It’s the new 718 Boxster GTS and it essentially marks the return of a naturally aspirated flat-six to the more mainstream versions of Porsche’s mid-engined models.
Porsche hasn’t totally abandoned its four-cylinder philosophy (the turbocharged units remain in the standard and S versions), but after developing a bespoke flat-six motor for the Boxster Spyder and Cayman GT4 it was felt that it would be a shame to restrict its use to just these limited run specials. So now we have that 4.0-litre in the Boxster and Cayman GTS, the models that have traditionally danced the delicate line between hardcore driving fun and everday usability to brilliant effect.
But first, that engine. What’s important here is that this isn’t some decontented version of the Motorsport unit, but is instead exactly the same unit. The rev limit has been lowered to 7,700rpm, reducing maximum power to 395bhp (19bhp less than the GT4), but that’s about it. It delivers the same 310lb ft at 5,000rpm and exhales through the same twin exit exhaust system.
Even the six-speed manual gearbox is the same, although it has a slightly longer throw for easier day-to-day use. A seven-speed PDK will also be made available, but not until late 2020 at the earliest.
There’s less carry over in the chassis, but then the Motorsport cars had fewer bespoke parts than you’d think. The GTS does without rose-joints and some stiffening components, while its less steamroller-section rubber (235 front and 265 rear) results in a fractionally narrower track. Oh, and it’s got smaller brakes, with 350mm front discs compared to 380mm for the motorsport car. What remains are the active engine mounts, adaptive dampers and torque vectoring limited slip differential.