In just the last two years, our Car and Driver test team has vetted many flavors of Porsche, 34 to be exact. Of the stack from Stuttgart, 11 were GTS models, four of those 718s, but this Python Green ($2580) 718 is the first Boxster GTS we’ve tested with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The average launch to 60 mph for all those Porsches, from the base Taycan to 911 Turbo S Lightweight, is a frantic 3.1 seconds. This souped-up Boxster is just 0.3 second below that average and not all that far from the 911’s performance feats.
The 718 is available as a hardtop Cayman coupe or a convertible-top Boxster. In base form, they’re powered by a Subaru-sounding 300-hp turbocharged flat-four, but the GTS ushers in the glorious tenor of a 394-hp flat-six engine. This engine is a detuned version of the Cayman GT4’s 414-hp unit, and you don’t need to crank the 4.0-liter to its 7800-rpm redline to enjoy it. The GTS’s standard Sport Exhaust is a good set of pipes, and in our sound-level tests, the difference between the Boxster (with its top closed) and the hardtop Cayman at wide-open throttle and at a 70-mph cruising speed was negligible.
The Boxster is some five seconds quicker than the 670-hp Corvette Z06—that is, in terms of roof operation, performing its powered ceiling dance in roughly 10 seconds. Where acceleration is concerned, our 718 Boxster GTS’s 3.4-second 60-mph time was 0.4 second quicker than the six-speed manual 718 Boxster GTS and identical to its hardtop 718 Cayman GTS PDK counterpart. It’s also just 0.2 second behind the base 911 Carrera‘s sprint to 60 mph. More impressively, its 8.2-second run to 100 mph puts it only a few tenths of a second behind wildly more expensive and powerful convertibles such as the $284,150 911 Speedster and the 540-hp Audi R8 V10 Spyder.
This PDK-equipped Boxster 718 GTS reached the quarter-mile in 11.7 seconds at 119 mph. Using similar tires with the same size wheels, the PDK-equipped 718 Cayman GTS 4.0, which weighed about 20 fewer pounds than the Boxster, narrowly beat it in the quarter-mile by 0.1 second at 121 mph. The two cars’ braking performance is as similar as their appearance below the beltline. The Boxster stops from 70 mph in 145 feet and from 100 mph in 294 feet, while the Cayman does so in 149 feet and 301 feet, respectively.
Although the GTS’s crisp-shifting six-speed manual transmission provides a more visceral experience, the PDK’s quicker acceleration and sharp reflexes prevent it from being the wrong choice. Rather than behaving like it’s attached by strings to the EPA test cycle, the PDK shifts when we would. If you find yourself fussing with the paddle shifters despite the PDK’s prescient gear selection, you probably should’ve ordered a manual from the start. (The dual-clutch’s $3730 penalty probably won’t sway buyers in either direction.)
A tightly packed cabin comes with the territory of any two-seater, and 718s don’t have much in the way of storage areas. They do have cupholders—spindly contraptions that pop out from the passenger side of the dashboard. Filling one with a large Mountain Dew Baja Blast from Taco Bell might mean you end up with an empty cup and a mess by the time you get home. A 70-pound Great Pyrenees fits perfectly fine in the passenger seat but now will only eat New Zealand-caught salmon and kibble that’s been carefully massaged into a pâté. Is that from the ride in the fancy Porsche or the symptom of a newfound food allergy? The dog simply won’t say.
Our 718 Boxster’s as-tested price rang in at $110,540. That’s $19,690 over the GTS’s starting figure. Its priciest option (beyond the PDK) was the Premium package ($3500), which added a Bose surround sound system, LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus, a heated steering wheel, and keyless entry and ignition. The aforementioned Python Green paint and the 20-inch 911 Turbo wheels ($2450) wrapped in Pirelli P Zero PZ4s were the next most expensive extras.
It’s not the options that make the GTS a great car, it’s what’s already there. The Boxster/Cayman has made our coveted 10Best Cars list an incredible 23 times. The addition of a euphonious flat-six and wicked-smart PDK to an already brilliant sports car is worth celebrating—though we’d gladly test it again, just to make sure.
2022 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0
Vehicle Type: rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door convertible
Base/As Tested: $90,850/$110,540
Options: 7-speed PDK transmission, $3730; Premium package – Bose surround sound, LED headlight w/PLDS Plus, light design package, power folding mirrors, heated steering wheel, lane change assist, $3500; Python Green paint, $2580; 20-inch 911 Turbo wheels, $2450; black leather interior, $2160; adaptive cruise control, $1670; gloss black brake calipers, $900; ventilated seats, $740; supplemental safety bars in exterior color, $640; smartphone compartment, $560; painted vehicle keys, $540; PORSCHE logo in satin black, $220
DOHC 24-valve flat-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 244 in3, 3995 cm3
Power: 394 hp @ 7000 rpm
Torque: 309 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Suspension, F/R: struts/struts
Brakes, F/R: 13.8-in vented, cross-drilled disc/13.0-in vented, cross-drilled disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4
F: 235/35ZR-20 (88Y) N1
R: 265/35ZR-20 (95Y) N1
Wheelbase: 97.4 in
Length: 172.4 in
Width: 70.9 in
Height: 49.7 in
Passenger Volume: 49 ft3
Trunk Volume, F/R: 5/4 ft3
Curb Weight: 3254 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 3.4 sec
100 mph: 8.2 sec
1/4-Mile: 11.7 sec @ 119 mph
130 mph: 14.2 sec
150 mph: 20.5 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 4.4 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.5 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 2.5 sec
Top Speed (mfr’s claim): 182 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 145 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 294 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.05 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 23 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 21/19/24 mpg
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