Is this another Boxster variant?
Yes but keep in mind Porsche never made very many versions of the enjoyable convertible. Strange as it may seem, cars like the Boxster and Cayman GTS, plus the newly-launched Cayman GT4 are actually first-time additions to the Porsche stable. The 911’s myriad types (4, S, Cabriolet, Targa, Turbo etc ad infinitum) belies that impression, but the smaller, cheaper brothers of Porsche’s main icon have never been let far off the leash…until now.
So what’s different?
A more aggro front end, making lots of things black (air intakes, rollover bars, twin exhaust pipes and diffuser) then slapping on massive and lovely 20-inch wheels, plus tweaks to the 3.4-litre engine’s valve management yield 15bhp and 10Nm more. The GTS comes rather highly-specced for a Boxster, with active suspension (PASM), the Sport Chrono Package (which gives you launch control and sport modes).
That sounds rather minor actually…
Well you could spec a Boxster S with the same stuff and not be far off, we reckon. It’d cost less too, but would entirely miss the point of a GTS model: Looking, behaving and involving the driver in something quite different altogether. It’s not fearsome and neither does it egg you on all the time, the drivetrain isn’t overbearing and the dual-clutch PDK gearbox is smooth, quick and very clever.
So cruisin’ is good, what about bruisin’?
Straightline acceleration is intense and enjoyable. It’s only got 340bhp horsepower, but with so little mass the car really pulls well and it’s not terrify-you-out-of-your-wits fast, but oh so enjoyable. The soundtrack is superb, too, the flat-six has a throaty, buzzsaw voice, which encourages you to gun the rev-hungry engine even more. To top it off, it’s punctuated by the whip-crack slash of gearchanges and hilarious popping and banging when off the throttle. Your neighbours will hate you, but you probably won’t care because you’re too busy laughing.
Of course, a Boxster lives for corners, with crisp steering, superbly resolved ride and tonnes of driver confidence and involvement.
Simply driving it cleanly and quickly is enough to put a smile on your face, something which happens all too rarely with the superfast, supercapable and slightly sterile techmachines of today.
Porsche Boxster GTS
Engine 3,436cc, 24V, horizontally-opposed 6
Power 330bhp at 6700rpm
Torque 370Nm at 4700-5800rpm
Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch
Top Speed 279km/h
0-100kmh 4.7 seconds
Fuel efficiency 8.2L/100km
Price $333,988 without COE