by Adam Lynton
The Porsche Boxster GTS is the latest addition to the revised turbocharged 718 range, a host of detail changes and some additional power may even see it regain some of that lost character that has plagued these mid-engined sportsters since they dropped their six-cylinder powerplants.
The biggest visual difference in the cabin between the GTS and the rest of the Boxster range is the Alcantara and suede covered interior. The rest of the package offers the same well-built and high-quality materials and the comfortable seats can be adjusted to suit just about every shape and size.
The front trunk still remains small but is just about the right size to fit a weekend's worth of luggage.
The base Boxster is already a great driving car and adding a whole host of performance enhancing options only serves to sharpen up this already impressive package. The larger alloys of the GTS should not unduly affect the ride quality thanks to the standard fitment of adaptive dampers and the latest version of the electric power steering system on the facelifted 718 models feels more natural than ever before.
Roof down you get to hear the engine, which is perhaps the least impressive feature of these new turbocharged cars but aside from that the level of handling and road holding is class-leading and few competitors can match the capabilities of this impressive roadster.
The 2.5-liter flat-four now produces 365 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque and either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission are available to power the rear wheels.
Where the GTS equipped with an unboosted flat-six as before, it would not be able to achieve the towering levels of performance this car is capable of while still meeting modern emissions requirements. The lack of a vocal top end may not be as big an issue once you experience the PDK equipped 3.9-second 0-60mph time (0.3-seconds faster than the S) and the immediate in-gear responses of the new blown four.
The manual transmission gets to 60mph in a slightly slower 4.4-seconds (identical to the S) but both top out at 180mph. No official EPA fuel consumption figures are available yet but expect slightly higher figures than the regular Boxster S.
As with the Carrera GTS, most of the additions on the Boxster GTS can be added to a Boxster S too. In this case though, the power hike, partial Alcantara covered seats and various GTS design details are unique to this top model.
Standard specifications include 2-way power sports seats, climate control, 20-inch Carrera S alloy wheels, 6-speaker audio system with 11GB music storage, park assist and cruise control. Porsche torque vectoring and PASM active suspension management are standard and the range of optional extras is extensive with notable features including power steering plus, ceramic composite brakes, PASM sport suspension and LED dynamic headlights.
A GTS interior package adds numerous visual upgrades such as contrasting stitching, GTS logos in the headrests, seatbelts in a contrasting color and carbon fiber interior trim.
Two Premium Packages add features such as adaptive 18-way power sport seats, 2-zone climate control and heated seats and there are a large number of individual items to choose from although the pricing can soon get out of hand if you are not careful.
The Boxster GTS is a thoroughly accomplished roadster with only the less characterful turbocharged powertrain marking it down, the additional equipment is more cost effective than if you were to spec it individually and you still wouldn't get the power hike.
Competitors include the base 911 as pricing levels are extremely close, the Boxster GTS however offers more performance and possibly better handling at the expense of a set of rear seats. A happy compromise for those seeking the most immersive driving experience at this level.