The Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0
You certainly can’t accuse Porsche of not listening. Nor being afraid of a public U-turn. They have finally put six-cylinder power back in the Boxster and Cayman. First with the announcement last year that the new GT4/Spyder would have a naturally aspirated 4.0L flat six. And now, even more surprisingly by launching the new GTS with the same 4.0 flat-six engine. Now that is something nobody expected coming. Well done and thank you Porsche! We jumped on the good news and ordered a brand new 2020 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 for the Club even before anyone ever drove one.
The geeky stuff
So we arrive at this, the new 718 GTS, which gains the 4.0-litre flat-six engine that’s appeared in the recent Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder. Here it produces 400 HP and is good for 0-100 in 4.5secs and a 293 km/h top speed, making it quicker than the old GTS and only marginally slower than the GT4/Spyder.
In essence, then, it’s a GT4 less hung up on lap times and more amiable as an everyday car. In the best GTS tradition it’s ticked all of the nicest options boxes on your behalf – active sports suspension, torque vectoring with a mechanical limited-slip differential, Sport Chrono, a telemetry app, sports exhaust… and a six-speed manual gearbox. They really have been listening to us.
And we have been listening to our members. Because everyone liked the 981 Boxster GTS we had in the fleet back in 2017 we decided to get the brand new Boxster with its sweet four liter engine. Because top-down is best for summer.
It’s difficult not to get slightly carried away by the mere thought of this 4.0-litre Boxster. Not Lotus-light, admittedly, but arguably the best Boxster in the model’s 24-year history is certainly no heavyweight. That mass is also concentrated between the axles, which are spaced neither buttock-clenchingly close nor lethargically far apart, and so fundamentally it’s a delicious recipe.
Obviously the engine’s a peach. We forget how ‘old-school’ naturally aspirated engines sound interesting everywhere in the rev range, and at different throttle openings.
The Boxster GTS splices through corners with what I can only describe as ‘gentle accuracy’, where the tightly controlled roll rates are so perfectly in tune with the steering response that you can’t help ghosting into corners on the exact line you’d visualised only moments before. It feels special. More so because this chassis is exceptionally well balanced and forgiving, simultaneously feeling softer but just as taut as that of the previous turbocharged GTS and also more in tune with the road surface.
There are faster sports cars. There are sports cars that can corner harder and slide more easily and dazzle you with more modes and gimmicks. But after driving this, that’ll all seem overblown.
4 liter naturally aspirated flat-six, 400PS, open-top Porsche with a manual gearbox. Enough said.