• Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
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  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
You know the sound: the startling pop-brraaap-pop-pop shotgun fire of unspent flammables coursing through exhaust pipes that usually signals a raw, naughty powerplant beneath the hood.

But when you're nestled in the Porsche Boxster GTS' snug seats, it's not a crackling small block V8 or a high-strung Italian flat crank making the devilish racket, but rather the new king of the Boxster/Cayman lineup, a 3.4-liter flat-six that produces 330 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.

Within the emotional vacuum of a spec sheet, the Boxster GTS' pumped-up grunt seems pretty mild, with a gain of only 15 hp and 7 lb-ft, respectively. But the reworked acoustical experience goes a long way towards suggesting the GTS has a trace of racing blood in its veins, and might even be missing its catalytic converters. In addition to the sonorous, centrally positioned tailpipes, the cabin also fills with lovely mechanical strains thanks to the "Sound Symposer" acoustical amplifier that's trickled down into the Boxster/Cayman lineup from the 911 for the first time. Boxster S, we hardly knew ya.
2015 Porsche Boxster GTS2015 Porsche Boxster GTS2015 Porsche Boxster GTS

The GTS abbreviation suggests spiked performance in a package that's comfortable enough for long-distance driving.

Some nomenclature background: Porsche's GTS models go back to 1964, when the street version of the Carrera GTS race car (i.e., 904) hit Porsche showrooms to satisfy homologation requirements. Porsche sold 125 of those models – 25 over the minimum – and the Grand Turismo Sport abbreviation has since suggested spiked performance in a package that's comfortable enough for long-distance driving.

While I'm certainly admiring the Boxster GTS' surprisingly effective damping as it coasts over speed bumps in rural Mallorca just off the eastern coast of Spain, it isn't until I find a convoluted stretch of single-lane road descending the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range that I can cut to the core of this small two-seater and see what it's all about.

2015 Porsche Boxster GTS2015 Porsche Boxster GTS2015 Porsche Boxster GTS2015 Porsche Boxster GTS

The mid-engine Boxster swims through the seemingly endless sequence of twists like a salmon through a stream.

Overrun with pro cyclists prepping for the weekend's Ironman triathlon, this road is a vertically strung sequence of hairpins, the kind of technical terror that makes high-powered muscle cars nervous. Unlike tail-happy, rear-drive powerhouses that require a bit of wrangling, the mid-engined Boxster is swimming through the seemingly endless sequence of twists like a salmon through a stream, linking steering inputs to direction changes with tireless athletic agility that pivots around its relatively centralized polar moment of inertia. While you can feel the Boxster's trademark flatness and quick turn-in, those sensations are heightened by the GTS' suspension, which has been lowered by 10 millimeters. The predictability of its body control at these speeds makes the Boxster more endangered by the treacherous environment (rock wall to the right, Lycra-clad cyclists and steep cliff drops to the left) than the absolute limits of handling dynamics and mechanical grip.

It isn't until a visit to Circuito Mallorca RennArena the following day that I feel comfortable fully plumbing the depths of the GTS' skill set. Led for a few familiarization laps by none other than legendary racer Walter Röhrl (who's cutting a swath in a 911), the GTS feels eager to explore each corner, its nose lurching forward while The Master demonstrates the ideal apex and exit path for each bend. After a quick pit, I'm on my own on the track.

2015 Porsche Boxster GTS2015 Porsche Boxster GTS2015 Porsche Boxster GTS2015 Porsche Boxster GTS

The Boxster feels eminently correctable, like an obedient puppy that's just trying to help get you around the track quicker.

Sport+ mode, selected via a small button flanking the shifter, seems to be a logical choice for the task of track duty, as it sharpens throttle response, opens the throttle valve, quickens gear engagement, loosens stability control thresholds, and moves shift points so high the car would be annoyingly over-revvy under any other circumstance. The setting enables a two-tenths of a second quicker 0 to 60 sprint thanks to launch mode, and the GTS' standard Sport Chrono package also activates the dynamic transmission mounts' most aggressive setting, effectively making the chassis feel stiffer and respond more immediately.

