2014 Porsche Boxster GTS review
Porsche lavishes power and equipment on its baby drop-top to create the ultimate Boxster, the GTS. We drive it in the UK for the first time...
The Boxster GTS is proof that Porsche is never satisfied. It isn't content with having a convertible that people clamour for, and that's generally regarded as one of the best ways to quickly transport two people who have scant regard for their hairstyles. That's why it has come up with this, the Boxster GTS.
Essentially, it's a Boxster S with more equipment and more power, all of which is meant to make the driving experience more intense, and more exciting. More power to their dissatisfaction, we say.
What's the 2014 Porsche Boxster GTS like to drive?
The standard Boxster S is already a wondrous machine, and the new GTS adds just that little bit more in every area that counts if you're searching for a sports car.
The extra 15bhp from the engine means it punches just that bit harder, the tweaked standard sports exhaust means it assaults your ears with just a little bit more venom, and the fact that it comes with adaptive suspension as standard makes you feel just that little bit more special when driving it down a favourite twisty road. Actually, that's not true. The GTS makes you feel a bit more special on any stretch of road, not just your favourite one.
The starting procedure is roughly this: get in, seatbelt on, clutch down (heavier than you'd expect but not unbearable), insert key and turn – then press the button to make the exhaust louder. Some would say it's anti-social, but we'd say we're just sharing the joy of an exhaust pipe that sounds superb.
The Boxster GTS pulls away without bluster, fuss or histrionics and merely gets on with the business of taking you from A to B-road. The car is fitted with adaptive suspension as standard, or you can specify the optional (but zero cost) Sports chassis set-up, in which the car has non-active suspension that's lowered by 20mm. Our test car was equipped with this, and it is sensational.
No matter how bumpy the back-road, the Boxster GTS deals with it. It's definitely firm, but it never becomes unsettled by bumps, and troughs, even if they're halfway round the corner you're currently committed to.
You'll have no fear about committing to corners either, because not only is front-end grip truly remarkable, but the power steering also gives you plenty of idea about what sort of ordeal the front tyres are going through.
You can then get back on the power earlier than you would have imagined, and then howl along the next straight towards the next bend, which will arrive more quickly than you expect. Just as well the brakes are brilliant then; they stop you more quickly than the average brick wall, and they tell the sole of your foot exactly how much stopping power the tyres have to give.
The Boxster is also brilliant with the standard six-speed manual gearbox fitted. Changing up and down through the gears is a joy, and the pedals are spaced just right for you to perform heel-and-toe shifts as you come down the ’box. If you don't fancy doing that, just stick the car in Sport Plus mode and there's a system that blips the throttle for you.
An optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is available, and while this makes the GTS easier to drive hard (because you never need to take your hands off the Alcantara steering wheel) we'd only really recommend it if you plan on using the Boxster as a daily driver, or attending the occasional track day.
What's the 2014 Porsche Boxster GTS like inside?
The cabin of the Boxster has clearly been designed to make the business of driving quickly both easy and fun. Such is the range of adjustment for both the steering wheel and the seats, anyone can find the perfect driving position. The pedals are perfectly lined up dead-ahead, too.
The dials sit right in your eye-line (although the speedometer is nigh-on impossible to read at speed so you're best to use the digital speedo at the bottom of the rev-counter), and visibility is good even with the roof up.
When the top is raised, engine and wind noise are pretty well contained, although those wide tyres do generate a bit too much road noise. It's best to put the roof down (which you can do at up to 30mph) and allow the gurgles, pops and blares of the exhaust to drown out everything else.
Everything in the cabin feels (and smells) as well engineered as the oily bits beneath. The leather and standard Alcantara trims feel thick and taut, and the plastics all feel chunky and robust.
If anything lets the side down, it's the centre console, which is festooned with buttons that are almost impossible to tell apart at a glance. The GTS has a range of extra equipment, but certain key bits of kit like Bluetooth and sat-nav will still cost extra on top of the £53,569 you'll need to find to own one.
Should I buy one?
We'd say yes. Then we'd grab you by the shoulders, shake you, and emphasise the point – very much yes, this really is one of the very best sports cars money can buy.
The GTS is undeniably expensive, but not excessively so. Take a Boxster S and add the options that come as standard on the GTS and the prices won't be much different.
Bear in mind, too, that the GTS has more power and an element of exclusivity. It drinks fractionally more fuel than an S and and emits a little more CO2, but it's well worth it.
What Car? says
Porsche Boxster GTS
Engine size 3.4-litre petrol
Price from £53,569
Torque 273lb ft
0-62mph 5.0 seconds
Top speed 174mph
Fuel economy 31.4mpg