A touch more potent and considerably more precise, the new Porsche Boxster GTS offers one of the best top-down motoring experiences in its price bracket

What is it?

Like its new and sensational Cayman GTS brother, the Porsche Boxster GTS is a slightly more potent but considerably more precise version of the regular Porsche Boxster S, and a deeply lovely car it has become as a result.

Power rises to 326bhp and torque to 273lb ft, and you get Porsche’s PASM suspension and Sports Chrono Package as standard, alongside a set of tasty looking new 20in alloy wheels, a sports exhaust system and a small range of styling upgrades inside and out. 

Also on the options list will be carbon-ceramic brakes, as before, but what’s new to the line-up is a Sports Chassis option, which lowers the ride height by 20mm and does away with the electronic dampers for the ultimate 'analogue' driving experience. The sport chassis is a no-cost extra, and can be specified in place of the PASM.

You also get new bixenon headlights and redesigned black tail-lights as standard, while the kerb weight drops to 1345kg – the same as a Cayman GTS, interestingly. This drops the 0-62mph time to 5.0sec with the manual gearbox and 4.9sec with the optional PDK. It’s all but the same car as the breathtakingly good Cayman GTS beneath the skin, in other words, with the added benefit of a full electric hood.

What's it like?

In a word, delightful. The styling upgrades give the Boxster a subtle but notable visual lift while the dynamic tweaks and improvements transform it from an already great sports car into one that touches upon genius in places.

The engine feels a fair bit stronger than its small increases in outputs would suggest, but that’s because the kerb weight has dropped at the same time. Result? The Boxster S feels genuinely fast now and sounds outrageous, not just at the upper end of its 8000rpm rev range but lower down and in the mid-range, too.

Read Autocar's first drive review of the new Porsche Cayman GTS 

The car I drove had the optional PDK dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and it worked a treat, although in this case I think the six-speed manual might just be the gearbox to go for. The handling, ride, steering and brakes have all taken a similar leap up; the handling feels especially crisp thanks to the addition of new dynamic engine mounts, which help reduce the effects of inertia at the rear axle at speed.

Either way, and for whatever reason, the GTS Boxster is a keen driver’s dream, with – get this – a much more supple ride quality to go with it thanks to the new standard-issue PASM system, which can dial the dampers up or down depending on how rough the road is on which you are driving. Wind buffeting is also reduced to a bare minimum at anything below 80mph thanks to the wind deflector.

Should I buy one?

If you want the best open-top sports car to drive, to ride in, and very probably to own this side of £60,000, then yes. The options list might be long but choose wisely and you can keep the price the right side of £60k. And at that money the Boxster GTS is an absolute bargain.

Porsche Boxster GTS

Price £52,879 0-62mph 5.0sec Top speed 175mph Economy 31.4mpg (combined) CO2 emissions 211g/km Kerb weight 1345kg Engine layout 6 cyls horizontally opposed, 3436cc, petrol Power 326bhp at 7400rpm Torque 273lb ft at 6500rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual

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Tom Chet 9 May 2014

Sports chassis...?

Did you get to drive the Boxster GTS with the sports chassis?
Is it available on the lower powered models and do you think they would benefit from it? Or with a 2.7 would it be better to stick with the standard suspension? Sounds rather wonderful though - another bucket list addition...