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GTS pack adds value to Porsche's Boxster and Cayman
REMEMBER that time you upsized your Happy Meal and got to gorge on fries? Porsche's GTS treatment is a bit like that, loading a given model with all the bells and whistles for some extra outlay that seems worth every penny.
GTS models normally show up less than halfway into the lifespan of a Porsche, and now the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman get their turn.
The GTS bundle applies to the 2.5-litre S versions of those cars, and adds the requisite motorsports-inspired styling (Alcantara-clad cabin, Sport Design front apron, blackened badges, rear apron and exhaust tailpipes) and dynamic elements (Sport Chrono package, sports suspension and mechanical rear differential), that you can spec on a regular S at a cost.
But it also adds 15hp, courtesy of a bigger turbocharger, a new intake duct and a remapped engine computer - none of which you can buy with a normal Cayman S or Boxster S.
Porsche lets us loose in the Boxster GTS on mountain roads, and the Cayman GTS around the very engaging Circuito Ascari, a 5.4km long private track and race resort comprising 26 corners inspired by some of the world's most iconic circuits.
There's a renewed vigour to the GTS cars, which is surprising considering the power gain is modest (due to the "interests of transmission longevity", we're told).
Porsche anoraks will spot that the GTS cars' 365hp is within spitting distance of the hardcore Cayman GT4's 385hp, which was powered by a 3.8-litre naturally-aspirated engine from the 911 Carrera S.
But unlike the high revving characteristics of the naturally-aspirated predecessors, the 718 GTS pair come into their own in the low- to mid-range, with a chunk of torque from under 2,000rpm.
With the Launch Control available through the GTS-standard Sport Chrono package, the 718 GTS lunges to 100km/h in just over 4 seconds from standstill. Drivers used to a more frenetic pace of keeping the revs up on a non-turbo car will adjust quickly to the luxury of enjoying the hit in a lower rev range, which some prefer since it requires far less effort.
Even though the GTS comes standard with a sports exhaust system, the soundtrack of a turbocharged engine is never the same as a naturally-aspirated one, but here it's no less stirring, especially when you're enjoying the twists and turns of a winding road.
The 718s do without rear-axle steer, so there's a more visceral interaction between man, machine and road.
Rear-axle steering has been invaluable in improving the agility of the 911, Panamera and Cayenne models, but the keen driver might feel it has taken the fight out of manhandling those cars down the twisties, especially the rear-engined 911s, which previously required a certain driving technique to master.
With the 718 GTS, progress is fast and fluid on both road and track, with a cornering poise that is largely neutral. The cars have a bare-knuckle side that allows them to hit hard, without the white-knuckle moments.
Porsche 718 Boxster GTS
718 Cayman GTS
- Engine 2,497cc, 16 valves, flat-four
- Power 365hp at 6,500rpm
- Torque 430Nm at 1,900-5,000rpm
- Gearbox 7-speed PDK dual-clutch
- Top Speed 290km/h
- 0-100km/h 4.1 seconds (with Sport+)
- Fuel efficiency 8.2L/100km
- CO2 186g/km
- Price S$390,488/S$385,688 excluding COE
- Agent Porsche Centre Singapore
- Available Available Now