Six-cylinder naturally aspirated energy has returned to the common model of Porsche’s compact roadster. We discover out why it’s been missed a lot with a drive of the Boxster GTS.

The Porsche Boxster celebrates its twenty fifth anniversary in 2021, which marks 1 / 4 of a century because it helped pull the German carmaker out of a little bit of a monetary pickle.

There’ll even be an official, limited-edition Boxster 25 Years mannequin out there later this yr that includes nods to the 1993 idea that previewed the roadster. Will probably be primarily based on the mannequin examined right here however out there now – the GTS 4.0.

The 2021 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS continues the sports activities convertible’s return to six-cylinder energy, and utilizing a detuned model of the 4.0-litre flat six-cylinder featured within the 2020 Boxster Spyder and Cayman GT4 twins.

Priced from $174,800, the GTS sits under the Spyder and above the entry Boxster and Boxster S variants that function the turbocharged four-cylinder engines launched together with the ‘718’ badging in 2016.

The GTS saves 11 per cent over the $196,800 Spyder, although – with a $41,000 premium over a Boxster S – that 4.0-litre flat-six is essential for the GTS, because it options neither the Spyder’s bespoke roof and rear bodywork nor its 911 GT3 componentry.

Primarily a 911 3.0-litre with its twin turbos eliminated and its six cylinders elevated in each bore and stroke, the GTS’s engine produces 294kW and 420Nm/430Nm (handbook/PDK). Or the identical torque and down simply 15kW from the Spyder.

Porsche says the Boxster GTS 4.0 accelerates from a standing begin to 100km/h in 4.0 seconds when geared up with the non-compulsory PDK dual-clutch auto. Or 4.5 seconds if it’s a human somewhat than pc altering gears with the six-speed handbook.

That provides the GTS a two-tenths benefit over the Boxster S that produces 257kW but in addition 420Nm from its 2.5-litre flat-four, although it wants the non-compulsory Sport Chrono package deal with launch management for that point, whereas it is normal on the GTS.

Cynics may simply counsel that’s primarily paying $20,000 for every tenth of a second shaved off the dash, however that might be ignoring the complete, holistic expertise of the six-cylinder.

2021 Porsche Boxster GTS 4.0
Engine 4.0-litre flat six-cylinder
Energy and torque 294kW @ 7000rpm, 420Nm @ 5000-6500rpm
Transmission Six-speed handbook
Drive kind Rear-wheel drive
Kerb weight 1405kg
Gas declare mixed (ADR) 11.0L/100km
Gas use on check 12.5L/100km
Boot quantity 150L + 120L
Turning circle n/a
ANCAP security ranking (yr examined) Untested
Guarantee 3 years/limitless kilometres
Essential opponents Audi TTRS Roadster, BMW Z4, Jaguar F-Sort
Value as examined (ex on-road prices) $174,800

Whereas the four-cylinder turbos impress with their efficiency, they’ve lacked an important ingredient: character. In distinction, the GTS’s six-cylinder sounds motorsport-inspired even at low revs, with its mechanical processes extremely outstanding from proper behind the motive force’s head.

It’s a splendidly tractable and gutsy engine – able to cruising at low speeds or pulling strongly from medium speeds in sixth gear. And with its pure aspiration, there’s an extremely direct and intimate relationship between throttle stress and engine response.

Appropriately for a sports activities automotive, onerous acceleration brings the very best out of the flat-six, bringing pleasant consumption and exhaust sounds earlier than the GTS 4.0 reaches a howling crescendo as its tachometer closes in on the 7800rpm redline. Simply the surge of robust acceleration after a quick shift from second to 3rd gear is immensely satisfying.

You’ll go sooner with the PDK transmission, after all, although the six-speed handbook is improbable to make use of – each in the best way the gear lever sucks naturally into every gate, and in the best way the gear lever feels with its steel/suede mixture.

The Boxster’s gearing is lengthy, although. Second gear, for instance, will take you past 130km/h. On a difficult winding highway, second and third gears are just about all you want, when a eager driver would really want to be rowing via the gears extra usually.

And winding roads are the Boxster’s raison d’etre.

Simply the deftest of actions of its steering wheel transition into quick however commensurate responses from the entrance finish. The sharp and light-weight entrance finish offers the motive force with preliminary confidence within the Boxster’s dealing with. This then turns into rock-solid belief with the steering precision and mid-corner adjustment at their disposal.

If a nook tightens unexpectedly, both a carry of the throttle will rotate the Porsche securely or some additional steering lock takes benefit of fantastic front-end grip.

That is all doable on a moist day, too, with the GTS’s Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S rubber including spectacular reassurance when trying to benefit from the Boxster’s fabulous chassis. The brakes, too, are excellent.

As ever with the Boxster, it’s the compliance over bumps that’s equally exceptional. This permits the Porsche to be unfazed by roughly surfaced nation roads or mid-corner bumps, whereas importantly permitting this to be a really pleasant sports activities automotive to drive day by day.

Opening and shutting the Boxster’s cloth roof – in about 11.5 seconds, just by the maintain of a centre console change – can also be a cinch in contrast with the palaver that’s the Spyder’s manually detachable hood.

The inside is heavy on Alcantara, which along with the gear lever is layered onto the door armrests, console cubby, steering wheel, glovebox, and central sections of the sports activities seats. There’s additionally carbon-fibre trim on the doorways, sprint and centre console to finish the sports-car cockpit look.

The absence of an on-trend digital driver show is sort of to be celebrated – the standard (triple) dials feeling significantly apt for a racy convertible powered by an old-school engine.

There’s a comfy really feel to the two-seater cockpit exaggerated by the super-snug seats, although there’s loads of head room when the roof is in place. The driving place feels good, with the power to be fine-tuned by plentiful electrical adjustment.

Additionally in two-seater sports activities automotive custom is proscribed cabin storage, although the Boxster’s boot and ‘frunk’ make it one of many world’s extra sensible roadsters.

It’s additionally the world’s most dynamically completed roadster no matter variant – one which has remained above the very best efforts from Audi (TT), BMW (Z4), Mercedes (SLK/SLC) and even Jaguar (F-Sort).

And, lengthy gearing and hefty premium over the turbo-four S apart, it feels much more full with a horizontally opposed six-cylinder pumping furiously behind the motive force.

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