The car's overall sensation of sharpness is certainly noted and appreciated on the track, as I'm gaining confidence and hitting corners with escalating entry speeds. There's some palpable understeer in slower kinks when the Boxster is tossed in too fast, but there's also the pleasant surprise of control when you're tapping the brakes and adjusting steering in order to get the car back on track. Unlike the runaway train feeling some cars exude at the moment of plowing, the Boxster feels eminently correctable, like an obedient puppy that's just trying to help get you around the track quicker.

2015 Porsche Boxster GTS2015 Porsche Boxster GTS

If things go wrong, you have no one to blame but yourself.

As the laps pile on and I feel more secure in the Boxster's dynamics – which is happening rather quickly despite the fact that I haven't memorized the subtleties of the track – I do something relatively early on that I usually approach with a great deal of caution: I turn off the electronic aids.

What proceeds is a surprising, delightful boost in confidence that feels liberating, not terrifying, which is more than can be said of higher horsepower steeds that push around more weight. The Boxster's proportions are so compact and its curb weight so scant (2,965 pounds with a manual, 3,031 pounds with PDK), its slides and yaws don't sneak up on you or go south at the drop of a hat. In fact, there's so much conveyed to the driver that, like a communication-intensive relationship, if things go wrong, you have no one to blame but yourself.

2015 Porsche Boxster GTS | Autoblog Short Cuts


As such, the only faux pas of note I committed was placing a tire or two over a rumble strip (I was drifting; sue me), and not always dropping gears aggressively enough to stay in the sweet spot of the engine's power output, which seems to lie halfway towards its maximum revs of 7,800 rpm. Those crimes were minimal, considering the compendium of things that can go wrong at the track.

As such, the Porsche Boxster GTS belongs to the small, proud clique of sports cars whose strengths are heightened, not diminished, when taken to the track. Included in the package is standard PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management), a Sport Chrono package, a sport exhaust, 20-inch wheels, PDLS (Porsche Dynamic Light System), blacked-out trim and a modified spoiler lip. All in all, the options would run about $16,000 à la carte, but the GTS premium adds $10,960 to the PDK model, or $10,200 to the manual.

2015 Porsche Boxster GTS

This is one of the most holistically satisfying modern Porsches outside of the 918 Spyder.

As much as the current-gen Boxster and Boxster S have endeared themselves to diehards with their eerie precision and refined chassis, they've also struggled with having to live under the shadow of their charismatic big brother, the larger-than-life 911. "Why," a deep-pocketed shopper might ask, "should I get the lower priced model when I can buy the best?"

After two days behind the wheel of the Boxster GTS, the answer emerges like a waft of smoke from a genie bottle: sure, a Speed Yellow 911 Carrera 4S or a Guards Red 911 Turbo S would have owned the road and awed the locals, but the seemingly innocuous Boxster keeps reclaiming a warm spot in our hearts that's satisfied by feedback, agility and the deliciously antsy bark of an unrestrained exhaust.

At nearly 78 large, the Porsche Boxster GTS certainly isn't cheap – and it won't get any cheaper as options get ticked. But until the next, edgier iteration of Boxster is released (the GT3, or GT4, or however the nomenclature lands), the GTS remains one of the most holistically satisfying modern Porsches outside of the 918 Spyder that you can plop your butt into.

