2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

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The Porsche 911 Carrera T is back for 2023, revived now for the current 992 generation. It slots in above the base Carrera and below the Carrera S, preserving its touring car roots in the best ways possible: it’s fun, sporty, and cool; and it does it in a purist drivers’ package.

Instead of just hitting the streets of LA, we left the city for the Angeles Crest Highway. It was here where the rear-mounted twin-turbo six-cylinder came to life, displacing 379 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. Power was sent to the rear wheels through a standard seven-speed manual transmission. According to Porsche, a Carrera T manual can do 0-60 sprints in 4.3 seconds.

But as a touring car, I almost feel like the 0-60 stuff and top speed– 181 mph, by the way– is less important. It’s about how it feels on the road. And this engine is perfect for the Carrera T’s job. Smooth acceleration, accurate response and harmonics you just can’t get enough of. The transmission is slick, and the clutch is firm in actuation without being a burden.

Sticking to the road was easy thanks to the mechanical limited slip differential with Porsche Torque Vectoring– a standard feature on the Carrera S trickled down to the T. The Porsche Active Suspension Management system and Sport Chrono Package are also included, though rear-axle steering, which my car had, is an option.

After some time driving, I had a realization– thinking back to another T I drove on similar roads…

“You know, it’s kinda funny. I was out here with the Macan T not that long ago, and I made a comment then about how the Macan T was a little sportier without going full-bore. That’s exactly the case with the Carrera T. It’s meant to be sort of a sportier ride, a very– almost like a purist kind of experience without going all-out, right? Now, they accomplish this first and foremost by being a 911, right? It’s going to sport. But, uh, standard you get a seven-speed manual and you get a rear-seat delete. Now, you can opt for an 8-speed PDK and you can also throw those rear seats back in if you so choose, and that’s fine, but I think the way I have this one optioned is just perfect. Like, this is how I would want it. So that, along with the lightweight glass, less sound deadening to let all the good noises in, um, and the Porsche Active Suspension– all those things, it all culminates into yeah, exactly that: a purist, just totally fun experience.”

So, the Carrera T brings in some of the more driver-focused amenities and also does it while saving a little weight in the process, but it does so without stripping away all the premium features you’d realistically still want. 4-way power sport seats are standard, as are the digital gauge cluster and infotainment screen; the latter of which I used for Apple CarPlay.  My car’s seats were the optional 18-way Adaptive Sport Seats– very comfortable, and stylish with the 911 name embroidered up top.

The Carrera T stands apart from the crowd in some obvious ways, like the big side profile designations and rear badging, but it also accentuates the exterior with various trimmings in Agate Gray. The wheels are finished in Titanium Grey and carry the theme well. All in all, it’s nice to have something a little bespoke in a near-entry trim.

Now, I understand that an “entry level Carrera” may sound like an oxymoron to some, but that’s what it is, starting around $118,000 with delivery. My Guards Red tester ultimately optioned out to $137,480, so you can get a little gung-ho with the options– some of which I highly recommend for that driver’s experience, like rear axle steering.

So, to reiterate my opener: the 2023 Porsche Carrera T is a fine addition in the lineup, slotting in perfectly above the Carrera and below the Carrera S. It’s fun, sporty, and– at least in my opinion– undeniably cool.

And we’ll have plenty more cool cars soon, right here on MotorWeek.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

Old-School is New Again

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Whether it’s over the top fashion trends, mullets, or zombies, just when you think they’re dead, they come roaring back to life. Of course, we’re much happier to see the resurrection of this 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser than any of those things, as it has returned to the U.S. market better than ever, and we’re even happier to have just gotten some Southern California drive time.

And it did need a reset, as while it never lost its off-road credibility, prices had gotten out of control; and with so many other Toyota products copying its rugged-luxury vibe, it had become a bit redundant in the lineup.

Enter the J250, with full-time 4-wheel-drive powered by the Tacoma’s i-FORCE MAX turbo 2.4-liter with 326-horsepower and a massive 465 lb-ft. of torque.

As with the latest Tacoma, the new Land Cruiser is built on the Tundra pickup’s full-size steel frame. And, with standard locking center and rear diffs, front stabilizer bar disconnect, and a host of off-road specific driving aids, it’s built to conquer off road terrain as well if not better than any Land Cruiser to this point.

“I’ve done plenty of off-roading in Land Cruisers over the years, and while they’ve always been incredibly capable, more recent gens have relied heavily on electronics and basically relegated you to just being along for the ride. This one feels a little more old-school, with almost some FJ Cruiser vibes. In other words, I’m diggin’ it.”

They’re even offering a stripped-down trail rig called the 1958; but there’s also a First Edition version with plenty of comfort and a crazy amount of luxury features too, and in between is one simply called the Land Cruiser, though you can add a Premium package onto that. But the best news is that pricing has come down to a reasonable $56K to start.

Being Toyota’s original SUV, it’s good to see it back in the U.S. lineup and looking better than ever, slimmed down, boxy, and purposeful, like an off-roader should look.

The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser will be arriving later this spring, but we’ll have much more on it before then… right here on MotorWeek.