The aesthetic changes are standard GTS fare, and there’s black plastic skirting, dark 20in alloys borrowed from the Carrera S and tinted lights alongside Alcantara interior trim and plenty of model designations. In silver with a classic red roof, our test car does the baby-supecar thing admirably well.
The principal hardware changes are the addition of Porsche Active Suspension Management, which sits the body 10mm lower than a Boxster S, and there’s also a mechanical limited-slip differential for the driven rear axle. You can, however, go 10mm closer to the tarmac still by opting for the PASM sports suspension, with which our test car is furnished.
We've previously driven the 718 Boxster GTS on forgiving European roads, where it was superb. Now we have it in the UK for the first time, giving us an opportunity to discover how well it takes to this country's more decrepit tarmac.
What's it like?
Despite a significant drop in ride height there's no sign of brittleness. On the PASM the GTS rides with an outstanding economy of body movement and ultra-crisp wheel articulation. It is beautifully balanced, it is keen in its response to the throttle pedal either dipping or rising, and it is endlessly tolerant of mistakes in a way you simply wouldn’t credit of a mid-mounted sports car.
Even on these wheels, it is far from being uncomfortably stiff, and traction is absolute until those times when you seek to break it. Porsche has also left its electro-mechanical steering unchanged for this application, which is a good thing because this setup is delightful not only in its accuracy but in the way it furtively encourages you to make very deliberate inputs.
Another benefit the GTS package brings as standard is torque vectoring, which brakes an inside wheel to help pivot the car on the way into corner. In conjunction with the differential, it helps transform more tortuous routes into something of an exhibition in dexterity and sheer ground-covering proficiency, and is well worth the increased wear to the rear discs.
Courtesy of an audibly more voluminous intake and some fettling to the single variable-geometry turbocharger, power for the 2.5-litre flat-four has risen to 361bhp with torque rated at 317lb ft. That’s 15bhp and 7lb ft on the Boxster S – not a lot, admittedly – and 26bhp and 37lb ft on the sweet, naturally aspirated Boxster GTS of the previous generation.
But here’s the thing: that torque figure arrives from only 1900rpm and yet peak power requires you to scale 6500rpm. It means that while this engine remains more aurally akin to Brian Blessed than Bryn Terfel (particularly so with the sports exhaust system, with its central black tips) its power delivery is deliciously flexible and the cranksahft spins buoyantly, too.