28 October 2004

A lightweight version of the forthcoming Porsche Boxster coupé is verging on final approval in a move that would revive the evocative Club Sport name. Likely to be called GTS, the fixed-head version of the Boxster, pictured here in our illustration above, is due for launch at the Detroit Motor Show in January, with the stripped-out version pencilled in for 2006.

In a move similar to that undertaken on the much-admired 968 Club Sport (right), Porsche plans to offer the new car without the usual luxuries like air conditioning and a sound system in a bid to reduce weight by up to 100kg over standard versions of the GTS. Other measures such as a reduction in sound deadening material, thinner glass and additional aluminium panels are also being investigated, though costs remain a key factor in whether or not the Boxster GTS Club Sport will be produced.

Power would come from the Boxster S’s newly upgraded 3.2-litre flat six engine. Autocar understands output will remain at 276bhp to ensure the Club Sport does not encroach too much on the territory occupied by the 911 Carrera, whose 3.6-litre flat six delivers 321bhp. However, detailed changes to the electronics as well as a more free-flowing exhaust system should provide the mid-mounted powerplant with even sharper throttle response and an ability to rev beyond the standard unit’s 7200rpm fuel cutout.

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Porsche Boxster

Does bigger mean better for Porsche’s third-generation Boxster soft-top sports car, and which of its variants has the edge over the others?

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Drive will be channelled to the rear wheels via a reworked version of the Boxster’s six-speed gearbox featuring a lower final drive for improved acceleration. With kerbweight pared back, the Boxster GTS Club Sport should be good for 0-60mph in 5.0sec and a top speed close to 170mph.

Even more enticing will be the way it handles. Tauter suspension, a unique wheel-and-tyre package and the stiff coupé bodyshell will provide heightened levels of road holding.

Prices for the Boxster GTS should start at around £30,000, with the Club Sport likely to cost an extra £6000.

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Our Verdict

Porsche Boxster

Does bigger mean better for Porsche’s third-generation Boxster soft-top sports car, and which of its variants has the edge over the others?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week