on the standard Carrera. Porsche's sport suspension drops the ride height by 0.4 inches, the gear lever has a shorter throw and rear-axle steering is an option. Thanks to modifications such as lightweight glass and fabric loops in place of standard door handles, the 911 T weighs a svelte 3,142 pounds, making it the lightest 911 Carrera in the lineup.

Inside, owners get a unique set of sport seats with fabric seat centers and "911" embossed in black on the headrests. The interior is black on black, but there's an optional Carrera T interior package that adds either yellow, red or silver contrast stitching.

The base price of the 2018 Porsche 911 T is $102,100 in the US, or about $11,000 more than a base rear-wheel-drive Carrera. The order books are open now, but prospective owners will have to wait until March or thereabouts for deliveries to begin.