Porsche 718 Boxster GTS – great, but something’s missing

The GTS rating found on Porsche models usually does not indicate the most powerful or extreme version. However, it refers to the quarrelsome variety, with an aggressive character and even boasting of its abilities. Such was the case with the third-generation Boxster, where the GTS version, before and after the update, was only nominally more powerful than the S (with only 15 hp), but it was distinguished by a sportier tuning.

This only changed 3 years ago, when Porsche decided to return to the naturally aspirated engine. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit was replaced by a 4-liter boxer-six, increasing power from 365 to 400 hp. It seemed like a nice gift to anyone who missed a Boxster GTS before the facelift, and the Spyder (powered by a 420-hp version of the same engine) with its low ground clearance and manual-retractable roof was too pure for an everyday car.

The effect is perfect. For those displeased that all 718s initially got supercharged four-cylinder engines, the naturally aspirated six-cylinder is once again an alternative. It springs to life with a dull hum, a bass purr as it accelerates, gradually climbing higher and higher registers until its high-speed characteristics begin to take a toll and send shivers down the spine, before the 7-speed PDK finally shifts to near 8,000 rpm. ./minute.

This all sounds great, so why did I mention that something didn’t quite work out here? Well, I remember how the Boxster GTS drove before the update, also powered by a naturally aspirated 6-cylinder engine, but with only 3.4 liters and 330 hp. It accelerates the currently tested car by almost a second to 100 km/h, but still delivers a lot of fun to drive, which is enhanced by the unique soundtrack. Each step on the gas produced a guttural growl, each release—a wave of “popcorn” from the exhaust. This car was almost addictive with its sound, even during everyday, quiet driving.

Meanwhile, the tested GTS doesn’t “cough” at any point, and when driving in normal traffic it’s virtually silent (even in sport mode and with the sports exhaust activated). A forceful touch of the gas or downshifting when approaching traffic lights does nothing either, although you can count on additional sound effects when choosing the 4-cylinder versions of the Boxster. So what’s the problem?

Well, the fact that the 4-litre engine comes from the 911 GT3, and is therefore a pure car, has been preserved with similar acoustic trappings that are supposed to make a crazy impression when you’re darting into sections on the track. This figure fits in with Spider, who also has a Track figure. However, it does not fit the GTS. However, I believe that changing the soundtrack would require designing a new exhaust and exhaust gas treatment system to keep the car up to standard, and that would be a very high cost, especially for a single model that is the brand’s sales margin. A real shame.

The tested Boxster GTS configuration references classic Porsche models. The paint color (although this may not be fully visible in all the photos) is green and paired with a brown roof. The interior design in cognac and brown colors matches it, and an interesting accent is the use of a darker color on the interior of the seats. Although the test model has a rather aggressive character, the finish looks very exclusive, especially since the door sills and sun visors are finished in leather.

What will be a drawback for some is the fact that the Boxster’s interior hasn’t changed much since the premiere of the third generation, which happened 11 years ago. In my opinion, however The on-board computer screen is a bit offensive, it’s in color and can show a satellite view from Google Maps, but its graphics are well known for more than a decade. It’s hard to complain about the analog clocks, which nowadays are slowly becoming a real distinguishing feature, and the multimedia system is easy to use and has all the necessary functions. We are also pleased with the large number of physical buttons that allow us to quickly select the function we are interested in, the fact that the steering wheel paddles are made of aluminium, and not just plastic as in the newer Porsches, as well as the metal switches for operating the seats (they have also been replaced by plastic ).

The downside is the fact that the larger engine has to take up some space in the cabin. It’s still not bad, and with the seat assigned to a driver who’s 183cm tall, there’s still a bit of room for the seat to slide back automatically when the engine is turned off and the door is opened. However, in weaker versions, a backpack or briefcase can be placed behind the seats, and therefore they have the function of tilting the backrest forward (as in cars with the second row of seats).

It’s a trade-off when it comes to practicality, but the Boxster is still a champion in this competition. There is a storage compartment in front of the passenger and in the armrest, and two pockets in the doors. So you can easily arrange the cabin, and there is a front trunk (150 litres) and a rear trunk (120 litres) for luggage. There is plenty of space that two people can easily pack even on long vacations.

With its return to the naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine, the Boxster GTS takes on a cleaner and more modern character, providing a unique high-speed homeless sports car driving experience. Unfortunately, since the drive comes from a Spyder, in my opinion both versions were too close to each other in terms of personality.

The Boxster GTS must be loudly flaunting its capabilities and spraying “popcorn” from the exhaust, even while driving to the store for a roll, causing a permanent smile on the driver’s face. At the same time, we received another version of the model, which is serious, but during daily driving it seems dull. Only when it is provoked by pressing the gas on the ground does it break free and rip its head off. The problem is that the Boxster GTS accelerates in first gear to over 70 km/h, and if you go to the motorway it only goes into sections in second gear. It is therefore very difficult to find a situation (aside from a trip to the track) in which you can listen to the full symphony of a naturally ambitious boxer, climbing courses over and over in later gears.

But the biggest problem is the price for most people. You have to pay at least £455,000 for a Porsche 718 Boxster GTS. PLN, and the equipment in the tested version requires an additional payment of PLN 190,000. zlotys. The amount is really high, but it should be noted that the Boxster currently has almost no competition on the market, and in the naturally aspirated version it is one of the latest trends in classic cars.

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