The Goodwood Test: Porsche Boxster GTS

19th March 2018
dan_trent_headshot.jpg Dan Trent

Each week our team of experienced senior road testers pick out a new model from the world of innovative, premium and performance badges, and put it through its paces.



In traditional Porsche parlance, GTS stands for Gran Turismo Sport and it’ll boast any car carrying the badge has a direct bloodline back to the mid-engined 904 GTS of 1963, the very car whose looks inspired both the Boxster and Cayman. More recently GTS has evolved into a sub-brand of its own, first with the 924 and 928 and more recently rolled out across Cayenne, Panamera, Macan, 911 and the Boxster/Cayman range. GTS models typically combine a tasty combination of upgrades usually sold as options, some additional branding and a garnish of extra power and poise. As such they’re often considered the most desirable variants of their respective ranges and worth holding out for.   



Black wheels, subtle decals and smoked out lights have become the distinguishing aesthetic features applied to all recent GTS models and carried through to the recently arrived versions of the Boxster and Cayman. There are also different front and rear bumpers with distinctive ‘Sport Design’ treatment and black-trimmed side vents while inside you get lashings of Alcantara trim, Sport Chrono package, the smaller ‘GT’ steering wheel and GTS branding throughout. Standard-fit 20-inch wheels on 10mm lower PASM sports suspension finish the look, GTS versions of the Boxster and Cayman subtly more aggressive and sporty looking than the regular models. 



The substance of the 718 GTS is a power increase for the Boxster S 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. As such the GTS gets 365hp over the S’s 350hp, a seemingly modest gain but one underpinned by a faster response and improved on-paper performance. Of which there’s plenty, 0-62 coming up in just 4.1 seconds with the PDK gearbox option – more than half a second faster than the previous six-cylinder Boxster GTS while the top speed is a smidge over 180mph. The flat-four engine still doesn’t sound great but has much more mid-range punch than the six-cylinder and, while PDK is faster, purist drivers will appreciate its interaction with the slick-shifting six-speed manual.



One could be cynical about Porsche exploiting the GTS branding as a way of giving mid-lifecycle sales a bit of a boost. But it’s better to enjoy the fact you are getting more for your money, a 718 Boxster S optioned to a similar level costing about £60,000. The GTS only costs a couple of grand more, gets the extra power and has pretty much all the desirable options you’d want on a Boxster wrapped up in one desirably branded package. All things relative it’s the no-brainer option if you were looking to buy a new 718. It’s also fabulous to drive. Fast, poised, beautifully responsive and with superb natural balance the 718 GTS could actually be the most rounded sportscar Porsche builds.

Price tag of our car  £61,727, price as tested £72,632

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