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Why Does Every Company Benchmark The Porsche 718 Boxster?

Test Drive / Comments

There's a reason why it is still the gold standard.

Why is it every time a new sports car is released, automakers say it was designed to "take down Porsche?" Do they all just hate Porsche, or is there a reason why the folks over at Stuttgart are always being drawn into battle? Take the new BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra, for example. The two cars were co-developed with the sole purpose of rivaling the 718 Boxster and Cayman, respectively. We've had the opportunity to drive the Z4 in its four-cylinder sDrive 30i trim and the Supra with its underrated turbocharged inline-six. Both are phenomenal sports cars, but they aren't Porsches.

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It's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes the Porsche so brilliant, but we recently had the chance to drive a 2019 718 Boxster GTS at a media event called Topless In Miami. The GTS is one of the top Boxster trim levels (just below the Spyder) and it uses a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four producing 365 horsepower. A lot of enthusiasts have criticized the new flat-four for not sounding as nice as the old flat-six, but we think it sounds fantastic for a four-pot. If you never owned the old car, you should have no qualms about the new engine.

The engine can be mated to a six-speed manual or seven-speed PDK dual-clutch - the PDK is faster but the manual is slight more engaging to drive. We drove a GTS with the PDK, which enables a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds.

After a quick spin in the Boxster, it's easy to see why it is used as the sports car benchmark. No other car in the segment matches the delicate steering feel, mid-engined cornering balance, and rapid transmission response. Sadly, there is a price to pay for perfection - $81,900 for the GTS model - and that's before you add any options, which Porsche is notorious for. Opt for a better sound system and some extra leather and the GTS easily crests the $100,000 mark, which is twice the price of a Supra or Z4. Some would say it's worth the money and after driving it, and we'd struggle to argue.