Driving a roadster is one of the most liberating thrills that a petrolhead can experience. With the wind in my hair and the sun kissing my face, all my worries seem to melt away. In that moment, my office is half the world away. Those deadlines can wait.
The roadster experience goes from involving to downright invigorating when I’m in a car like the Boxster GTS, the fastest and most powerful model in the Boxster range.
Reflecting its place in the lineup, the Boxster GTS looks more aggressive than its Boxster S sibling. The front end has received smoked headlights and bigger air intakes as standard, while the rear end has smoked tail-lamps and black model logos. To further emphasise its performance potential, the body of the GTS sits 10mm closer to the ground compared to the S model.
This vehicle might have unique exterior trimmings, but its interior remains similar to that of its “regular” Boxster siblings. To make the cockpit feel special, buyers will have to splash out more cash – an extra $12k in the case of our test car’s cabin.
That sum of money buys carbon trim on the dashboard, door panel and centre console, as well as “GTS” stitching on the headrests. The seams on the leather seats, along with the seatbelt edges, will also come in a contrasting colour.
In my opinion, though, the above items should have come as standard – after all, the Boxster GTS already commands a substantial $39.9k premium over the Boxster S (at press time).
Those optional aesthetic trimmings, however, are less important than the technical goodies included on the GTS model. These include Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and the Sport Chrono Package, which would cost a Boxster S buyer an additional $5.8k and $8.2k respectively.
PASM drops the ride height by an additional 10mm and offers two damper settings: Normal and Sport. The Sport Chrono Package is more extensive – it includes dynamic transmission mounts, a throttle-blip function for downshifts, and even sharper throttle responses.
Indeed, the throttle response of the 330bhp 3.4-litre flat-6 in this ride is very crisp. The naturally aspirated motor is so reactive to inputs that it is the perfect riposte to anyone who says turbocharging or supercharging is the way to go.
The engine’s responsiveness is complemented by the snappy 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox and sports exhaust system. The latter is raspy at idle, but immediately turns throaty once the revs begin to climb. The exhaust system’s volume is also impressive – past the 5000rpm mark, its roar is spine-tingling.
Drowning out “quieter” sports cars is fun, but dominating them in the Boxster GTS is even more entertaining. Although this roadster can hit the century mark in 4.7 seconds, its talent really shines when it’s carving up corners.
The nose feels even more obedient than that of the Boxster S. Turn-in is keen, and there’s barely any hint of body roll or scuttle shake. The car just feels solid. The helm, too, is a real pleasure – its precision and feedback make piloting the roadster a real joy.
With the roof down (it can be opened or closed in 9 seconds), the feeling becomes even more invigorating as the engine and exhaust deliver their combined aural assault.
Inevitably, I’ll reach my destination with my soul stirred and hairdo ruined. And the realisation of those looming deadlines will make my pulse race (and not in a good way).
That’s where the Boxster GTS comes in. After all, it’s a gutsy, topless spirit that’s always ready to whisk me and my cares away.
ENGINE 3436cc, 24-valves, flat-6
MAX POWER 330bhp at 6700rpm
MAX TORQUE 370Nm at 4500-5800rpm
GEARBOX 7-speed dual-clutch with manual select
0-100KM/H 4.7 seconds
TOP SPEED 279km/h
CONSUMPTION 12.2km/L (combined)
CO2 EMISSION 190g/km
PRICE INCL. COE
$414,677 (no CEVS rebate/surcharge)