Update: 2015 Porsche Boxster GTS Driven on the Street and Track

By Bradley Iger

May 30, 2014

As the first Porsche with its engine in the middle to wear the GTS badge since the 904 Carrera of 1963, the Boxster GTS supplants the S model as the top spec version of the drop top. Still often regarded as the 911's little brother, the latest iteration of the Boxster and Cayman sees a new level of performance prowess. But can this new, sharper Boxster GTS able to outshine the venerable 911 Carrera?
What is the basic idea or ideas behind the Porsche Boxster GTS — how is it special?
The GTS gets a 15 horsepower and 7 lb-ft bump in power over the S model Boxster, bringing the new total output to 330 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque from its 3.4-liter flat six engine. PASM active suspension comes as standard and the Sound Symposer system makes its way from the 911 lineup into the Boxster and Cayman for the first time, filling the cabin with the crackles and pops of the GTS's sport exhaust.
As the Grand Turismo Sport moniker implies, the central concept behind the GTS is to ratchet up the performance while maintaining a comfort level suitable for long distance driving.
How does the Porsche Boxster GTS accelerate?
The Boxster GTS's newfound grunt can propel it to 60 miles per hour from rest in 4.4 seconds and push it all the way to a top speed of 173mph. At a mere 3031 pounds when equipped with the near-instant shifting capability of the PDK transmission (2965lbs with the manual gearbox), the Boxster GTS is able to go toe to toe with many sports cars offering more brawn just simply by virtue of its featherweight status as a road-going sports car.
While the engine is happy to rev all the way to 7800rpm, Autoblog's Basem Wasef notes that the rather tall gearing of the GTS can occasionally make staying in the ideal range of the motor's powerband difficult to maintain:
"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."
How does the GTS handle?
Many still maintain that the 911 is constantly battling against its engine placement for handling perfection. If that's the case, the Boxster solves this issue by ideally placing the motor in the middle. And if the Boxster S was formerly the pinnacle of sports car handling perfection - as many would argue - then the GTS serves to push that notion even further, making you feel like a more capable driver than you might actually be. Car and Driver's Jeff Sabatini explains:
"Go quicker, and the Boxster just says more, but always in a reassuring tone: “I am helping to make you a better driver. Now, go glide around that hairpin like a dust mop on a hardwood floor.”"
Wasef notes that while the GTS's standard active dampers are "surprisingly effective" for coasting over speed bumps and soaking up rough road surfaces, the suspension is also imminently predictable on the track. As such, when driven up to and past the limits, the GTS slides and yaws in ways that don't sneak up on you. "If things go wrong, you have no one to blame but yourself."
Ultimately, while the $78,000 Boxster GTS is not exactly a performance bargain, in the realm of Porsches, Wasef finds its value indisputable when he proclaims that "this is one of the most holistically satisfying modern Porsches outside of the 918 Spyder."
Check out a paced run around the Circuito Mallorca RennArena in the video below to see how the Boxster GTS hustles around the track, and don't forget to keep an eye on the 2015 Porsche Boxster GTS overview page for updates as we have them.