I’ve been waxing lyrical about the Mazda MX-5 for the last little while, and it’s quite understandable if you’re into cars. To be more precise, if driving and living the drive is your thing, then the MX-5 is the tool par excellence. What happens if you want more, but not an overdose of it all?
The Boxster has been criticized by some well-known auto journos as not being much of a Porsche and more of a car for poseurs. I find it hard to view any Porsche product as such, especially when a version such as the GTS is offered.
The GTS is the utmost expression of the Boxster where all that really matters is fitted as standard. It may not be as hardcore as the Boxster Spyder; however, it is extremely good. The GTS blends performance with daily usability, with no true compromises to be found. A warm, sunny day drive is what this car craves -- one that leads to a track, obviously.
What is a Porsche Boxster?
The Boxster is Porsche’s entry-level car. As you likely know, it shares much of its componentry with the delightful Cayman, its fixed-roof, fraternal twin.
The 1st generation 986 Boxster arrived for the 1997 model and was generally well received. Some reliability issues and a less-than-macho persona were its weak points. Subsequent generations have heightened the Boxster’s appeal and it reached its apex in 2011 when Porsche unleashed the spectacular Spyder.
The current 981 is the handsomest of Boxsters, and the most attractive ever. With every intention of reproducing the event that was the Spyder -- without the drama (read: the roof) -- Porsche has released the GTS.
2015 Porsche Boxster GTS Price and Specs
The 2015 Porsche Boxster’s price range starts at $58,600. This will get you a 265-horsepower 2.7L H6 with a 6-speed. The Boxster S tips the power scale with a 315-horsepower 3.4L flat-6 and a 6-speed gearbox for $72,200. An extra $3,660 will add a 7-gear PDK box.
The GTS sits at the top of the Porsche roadster heap with an asking price of $83,900. The extra coin covers a number of items, the first being a 15-horsepower boost from the 3.4L’s engine. My tester included the GTS communication and infotainment packages, among others, for a grand total of $97,250.
Thrown in with the GTS is the sport exhaust (a must on any Porsche), Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), the Sport Chrono Package with the until-recently coveted SPORT PLUS option. The only plausible options to consider are the PDK, Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB). Should you be a wild one, a decked-out GTS could back you out of nearly $130,000.
Driving the 2015 Porsche Boxster GTS
The week I tested the GTS, Ms. Lightstone was parading about town in her M4. At the time, I was curious about the new M4, but was thoroughly enjoying the Boxster what with sunny days and warm evenings; I wasn’t about to give up the Porker.
Near the end of the week, I robbed Miranda of her keys and took the M for a spin… and was disappointed (read my review on the M3). The only selling point going for the Bimmer was its outrageous power. Otherwise, my two-seat, sexy-ass roadster did it better.
The Porsche’s “inch off the ground” stance and low centre of gravity endow the car with a sensational road-hugging feel that is more than just a feeling. With PASM, the GTS sits 10mm closer to the ground and thanks to a perfectly tuned chassis and fat 20” wheels and tires, the Boxster goes where the driver aims, every time. The brakes are equally worthy of praise, with proper pedal feedback and response.
The 6-pot is eager to rev and happy to respond at the slightest prod of the go-pedal, but the car didn’t strike me as fast. I spent a brief period of time with a 2011 Boxster a few weeks later and by comparison, it was a bullet. Now, don’t get me wrong, the GTS will shoot to 100km/h in 5 seconds. I think weight was the culprit.
In any regard, there are few boxes that are as pleasingly mechanical and easy to operate out there as a Porsche’s can be. Proper pedal placement means easy heel-toeing and plenty of fun driving hard or simply cruising. If you hit SPORT PLUS, however, the car will match revs for you. I hate it.
A well-rounded, high-performance convertible, this is.
Inside and Out of the 2015 Porsche Boxster GTS
As I noted earlier, the Boxster is a looker. The GTS package swaps the Boxter S’ elegant gown for a skimpy little dress. The different wheels, lower ride height and decals are all that is needed to make the Boxster a little dirtier looking, if you know what I mean…
The GTS’ passenger quarters are lifted from the Boxster S and feature some extra doses of leather and oh-so desirable alcantara. The seats are impressively comfortable for the long haul or the really short ones, flat-out, lapping a track.
The cabin is more than tolerably airy (even with the top up), and let’s not forget that this baby actually has two trunks.
Comparing the 2015 Porsche Boxster GTS
The Boxster GTS plays in an exclusive segment that is all but run by the Germans. The BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 and Audi TTS are its main headaches, but not really.
There’s also this car called the Chevy Corvette… You may have heard of it. It’s not quite like the others but I’ll be damned if it ain’t good to drive and something else to behold.
The 2015 Porsche Boxster GTS is a true performance roadster that combines refinement, prestige, performance, and efficiency (yes, it’s actually really good on gas) and looks great in any driveway.