Porsche Boxster GTS PDK 3.4: Crackling pleasure

Truth be told, I’ve always been confused over the Porsche’s family line-up. For the longest time before I ventured into this industry, I wrecked my brains finding out where the Boxster, Cayman, or 911 stood in the family line.

They also always say that the base/entry level model doesn’t feel as exhilarating as what you would expect when you shell out that exorbitant sum for the downpayment.

But I soon discovered that it doesn’t necessarily work that way when I recently took the Porsche Boxster GTS out for a drive – the Stuttgart way of reintroducing that little bit of vitality and life into its mid-mounted entry-level racer.

Exterior

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As compared to its original Boxster variant, the GTS wear unmistakable features such as the GTS body kit, black exhaust tips, as well as 20″ Carrera S rims.

Compared to its predecessors, the Boxster GTS now profiles a sleeker and sexier image, rather than the traditional designs of Porsches in the olden days. The car measures 30 mm longer and 10 mm lower as compared to its Boxster S brother, exuding a “ready-to-sprint” image from the common perspective.

To boost its aggressiveness and stark contrast over the rest in its line, the Boxster GTS wears black tints all over, ranging from its smoked head and tail lamps to black wordings on the model indicator at the rear of the car.

Interior

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I’ve always found Porsche’s interiors to be extremely confusing – I mean, how many buttons can you afford to concentrate while cruising down the freeway at close to 100 km/h?

The Boxster GTS is no different. It provided me with a myriad of buttons and choices to play with, ranging from operating the retractable roof to driving mode selector, and even the activating the rear spoiler.

But buttons aside, the interior of the Boxster GTS appeared accentuated with top-notch leather upholstery, with specific touches of alcantara at the more prominent areas of the cabin which are easily accessible.

And if there’s one grouse we have of Porsches, it would be the gear shift buttons on the steering wheel. Moving away from the conventional paddle shifts, Porsche incorporated buttons where both left and right rear buttons would shift your gears up, and the front buttons vice-versa. Now this created quite a bit of havoc, especially since I was so used to the traditional “right to upshift, left to downshift” logic of most sports coupes.

The Drive

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The Boxster GTS houses a mid-mounted engine, sitting just below the rear of your seats. This 3,436 cc horizontally opposed six cylinder plant appears rare in the market, but it walks the talk in putting out 330 horses and 370 Nm of torque.

Blip the accelerator and the Boxster GTS proves willing to bring you to the century mark in just below 5 seconds, although our on-road tests clocked 5.3. Not the fastest in its class, but good enough for us – I mean, how far can you run from the lights?

If you’re looking for a comfortable cruise in the city, the Boxster GTS delivers perfectly, almost on par with a luxury sedan, thanks to its seamless seven-speed PDK gearbox.

But petrolheads who love to bring their cars to its worth would be amazed when you switch the GTS to Sport mode. For starters, the exhaust opens up and sounds a lot nicer than in Comfort (the missus would probably disagree, I reckon), and your steering tightens up to combat and efficiently perform razor-sharp turns.

For the adrenaline-seekers, Sport Plus might probably be your bread-and-butter mode on the roads/tracks, where the gears drag up to redline before dropping. It provides you with the much-needed adrenaline and excitement, but definitely not your cup of tea if you’re navigating your peak-hour PIE or Orchard Road traffic.

Cruising down the freeway at close to midnight, I thoroughly enjoyed the wind in my hair with the top down, and hearing the sound of music (read: exhaust note) even while travelling in comfort. Ironically as if fate would have it, I had the chance to put the car to test when a heavily-modified JDM pulled up beside me. Let’s just say I blipped the throttle and engaged Sport mode – the rest was history.

Conclusion

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A Cayman or 911 may seem a little too much for the driver looking at just an entry-level Porsche to inject that little bit of excitement in his life, but this mid-mounted racer sits perfectly in place here.

On the overall, the Boxster GTS presents itself as the perfect combination of comfort and performance. It rides as well as a luxury sedan if you wished for it to, but produces a crackling performance when the occasion calls for it.

 

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