Autoblog accepts vehicle loans from auto manufacturers with a tank of gas and sometimes insurance for the purpose of evaluation and editorial content. Like most of the auto news industry, we also sometimes accept travel, lodging and event access for vehicle drive and news coverage opportunities. Our opinions and criticism remain our own – we do not accept sponsored editorial.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      Anonymous
      • 1 Year Ago
      Thats a lot of money for a Boxster.
      jonnybimmer
      • 1 Year Ago
      If someone told me 10 years ago that the Boxster would not only end up being a great looking car, but that I'd actually even consider one over a base 911, I'd think they're crazy. All this needs is a standard manual and it'd be pretty much a perfect for me.
        ScottT
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        Well, you're in luck. 6 speed manual is standard, 7 speed PDK is a $3K option
          ScottT
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          Also, I would definitely get the Boxster/Cayman GTS over the base 911 even if they were priced the same. Although, the 991 S maybe a different story.
      libertedelacroix
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Boxster has truly undergone an evolution this time around, redefining itself. I hope the Miata goes through the same process. While some guys like the soft feminine curvy lines (and honestly, a 'masculine' look a la corvette would not look appropriate), I believe a new design language has been ushered in that favors svelte lines and minimalism over bubbly curves and round haunches.
        Matt Mossberg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @libertedelacroix
        I agree the next miata hopefully will take a similar transformation on styling like the old to present gen boxster. But tbh I have my doubts by looking at the 3, 6 or the mazda 2 concept(they look really good but certain/similar design cues are sure to be on the miata , and I don't see the elegance and beauty in the current mazda design like I see on the boxster or Alfa 4c.
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm curious to know how this compares with the previous generation Boxster Spyder, especially in regards to steering (electric vs. hydraulic).
        PatrickH
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ferps
        Ferps, while not exactly the same I own a 987 Cayman S and have driven it back to back with a 981 Cayman S with Sport Plus (loaner for the day) and the steering was night and day. Vastly better feel and feedback from the hydraulic rack in my 987.
      alexkoolur
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's laughable that for $77k you only get 300+hp, what a joke. Put this thing up against a C7 vette and see how "great" the porsche does. I'm sorry, but I'm so sick of Porche's nonsense where no sub models can compete with the higher models....this car should have 400hp+, no questions.
        Ken
        • 1 Year Ago
        @alexkoolur
        But which one is more FUN to drive? I work in an office - I don't make my money on the track, so all I care about is F U N
          alexkoolur
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ken
          lol...what you can't park a vette in an office?? lol. Are you saying the C7 isn't "fun" on the road??? lol. You porsche guys are so funny with your rationale that porsche's under-performance for the $ is somehow worth it.....the boxser is a poor man's porsche and is a chick car. Have fun with that
        tump
        • 1 Year Ago
        @alexkoolur
        You lost any credibility by calling it a chick car. You're the same stupid type of person that doesn't see the value in a Miata, so I have nothing for you.
        bonehead
        • 1 Year Ago
        @alexkoolur
        If the car were not worth it, they would have trouble selling them. But they are a different kind of car that people really like. I personally would rather have a boxster than a c7. This is the same reasoning why i purchased a honda s2000 instead of a Mustang GT. Sure the mustang has more power and is faster for the money but the driving experience is no where near as good as the S2000. Who cares if its faster. 330hp in a 2800lb car is more than enough to be enoyable.
          Azsori
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bonehead
          To say the C7 driving experience destroys the Boxster, reeks of someone who has not driven either car. Certainly there is no chance for you to have driven the GTS...and likely you never touched a vette, let alone the C7... Lots of respect for the C7, awesome price performance ratio. But is it the most fun to drive car? Is it as engaging around hair pin road turns or even on the track? This and the Cayman GTS are likely the most smile inducing, fun to drive cars created up until now. The Americans, Italians, and even Japanese don't have anything that puts ALL the aspects of a car together in such a perfect way as these new Porsches.
          alexkoolur
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bonehead
          who are you kidding, the driving experience in a C7 destroys the boxster....do your homework before you compare a mustang GT as the "C7" in your comparison vs an s2000. S2000 which by the way is a POS, has no torque and has one of the numbest driving experiences of any roadster
      mikeam91
      • 1 Year Ago
      In and of itself, its a nice car. But to me, the Boxster will always be the poor man's 911, and at a base of 77k, this is one expensive poor man's car.
        Matt Mossberg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikeam91
        Why mikeam91? Every single journalist has said the opposite of the latest gen. They say its funnier to drive and better handling then a 911. So because it lacks the power of the 911 it has to be inferior?absolutly not. Your way of reasoning needs to change. To always have the same conclusions regardless of present or future advancements/data/facts shows you don't care or just plain ignore said advancements critical reviews,and reader reviews.
        waetherman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikeam91
