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2022 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 First Drive: Naturally Aspirated, Naturally Gifted

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Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 2022, avant
Photo: D.Heyman
Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 2022, avant

Auto123 gets in a first drive of the 2022 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0.

Rome, Italy - Perfection.

Is there such a thing?

The film Casablanca, perhaps? What about a Boeing 747? Maybe a Tiger Woods approach shot, in his prime? Movie popcorn? Your mom’s apple pie?

Of course, by definition, “perfection” is a quantifiable thing – 100 per cent, for example – but rare is the case that the word “perfection” escapes the inherent subjective bias of the person saying it, so there will always be arguments.

But not today. Not in my book because I’ve recently sampled what could very well be the. Perfect. Sports. Car.

The beauty of the 2022 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 is that on paper, it’s not perfect. It’s not the most powerful sports car Porsche offers. It’s not the most expensive, either. Heck, it’s not even the most expensive 718 you can get, as it’s eclipsed – price-wise, performance-wise, exclusivity-wise – by the 718 Spyder and its 718 Cayman GT4 RS hard-top sibling.

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2022 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0, profile
Photo: D.Heyman
2022 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0, profile

Here’s the thing, though – as fantastic as those cars are, they are compromised. The Spyder’s roof is a pain to operate to the point where you don’t even want to do it, and the GT4 RS and its in-cabin airbox and ultra-firm chassis settings make for a car that’s really meant primarily for track use.

The GTS 4.0 blessedly gets a traditional power folding soft top, and also the one thing – the veritable beating heart – that is at the centre of the other two: a naturally-aspirated, flat-6 “boxer” engine. In an era where every other Porsche save the Taycan EV and 911 GT3 is turbocharged, the GTS 4.0 stands as a fantastic look at what made Porsches so sought-after before the turbo wave broke: the smooth, progressive and altogether unique power delivery of a flat NA motor.

In this application, it makes 395 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque and while that puts it at the bottom of the power spectrum when it comes to the GTS range (even the Macan GTS crossover makes more), you’d never know it. You’d never know it because this is such a free-revving holler of an engine with a 7,800 RPM redline (and one that makes peak power through to 7,000 RPM) that the speed is almost a by-product to the livewire feeling you get when you open the taps. Plus, we all know that with the wind in your hair (and with your butt so close to the ground), everything feels faster.

2022 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0, badging on trunk
Photo: D.Heyman
2022 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0, badging on trunk

Not that the 718 GTS is a slouch. 0-100 km/h takes just 4.0 seconds on models equipped with the 7-speed dual-clutch (as seen here), on to a top speed of 288 km/h. So yeah, no slouch.

All this before we even get to the real nut of this thing, the real “Gran Turismo Sport” (not the game; this is what Porsche says their “GTS” stands for) aspects of what this car is all about: its mannerisms through the corners.

In addition to the power boost you have over the 4-cylinder 718 Boxster S (about 45 hp more and a colossal 1 extra lb-ft), GTS spec provides a host of standard chassis features. The Sport Chrono package with its clock atop the dash, for example, is standard here. It adds a Sport Plus mode for even faster gearshifts, active engine mounts, torque vectoring and a mechanical limited-slip differential. In addition to the Sport Chrono, you also get Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and the ride height drops by 20 mm.

Of all that, though, those active drivetrain mounts – ubiquitous as that may sound – are what really do it for me.

2022 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0, interior
Photo: D.Heyman
2022 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0, interior

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