        I've stopped thinking of it that way - the Boxster is a very appealing mid-engined convertible in its own right. I'd still rather have a 911 coupe, but if I were considering a softtop this would be it. And since there's a $20,000-$40,000 price difference between the Boxster and the (IMO) less appealing 911 convertible, that really seals it for me. It's not just a better deal, it's a better car.
      username
      • 1 Year Ago
      "The new Boxter. Still can't afford a 911?"
        • 1 Year Ago
        @username
        [blocked]
        username
        • 1 Year Ago
        @username
        Joking aside, I like it. it's the best the Boxter has ever looked.
        libertedelacroix
        • 1 Year Ago
        @username
        It's funny how people say that about a car whose BASE price is in the $50k range, and it can go all the way up to $90k with some goodies.
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why doesn't this thing have the 911 Turbo S motor yet? Get serious Porsche.
        ScottT
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bernard
        Probably because it isn't a 911 Turbo S.
          Bernard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          Of course, a 911 Turbo S would cost more than a Boxster Turbo S. Porsche isn't in the sports car business, they are in the luxury car business. They don't sell performance, they sell a badge, a name, and some prestige for as much money as they can possibly extract from people who think like you. If Porsche was serious about performance they would have a version of the Boxster and Cayman with the 911 Turbo S motor by now. That would have been the most obvious thing to offer for a company that was serious about performance.
          Bernard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          @libertedelacroix You contradict yourself four times in the same run on sentence. Did you even read what you just wrote before clicking submit? I would recommend a course in critical thinking and logic/philosophy, but it would require a certain level of basic intellect to understand such things.
          ScottT
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          @Bernard-- People who think like me... and understand that a Boxster GTS isn't a 911 Turbo S??? Yeah, I guess so. Porsche is in the automotive business. Not hobby, BUSINESS. They make a multitude of cars with different performance/utility/price characteristics. Not every car they make is the absolute fastest that is possible. Pretty much nobody is in that business. Not Porsche, not Lamborgini, not McLaren, and not Ferrari. They all make compromises. Even a companies like koenigsegg and Hennesey make compromises.
          libertedelacroix
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          Bernard, you can't be serious..... "Porsche isn't in the sports car business, they are in the luxury car business. They don't sell performance, they sell a badge, a name, and some prestige for as much money as they can possibly extract from people who think like you." Ah there you go. Definitely not serious. Regardless, your enthusiast badge has been revoked! I know it may seem like their cars are overpriced to you since the prices are high, but if every mouth breather like you could afford a $25k Porsche, then it wouldn't be what it is today.
          Bernard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          @ScottT Of course it would change the price point, and I'll state it again if I must. A Boxster with a 911 Turbo S engine would be expensive. However, people would buy it regardless of the increased expense. If Porsche was serious about performance they would make that car already. The only reason why the will not make such a car is to protect the prestige of the 911.
          ScottT
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          "False. Lamborghini, McLaren, and Ferrari all make cars that are the fastest possible for the target price and comfort level for the vehicle." Well, not really true. And more importantly, a 911 Turbo S engine in a Boxster would certainly change it's price point. You said as much earlier. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.
          Bernard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          @RJ You would create a new halo car in the Boxster Turbo S. It's performance would annihilate anything under $400k. You wouldn't need to make it wider as tuners have already proven that turbo chargers can fit inside the Cayman and Boxster. Even if it didn't fit the 4.0 in the GTR has the same dimensions as the 3.4 in this Boxster GTS. There is no technical excuse for not offering the best engines Porsche has in these cars. Porsche could give thes see cars more power but they won't all so that they can protect the 911's prestige.
        Brandon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bernard
        You can't be serious...
        imag
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bernard
        They are working on a GT4, at least.
      johnnyhedwardsjr
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm really loving this car. It's beautiful and probably handles like a dream. But for $90,000 I think that I would rather purchase a used 991 S Convertible. The extra room in the 911 is appreciated in the long run. I have found that those "unusable" back seats are very usable for other things in the real world.... Including a 5 year old child in a backless booster seat and some groceries or an attaché. Also the additional 70 hp is appreciated, even with the additional weight. Also, like someone mentioned. You are still buying a luxury car and the badge means something. I'd much rather have the 911 badge over the Boxster badge in the real world. Now on a track... That's a different story. But let's face it, 95% of the time we won't be driving this car like we are trying to qualify for a track meet. My money is on the 911 S Convertible... A used one of course.... And 991.
      tbird57w
      • 1 Year Ago
      i don't do "snug" when it come to shoes, clothing, or car seats.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Beautiful.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      This generation really is beautiful as well as capable. I wonder if they have the engine durability nailed down this time. A lot of folks unhappy with trashed 15k engined.
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